A rocket launch in March 2004, multiple swing-bys past Earth and Mars, high-speed fly-bys of asteroids Šteins and Lutetia – after all this, the Philae lander on board ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, which is en route to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is in good shape.
German European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst is all set for the 'Blue Dot' mission to the International Space Station in May. Crewmates NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and commander-cosmonaut Maxim Surayev will hold a media conference on Tuesday 18 March 2014 and ESA is inviting you to ask questions via Twitter.
These images, acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board the European Mars Express spacecraft, show the extent to which volcanism has shaped the surface of Mars.
Situated at a favourable, stable distance from its star and having liquid water on its surface – this is what the planets that scientists involved in the Planetary Transits and Oscillations of Stars (PLATO) mission seek to discover outside of the Solar System. An international consortium under the leadership of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will search for this 'second Earth'. The space telescope that the European Space Agency (ESA) selected from among five proposed missions on 19 February 2014 is scheduled to launch in 2024. "This unique European space telescope, designed to search for exoplanets, will enable German and European scientists to engage in truly cutting-edge research in this field of astronomy," says DLR Executive Board Chairman Johann-Dietrich Wörner.
In 100 days, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst will be launched to the International Space Station ISS with NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and cosmonaut commander Maxim Surayev.
Recent images acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by DLR on board the European Space Agency Mars Express spacecraft, show a portion of the Claritas Rupes escarpment on Mars that surrounds the Claritas Fossae graben system. It forms the eastern boundary of the gigantic Tharsis volcanic region, where the biggest volcanoes on Mars are located.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The images presented in this mosaic and acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), on board ESA's Mars Express Spacecraft, show Becquerel Crater and, inside it, a mountain almost 1000 metres high, consisting of sulphurous layers deposited on top of one another. It demonstrates the eventful climatic history of the Red Planet.
Officially, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X should have been out of service for over a year and a half – that's how long it has exceeded its intended lifespan. But engineers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have switched the satellite, which was launched to space on 15 June 2007, to yet another mode: TerraSAR-X can now record image strips over 200 kilometres wide. "The satellite does so by sweeping this large area in multiple stages, very quickly pivoting the radar beam numerous times across the direction of flight," explains DLR mission manager Stefan Buckreuss. For example, the image of the German Bight shows the Frisian Islands from Borkum to Wangerooge and cities such as Wilhelmshaven and Bremen. This new ‘wide-angle’ mode is of particular interest to oceanographers, who will be able to use it to investigate the tidal range, changes to mudflats, shipping movements, wave patterns, ice floes and wind levels.
These images, which were acquired using the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show a section of the northern part of Hesperia Planum.
On 21 January 2013, the HRSC camera, operated by DLR on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, imaged the southeast portion of the Olympus Mons shield volcano, the largest volcano in the Solar System, located approximately 200 kilometers southwest of the Sulci Gordii region.
Numerous dramatic flood events sculpted the impressive valley system of Kasei Valles on Mars, seen in a new mosaic of 67 individual images acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by DLR on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft.