The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be showcasing its latest research at this year's International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia.
Electric propulsion systems are considered to be particularly promising space technology. Although they produce less thrust, their fuel efficiency is significantly higher than that of conventional chemical engines. Satellites can thus be made considerably lighter and more durable. Additionally, the payload capacity can be increased because of the lower fuel mass needed.
Over billions of years, meteorite impacts have altered the surface of Mars. Current images from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft show an impact crater over 30 kilometres in size with a prominent ejecta blanket. It is located to the north of the largest impact basin on Mars, Hellas Planitia, where some scientists believe there was once a large lake.
Since the first observation of an extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, almost 4000 planets have been identified orbiting other stars in the Milky Way. With these new discoveries, scientists are now increasingly investigating their atmospheres, the composition and structure of gas hull.
There are a total of 18 scientific instruments on board Cassini-Huygens. One of these is the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), which analyses ice and dust particles in the Saturnian system. The special thing about this instrument, which is still the only one in the world, is that it can simultaneously determine the electrical charge, speed, direction of flight and mass of individual particles.
Twenty nine parabolic flight campaigns run by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have resulted in 97 flight days, 3270 parabolas and almost 19 hours of microgravity.
Today, thanks to Cassini, we know 62 of Saturn's moons. Maps are important to be able to study them further. The DLR Institute of Planetary Research has produced maps for the seven medium-sized ice moons Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Iapetus and Phoebe, based on high-resolution images acquired by the camera on board Cassini.
On 15 October 1997 the Cassini spacecraft took off from Cape Canaveral and embarked on an almost seven-year journey to the Saturn System, atop a Titan 4B rocket. It circled the planet and its numerous glacial moons for almost 13 years, from 2004 to 2017.
In anticipation of the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey, the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' was activated early on the evening of 24 August 2017. This was initiated by the Charter member United States Geological Survey (USGS) on behalf of the Texas Emergency Management Council. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) provided real-time recordings and archive data from the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, which enabled a detailed analysis and an overview of the flood situation. Using these and other satellite data provided by 16 Charter members, the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas is currently working on providing assistance and information to disaster relief personnel on the ground.
On 25 August 2017, the Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, currently residing on the International Space Station (ISS), remote-controlled the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Rollin’ Justin robot. During the experiment, a tablet-PC was used to send instructions to the robot at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in Oberpfaffenhofen from the ISS. Justin was then left to his own devices in the completion of various tasks and was required to use artificial intelligence to decide how individual work stages needed to be completed. These tasks belong to the SUPVIS Justin experiment, which is being carried out as part of the METERON project (Multi-Purpose End-to-End Robotic Operation Network) in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA).
A total solar eclipse is spectacular for observers: “Around 30 seconds before the Sun disappears entirely behind the Moon, it becomes noticeably darker in the middle of the day, as if someone had quickly turned the dimmer switch for a light,” explains Manfred Gaida, an astrophysicist in the Space Administration team at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), describing the phenomenon. The Moon moves in front of the Sun until just a luminous halo – the corona – can be seen. Where the conical umbra reaches the Earth, the sky goes dark. The partial phase of the eclipse begins around 75 to 90 minutes beforehand, and lasts for the same amount of time after the eclipse, until the ‘all-around twilight’ has completely disappeared.
The oldest regions on Mars are often the most interesting as well. Here, numerous traces of geological processes that have altered the planet's surface are visible. The latest images from the high performance HRSC camera show such an ancient area – the Thaumasia Highlands with grabens and mountain ranges.
He is the new guy. Sporting blue overalls – the traditional work garb of European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts – and a broad smile, Matthias Maurer strides confidently through the lobby of the European Astronaut Center (EAC), where so many of his predecessors trained before him.
On 24 July 2017, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) presented the new DLR strategy at the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The calibration of radar satellites is a key research area at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). "In the last few years, we have earned the undisputed status of an international calibration centre for radar satellites," says Alberto Moreira, Director of the DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute.
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.