The last command to LISA Pathfinder was sent at around 8:00 pm Central European Time on 18 July 2017, after 16 months of scientific operation, marking the end of a sophisticated technology demonstration in space. The Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Max Planck Society funded the German contribution to this European Space Agency (ESA) mission.
The German Aerospace Center will use the occasion of Russia’s national aviation and aerospace show from 18 to 23 July 2017 – the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS – to present satellite models, simulators and experiments for space missions.
On 14 July 2017At 08:36 CEST, the two research satellites 'Flying Laptop' and 'TechnoSat' were successfully launched to space on board a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The Libya Montes highland region is one of the oldest areas on Mars. The latest images from HRSC identify a number of drainage channels and dense valley networks.
Among the most remarkable geological formations on Mars is the vast shield volcano Olympus Mons that towers up to 26 kilometres above the surrounding plains. It is situated on the Tharsis plateau, a volcanic province the size of Europe. Volcanism is a widespread phenomenon on Mars.
Global food production is one of the key societal challenges of the 21st century. A growing world population with the simultaneous upheaval caused by climate change demand new methods of cultivating crops in regions with unfavourable climates. A closed greenhouse is a good way of growing food in deserts and low-temperature regions – as would be the case on missions to the Moon and Mars – as it permits harvesting regardless of the weather, the Sun and specific seasons.
It looks simple: the rover heads straight for the landing craft, uses a gripper arm to remove a sensor unit from the loading bay and takes it quickly to the determined deposit location, where seismic measurements are then carried out. Everything takes place without human intervention, as the rover, lander and sensor unit complete their job autonomously and effectively.
A wedge-shaped pillow, with which the upper body is raised by 30 degrees, could be a solution to shortness of breath, headaches and nausea caused by ascending to high altitudes within a short time. In August 2016, researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) at the Italian Regina Margherita mountain hut in the Valais Alps investigated the mechanisms that trigger altitude sickness in the human body in 10 selected participants.
The Senate of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) approved the establishment of seven DLR institutes in its meeting on 28 June 2017. DLR was tasked with building new institutes by a resolution of the Budgetary Committee of the Deutscher Bundestag in November 2016.
Space travel is not possible without launchers. Every space activity is based on this simple fact. Launcher systems connect Earth to space. They transport people and materials into space and deliver research and commercial satellites to orbit. Launchers provide the only way to conduct scientific research and ensure commercial utilisation of space.
The German 'Heinrich Hertz' satellite communications mission has now reached its final phase: on 28 June 2017, Gerd Gruppe, member of the DLR Executive Board for the Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR), and Marco Fuchs, the Chief Executive Officer of the company OHB System AG, signed a contract to manufacture, test and launch the German satellite.
The 2017 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science has been awarded to the team behind the outstandingly successful exhibition, ‘Comets – The Rosetta Mission: Journey to the Origins of the Solar System’, at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. Ulrich Köhler, Barbara Stracke and Ekkehard Kührt, of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, will accept the award on behalf of the exhibition’s curation team.
Kia ora is how the Māori, New Zealand's indigenous people, traditionally welcome their guests – even when said guest is a flying observatory. At 01:05 Central European Summer Time (11:05 local time) on 23 June 2017, SOFIA was greeted with Kia ora when it touched 'down under' at Christchurch Airport.
On 20 June 2017, the European Space Agency (ESA) gave the go-ahead for the further development of the PLATO space telescope. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) is leading the international consortium responsible for the construction and scientific operation of the space telescope.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be at the Paris Air Show from 19 to 25 June 2017. This year, the focus will be on mobility and digitalisation. In Hall 2C at the German Community stand, DLR will showcase technological innovations for eco-efficient flying with lower carbon dioxide and noise emissions, as well as a pioneering mission for global monitoring of dynamic Earth systems on the ground and in the atmosphere, with ever larger quantities of data handled professionally.
Designed to return unique images of the Earth for five years, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X has outdone itself. The satellite has been in operation for twice that time – and there is still no end in sight to its service.
These images from the HRSC Mars camera show an impact crater in the southern highlands with remarkable surface features. Unusually light-toned deposits and so-called ‘chaos terrain’ are visible inside the crater.
'Horizons' is the name of German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst's next mission. The 41-year-old geophysicist will take part in expedition 56/57, his second 'research voyage' to the International Space Station ISS, at the end of April 2018, just under a year from now. After the Belgian ESA astronaut, Frank de Winne, Gerst will be the second European to be commander of the ISS. Gerst will remain in orbit, at an altitude of almost 400 kilometres, for six months – until the end of October 2018. The name 'Horizons' symbolises the curiosity and fascination of exploring and researching the unknown.
Mars' north polar cap looks like a gigantic spiral of ice and snow. Dark troughs are interspersed with ice-clad hills. This simulated overflight of the North Pole reveals its permanent ice cap and large Chasma Boreale truogh.
The three winning teams in the High-flyer competition have now been selected: students from the universities of Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Duisburg-Essen will send their experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) during German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst's upcoming mission in summer 2018.