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Valles Marineris – the largest canyon in the Solar System

22. October 2012

Mars is clearly much smaller than Earth, but it can still come up with impressive superlatives. Several landscape features have unquestionably enormous dimensions – at over 21 kilometres in height, Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the Solar System; the Hellas impact basin is more than 2000 kilometres across and eight kilometres deep – but particularly spectacular is the Valles Marineris canyon system

TerraSAR-X image of the month – stage clear for the salt flats

19. October 2012

Clouds, darkness, rain – the radar 'vision' of TerraSAR-X is unaffected by these conditions. Dark and light areas contrast clearly in this image, acquired by the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite.

Galileo%2dTestsatelliten auf ihren Umlaufbahnen

Two more satellites for the Galileo system

11. October 2012

The first two satellites for the European Galileo navigation system have been orbiting Earth since 21 October 2011. Now, two more are about to follow; on 12 October 2012 at 20:15 CEST, a Soyuz rocket will launch satellites three and four into their position in space.

Der Hooke%2dKrater auf dem Mars

Ice-clad beauty on the 'Silver Island' of Mars

4. October 2012

On 8 June 2012, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, acquired images of a region inside the Argyre Impact Basin, which is 1800 kilometres across and five kilometres deep.

Hadley Crater – closing in on the Martian interior

6. September 2012

Hadley Crater on Mars has been subject to several impacts by large asteroids in the course of its history. The 'craters within a crater' formed in this way give us a view over two kilometres into the Martian crust.

Abschied von Asteroid Vesta

Parting ways with Vesta

30. August 2012

A giant impact crater on its south pole; deep grooves around its equator; dark material on the craters that puzzles planetary researchers; and a mountain more than twice the height of Mount Everest.

Das Marsinnere

NASA selects DLR experiment for InSight mission to Mars

21. August 2012

After the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, NASA has selected one more lander mission to Mars. The InSight mission will reach Mars in September 2016, after a six-month journey; it has been designed to take a 'look' into the deep interior of the Red Planet; it will do this with geophysical experiments including DLR's HP3, which will penetrate several metres into the Martian subsurface to measure the soil's thermo-physical and electrical properties.

Vast volumes of water once flowed in Ladon Valles

2. August 2012

On 27 April 2012, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft acquired images of part of Ladon Valles. These images show an area north of the Holden and Eberswalde craters in Mars' southern highlands.

Mars Express – butterfly ejecta and wrinkle ridges in Melas Dorsa

5. July 2012

On 17 April 2012, 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 acquired images of a region in Melas Dorsa.

Pentland Firth

TerraSAR-X image of the month - bottleneck off the Orkney Islands

2. July 2012

A mere 10 kilometres separate John O'Groats, at the northernmost tip of the Scottish mainland, and South Ronaldsay, in the Orkney Islands. What passengers on the ferries directly experience can also be observed from space by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellite duo; in the Pentland Firth, the water flows at great speed, often causing a rough crossing.

Shefex

Experiments on SHEFEX II successful

28. June 2012

Following the flight of the SHEFEX II spacecraft on 22 June 2012, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have performed an initial assessment.

Through the atmosphere with sharp edges

22. June 2012

After a 10-minute flight, the sharp-edged SHEFEX II spacecraft landed safely west of Spitsbergen. Researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) launched the seven-ton and roughly 13-metre-long rocket and its payload from the Andøya Rocket Range in Norway at 21:18 CEST on 22 June 2012. As it re-entered the atmosphere, SHEFEX withstood temperatures exceeding 2500 degrees Celsius and sent measurement data from more than 300 sensors to a ground station. “The SHEFEX II flight takes us one step further in the road to developing a space vehicle built like a space capsule but offering the control and flight options of the Space Shuttle much more cost-effectively,” says project manager Hendrik Weihs.

In search of dark matter – the Euclid space telescope

20. June 2012

Dark energy and dark matter are both fascinating for scientists, yet they remain a mystery. The Euclid space telescope, which is supported with funds from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Space Administration, will assist scientists in their search for these cosmic phenomena.

Jubiläum im All: 5 Jahre TerraSAR%2dX

Anniversary in space – five years of TerraSAR-X

15. June 2012

Five years ago today, at 04:14 CEST on 15 June 2007, the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite was launched from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This marked the beginning of a new era in satellite remote sensing for Germany.

Yardangs in Danielson Crater – indicators of climate changes on Mars?

7. June 2012

The Arabia Terra region on Mars is populated with numerous craters, filled with deposits of various materials that, over time, have become severely eroded. The latest images acquired by the HRSC camera show many features of this kind, known as 'yardangs', in Danielson Crater; the different types of material these contain could be explained by changes in the climate.

Valles Marineris Explorer – using a robotic swarm to explore Mars

15. May 2012

Valles Marineris, the largest canyon system in the Solar System and a potential refuge for extraterrestrial life, is 7000 metres deep and stretches for some 4000 kilometres along the Martian equator.

Vesta – a planet-like asteroid

10. May 2012

Even though it doesn’t quite qualify as a 'proper' planet, the second most massive asteroid in the Solar System, Vesta – which has a diameter of approximately 530 kilometres – exhibits numerous planetary characteristics. This is just one of the many significant results of NASA's Dawn mission, published in the journal Science on 11 May 2012. The Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting Vesta since 16 July 2011. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is involved in the mission.

SOFIA: Molecules and star formation in the Milky Way

10. May 2012

GREAT results of the early science flights with SOFIA, the airborne observatory, puiblished in the European scientific journal 'Astronomy & Astrophysics'.

Mars Express – Former lakes and rivers in Acidalia Planitia

3. May 2012

New images from the HRSC camera on board the Mars Express spacecraft show numerous dried up river valleys and various former crater lakes in the Acidalia Planitia region. They are further evidence of the existence of water on the surface of Mars for an extended period of time. Such areas are of particular interest to the search for microbial life, which may have developed here under these circumstances.

Mechanical tests for SHEFEX

18. April 2012

The SHEFEX II (SHarp Edge Flight EXperiment) spacecraft successfully withstood vibration on a shaker and spinning at two rotations per second. These tests represented the final simulation of the conditions that the space vehicle will be subjected to during its launch in the summer of 2012.