'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.
795 million people worldwide – or one in nine – do not have enough to eat. And the consequences of climate change continue to exacerbate this already precarious situation, with failed crops due to extreme periods of drought or flooding being just one example.
On 15 February 2017, an Indian rocket released a record number of 104 satellites into space simultaneously. In addition to one 714-kilogram Earth observation satellite and two smaller technology experimentation satellites, the payload consisted of 101 microsatellites weighing between one and four kilograms.
The importance of global networks for the aerospace sector has grown enormously. Increasingly widespread digitalisation and the spiralling volume of data generated are redefining the requirements for the space sector. Plans for a long-term expansion of large satellite networks as the basis for a global communication system are becoming more and more apparent.
The new season has begun: DLR is once again looking for the best application ideas in the fields of satellite navigation and Earth observation for the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) and the Copernicus Masters.
The latest images from the HRSC camera show a triple crater formed by asteroid impacts in the Terra Sirenum region on Mars. On the crater floor are layered deposits that indicate the long-term existence of a lake.
Our information society is facing a challenge – steadily growing data volumes must be transferred across the globe at faster and faster speeds in order to keep up with the technical advancements of our time.
On 19 March 1992, almost 25 years to the day, Klaus-Dietrich Flade became the first German to float into the Russian Mir space station as a cosmonaut. Flade, a trained test pilot and aerospace engineer, spent six days as a scientific cosmonaut on what was at the time the only human outpost in space, as part of the MIR' 92 mission.
How can space debris be captured? How can students reduce the rotation of research rockets in microgravity? The REXUS 22 research rocket was launched from the Esrange Space Center near Kiruna in northern Sweden, at 14:00 Central European Time (CET) on 16 March 2017. On board were student experiments to try and answer these and other questions.
Just two years after its 'twin satellite' was launched on 7 March 2017 at 02:49 CET (6 March at 22:49 local time), the European Earth observation satellite Sentinel-2B set off on its mission on board a Vega rocket from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
Huge masses of water once flowed over the surface of Mars to form one of the largest outflow channels on the planet – Kasei Valles. These images, acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) show a section of the mouth of this outflow channel system, which lies in the transition region where the Chryse Planitia lowlands merge into the Martian highlands.
Only three female European astronauts have so far been into space. Numerous effects of microgravity on the functioning of the female body must still be researched and understood for future missions to Mars or tourist spaceflights, for example. As part of the 'Female Astronaut' initiative, HE Space is currently looking for a German female astronaut for a 10-day mission to the International Space Station ISS.
On 17 February 2017, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) Space Administration and Airbus Defence and Space GmbH signed a contract for the design and construction phases of the German-French climate satellite MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing LIDAR Mission).
In 2009, NASA's Kepler space probe was launched, embarking on a mission to hunt for exoplanets. In 2013, due to the failure of two of its reaction wheels, the mission had to be modified. Mission control managed to change the operational modus and manoeuvre the telescope orbiter into a different position in its orbit around the Sun that enabled the mission to continue.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Brazilian aerospace agency Agência Espacial Brasileira (AEB) have taken a big step forward in the development of a new rocket that is fuelled with oxygen and alcohol.
On 31 January 2017, during the 12 International Ilan Ramon Space Conference in Israel, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in the area of radiation protection for astronauts.
Mars' northern hemisphere is currently experiencing winter. A newly generated colour mosaic depicts the extraordinary, almost perfectly symmetrical pattern of Mars' north polar ice cap, 1100 kilometres in diameter. Studying the North Pole cap will tell us more about climate development on our planetary neighbour.
The special exhibition 'COMETS – The Rosetta mission: A journey to the origins of the Solar System' has been the main attraction at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin for the last six months. Conceived and prepared by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in cooperation with the world-famous Berlin museum and the Max Planck Society, the exhibition ended on 26 January 2017.