At 4478 metres tall, the Matterhorn is not one of Earth's highest mountains – not even the highest mountain in the Alps. However, its striking triangular shape makes it unique. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has measured this 'rock pyramid' with the help of satellite and aircraft overflights and, from the data, generated a precise terrain model that now brings the mountain to Gasometer Oberhausen as a 3D projection on a 17-metre-high reproduction of the Matterhorn.
The 31st German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) parabolic flight campaign ended successfully on 9 March 2018. Twelve experiments in the fields of human physiology, biology, physics, technology testing and materials science took place on board the A310 ZERO-G, dealing with investigations into the birth of stars, plasma physics, the behaviour of molten materials in zero gravity and blood circulation in the human body, amongst other things.
The operator orbits Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometres, while the assistant works on the ground. During the 'SUPVIS Justin' experiment, those who send and receive commands conduct a long-distance relationship.
The Crew Interactive MObile companioN (CIMON) is able to see, hear, understand, speak – and fly. It is roughly spherical, has a diameter of 32 centimetres and weighs five kilograms. Its robotic predecessor was Professor Simon Wright's 'flying brain', with sensors, cameras and a speech processor in the 1978 cartoon series, 'Captain Future'.
The first 1480 kilometres from Denver to the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California have been completed – aboard an aircraft. The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander will now have to travel the remaining 485 million kilometres to Mars alone, following its planned launch on 5 May 2018.
Mars Express is currently the only satellite exploring Mars from an elliptical orbit. This allows regular, close flybys of Phobos, the larger of the two Martian moons. In summer 2017, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) observed the moon from a distance of approximately 115 kilometres.
The Spanish Earth observation satellite PAZ was successfully launched on 22 February 2018 at 15:17 CET from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States, on board a Falcon 9 rocket. Interestingly, PAZ is being positioned on the same orbit as the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites.
The time has come: the EDEN ISS laboratory in the Antarctic has been set up, the first seedlings have been placed in the growth cabinets, and after eight weeks, the majority of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) team has returned to Germany.
Laser terminals from Mynaric, a spin-off company of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have been inducted into the 'Space Technology Hall of Fame'. "This US Space Foundation award is a great honour for us. DLR technologies that have been designed and produced by Mynaric have received a great deal of international recognition.
Relief was evident at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Bonn, and at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO) in Radolfzell on Lake Constance. A Russian Soyuz 2-1A launcher and a Progress cargo spacecraft carrying the antenna block for the German-Russian project ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) set off for the International Space Station (ISS), which orbits Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometres.
The Columbus space laboratory began its journey into space on 7 February 2008 and has now been the scientific heart of European research on the International Space Station (ISS) for ten years. In microgravity, researchers gain unique insights from a wide range of disciplines from astrophysics, through materials research, to psychology and medical treatment options.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is unique within Germany and in Europe with regard to its work and research areas – as a national research centre and Space Administration as well as a Project Management Agency.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the National Research Council Canada (NRC) have been working together for several years in the field of aeronautics research. On 28 January, Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member responsible for Aeronautics Research, and NRC President Iain Stewart signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the continued cooperation between the two agencies during the 33 German-Canadian conference organised by Atlantik-Brücke e.V. in Munich.
Walther Pelzer is the newly appointed Executive Board Member of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the new Head of the DLR Space Administration in Bonn, succeeding Gerd Gruppe.
The new Vulcain 2.1 engine, which is set to carry the new European launcher Ariane 6 into space in 2020, is intended to achieve greater efficiency at lower costs. However, before such a launch can be successfully carried out, the development engines must prove that they can cope with the enormous 130-ton thrust, temperatures of approximately 3000 degrees Celsius in the combustion chamber, the high rotational speeds of the turbo pumps and the pressure in the propellant lines.
On 22 January 2018, EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG, a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), presented its online portal for water quality data for all inland and coastal waters worldwide at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The latest images acquired by the HRSC camera show the Neukum impact crater. This crater was named after the German physicist and planetary scientist Gerhard Neukum, who passed away in 2014. Neukum was the person behind the HRSC.
With the arrival and unloading of the EDEN ISS greenhouse at the edge of the Antarctic ice shelf, the construction process has begun. "We can hardly wait, as our four-person construction team set foot on the Antarctic continent before Christmas," says EDEN-ISS Project Manager Daniel Schubert.
Emergency services in the US state of California are still fighting fierce forest fires. Severe drought and strong winds have allowed the fires to spread. The FireBIRD (Fire Bispectral InfraRed Detector) mission run by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) consists of a pair of satellites – TET-1 (Technology Experiment Carrier) and BIROS (Bispectral Infrared Optical System).
On 15 December at 16:36 CET (10:36 local time), the US Dragon CRS 13 capsule was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral (Florida) by a Falcon 9 rocket.