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All years

A comet landing, a German astronaut and alternative fuels for air traffic

23. January 2014

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are driven by the desire to improve life on Earth. Among other things, they are working on aircraft that one day will produce less noise emissions and run on alternative fuels, while their more efficient turbines emit fewer pollutants. But DLR researchers are not simply concerned with improving airborne mobility, they also have their feet firmly on the ground, helping us reach our destinations in fast and green transportation, for instance in electric vehicles. And talking about transport, in May 2014 astronaut Alexander Gerst, is scheduled to embark on a six-month journey on board the ISS, where he will conduct numerous experiments in various fields, including biology and medicine, to name just two, that will contribute to improving life here on Earth. Alexander Gerst's mission – Blue Dot – expresses this desire. Viewed from far away in space, the Earth resembles an azure, vulnerable speck. The Rosetta spacecraft will send a wealth of new data back to Earth as it chases a comet, venturing deep into space during 2014. The European spacecraft will reach its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, after around 10 years of travel. One of the highlights will be the landing of Philae on November 2014. DLR played a major role in building the craft and operates the lander from its control centre in Cologne.

Mission ins Ungewisse %2d Der Kometenjäger Rosetta

Video: Chasing a Comet – the Rosetta Mission

14. January 2014

Among the most fascinating projects in the exploration of the Universe is the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, launched in 2004 to investigate the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. For the first time, a spacecraft will follow a comet as it approaches the Sun and land on its nucleus.

Ten years – and more to come: unveiling the enigmatic history of Mars

14. January 2014

Engineers and scientists cheered and exchanged 'high fives' when the first images from the German camera system on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft appeared on the monitors at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin.

DLR satellite data helps in the rescue of the Akademik Shokalskiy

9. January 2014

For ten days, 74 scientists and tourists were trapped in the Antarctic on board the Russian Akademik Shokalskiy research vessel. Strong winds had driven ice floes into a bay, blocking the ship's advancement.

Tschüss 2013, hallo 2014!

Looking back to the future – goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

20. December 2013

What has a certain SANDRA to do with a digitally networked sky? And why do we consider a research flight that does not even take off newsworthy? Where exactly does the noise emitted by aircraft come from and how can it be reduced? How does an astronaut prepare for a six-month stay on the International Space Station, ISS? DLR 2013 annual film has the answers.

Gaia reaches for the stars

19. December 2013

It is the beginning of a new astrometric age – from now until 2018, Gaia, the new European Space Agency (ESA) space observatory, will measure the positions, distances and motion of over one billion stars and, for the first time, create a 3D map of the Milky Way.


TerraSAR-X image of the month – Kiritimati atoll

16. December 2013

Kiritimati atoll is a unique place – here, major European cities or entire countries become tiny hamlets, and where you might find that Paris is abandoned, 235 people live in Poland and London has about 1829 inhabitants.

Mysterious sulphate mountains in Juventae Chasma

12. December 2013

The water that once flowed across Mars in its early days has left many traces. Among these, two terraced mountains located in the Juventae Chasma basin stand out; they appear to be composed of sediment layers. Spacecraft overflights have revealed that these are sulphate deposits containing minerals such as gypsum, alabaster or kieserite, which usually require water to form.

Ulf Merbold

Spacelab-1: Where the known meets the unknown

27. November 2013

Ten days, seven hours and 47 minutes – this was the duration of Ulf Merbold's first experience in space, which began on 28 November 1983, when the Space Shuttle Columbia delivered him to Earth orbit.

SWARM – Earth's magnetic field to be accurately measured by three European satellites flying in formation

22. November 2013

On Friday 22 November at 13:02 CET (12:02 GMT) the three European SWARM satellites were lifted into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia by a Rockot launch vehicle. The mission will take high accuracy measurements of Earth's magnetic field, expanding our knowledge of the processes at work in Earth's interior as well as in near-Earth space.


The ISS turns 15 – from a ‘heavenly’ construction site to a research laboratory in the sky

20. November 2013

Floating water droplets, a Canadian astronaut singing his own version of David Bowie's ‘Major Tom’, spacewalks, or beautiful views of Earth from the Cupola – the images that reach Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) never cease to surprise. Things were different 15 years ago; on this very day, 20 November 1998, the first component of the ISS was launched. This ‘heavenly’ construction began with the Russian Zarya module, a cargo and control module. Today, six astronauts live and work 365 days a year in the space research laboratory. Also on board are numerous experiments supported by scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) or funded by the DLR Space Administration.

Sanfte Hügellandschaft und breite Täler in Ismeniae Fossae auf dem Mars

Rolling hills and broad valleys in Ismeniae Fossae

14. November 2013

Gentle, rounded landscapes make up the Ismeniae Fossae, and can be seen in these newly released images created using data acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by DLR on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft.


DLR provides maps for the relief effort in the Philippines

13. November 2013

Working in shifts around the clock, staff at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) have produced their first maps of the Philippine disaster areas based on satellite image data.

DLR SpaceBot Cup – robot race on artificial planet

13. November 2013

On 12 November 2013, after two exciting and eventful days, the DLR SpaceBot Cup drew to an end with no clear winner and no real loser. "All 10 teams were highly motivated and came up with innovative, technical solutions. All participants deserve to be congratulated!

Sonnensysteme im Vergleich

Second Solar System detected

28. October 2013

A team of astrophysicists at DLR, together with German and other European colleagues, has discovered the most extensive planetary system to date. Seven planets circle the star KOI-351 – more than in other known planetary systems.

An eight-thousand metre mountain with sulphate layers in Hebes Chasma

10. October 2013

If an astronaut were to stand in the Hebes Chasma basin, the view would be extraordinary. Precipitous walls rise almost 8000 metres into the skies, and a massif similar in size to Mount Everest lies at the centre.

DLR to be first user of Earth sensing platform MUSES on ISS

2. October 2013

On 1 October 2013, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc., subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, and DLR signed a memorandum of agreement to develop an instrument for the Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES), which will be mounted on the ISS.

'Aktion 42' – weightless bubbles propelled by sound

2. October 2013

When German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst flies to the ISS in May 2014, his daily work will include conducting experiments. One of these experiments will involve analysing how soap bubbles behave in a microgravity environment and whether sound waves can set them in motion.

Asteroid Vesta

Atlas of the asteroid Vesta is online

11. September 2013

On 11 May 2011, the camera on board the Dawn spacecraft acquired its first picture of the asteroid Vesta. Despite its diameter of 530 kilometres, this heavenly body appeared as no more than a white dot in the image – at that time, the spacecraft was still 975,000 kilometres away from its destination.


German Aerospace Day – Comet lander, parabolic flight aircraft and a centrifuge

5. September 2013

Aerospace research covers a broad spectrum of activities – missions to celestial bodies are just as much a part of it as checking the health of astronauts or experimenting in microgravity on parabolic flights.

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