How did the Solar System form? Are we alone in the Universe? What scientific methods can we use to prove the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms? These questions fascinate scientists and non-scientists alike. Planetary research seeks to find answers.
These images from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) show a region of Mars strongly marked by volcanic activity and associated tectonic processes. A striking feature is the existence of parallel grabens crossing the region – the Sirenum Fossae.
How can modern agriculture benefit from satellite remote sensing? What does space technology offer digital farming and crop cultivation ('smart farming')? The German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is providing the answers to these and similar questions from 12 to 18 November 2017 at Agritechnica in Hanover, the world's largest trade fair for agricultural machinery.
Cyber security and fire detection from space: these two ideas have won this year's Special Prize of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) as part of the 'European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)' and the 'Copernicus Masters'.
In theory, it is impossible. Current theories of planetary emergence dictate that only small, rocky planets – and not a giant planet – can form around a dwarf star. The most recent discovery by the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) system has thrown some doubt on this assumption.
After more than 15 years, the German-US Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for precise measuring of Earth's gravity field has come to an end. Since its launch from the Russian cosmodrome in Plesetsk on 17 March 2002 on board a Rockot launcher, the twin satellites GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 have been orbiting Earth in close formation flight, precisely recording how Earth's gravity field changes over time.
The BEXUS 24 research balloon was launched from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden at 13:39 Central European Summer Time on Wednesday 18 October 2017. The balloon reached its maximum altitude of 24.6 kilometres at 15:25 at which point the gondola separated from the balloon (in a procedure called 'cut down'). The gondola landed back on Earth at 17:22 local time.
In which quantity are trace gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide, present in our atmosphere? How high are the global and regional concentrations of aerosol particles? Which processes induce changes in our environment, and how do they affect our climate, air quality, and therefore our health?
The venture to cultivate plants in the Antarctic is gathering momentum: on 8 October 2017 the special EDEN ISS greenhouse container, packed safely away on a cargo ship, left the Port of Hamburg en route to the Ekström ice shelf in the Antarctic.
The voyage to Mars, our red planetary neighbour, is more than just a dream – it is a definite goal for human spaceflight. But a whole series of scientific questions need to be answered before this kind of journey can be undertaken.
Two impact craters with expanses of dunes, located deep in the southern highlands of the Red Planet, can be seen in these images acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft. The HRSC was developed and is operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).
Representatives of international space agencies, the industrial sector and research institutes gathered at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) from 25 to 29 September 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) took this opportunity to sign a number of Memorandums of Understanding for closer collaboration with international partners.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the renowned University of Sydney have declared their intention for future cooperation in research and teaching activities related to aerospace research by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 27 September 2017 at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
Ten years ago, NASA's Dawn space probe embarked on a mission destined to become one of the most exciting and scientifically productive in the history of unmanned exploration of the Solar System. On board is the German framing camera that is providing fundamental information on planetary formation from Vesta and Ceres.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the Japanese space agency, JAXA, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan (AIST) signed two cooperation agreements on 21 September 2017 in Tokyo.
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.