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Hans Schlegel

Astronaut and guinea pig – all in one

25. April 2013

In 1993, during the second German D2 Spacelab Mission, astronaut Hans Schlegel orbited Earth 160 times and conducting numerous international experiments as payload specialist. This was Schlegel's first flight into space.

AMS

In search of antimatter

18. April 2013

The first results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) have been released. This space 'camera' has recorded 20 billion cosmic particles in the first 18 months of operation – yet that is just a small step.

Krater in Thaumasia Planum

Explosive 'twin' craters on Mars

11. April 2013

Intense underground steam explosions that occurred during the crater formation process could be responsible for the central depressions present in these 'twin' craters, located on Thaumasia Planum, an elevated plateau that lies immediately to the south of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System.

Training sessions for the Philae comet lander

18. March 2013

The original Philae comet lander has been travelling through space since 2 March 2004. It is currently in hibernation mode, awaiting its arrival at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But the Philae models on the ground are being put through their paces: they are being tested to breaking point and examined by DLR.

Solarturm Jülich

TerraSAR-X image of the month – A game of mirrors

11. March 2013

2153 mirrors twist and turn at DLR Experimental Solar Thermal Power Plant in Jülich, directing sunlight onto a 22-square-metre receiver. TerraSAR-X, the German radar satellite operated by DLR, can also detect the mirrors as they follow the Sun – from more than 500 kilometres above Earth.

Wind – a shaping force on Mars

7. March 2013

The northern hemisphere of Mars is a single, massive lowland with only a few distinctive landscape features. Frequent, intense dust and sand storms are recurrent here over the course of the seasons. When this happens, the wind transports very small particles, which are either deposited in other locations, or, if they encounter rock, leave their mark through the effects of erosion.

JUICE%2dMission zu den Eismonden des Jupiters

JUICE – mission to the icy moons of Jupiter

22. February 2013

Last week, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced its choice of scientific experiments for the JUICE Mission (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer). The decision taken involved two experiments developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research.

Fire and ice in the red valley

14. February 2013

On 13 January 2013 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, imaged the mouth of the Tinto Vallis region of Mars, southwest of Palos Crater.

Hans Schlegel

Columbus research laboratory in microgravity for five years

7. February 2013

From the outside it resembles a shiny barrel; inside, however, it contains a myriad of possibilities for scientific work under microgravity conditions. The European Columbus research module has been flying through space for five years, attached to the International Space Station (ISS).

Glacial transportation of rubble and boulders through Reull Vallis

17. January 2013

As we look at the numerous graben and valleys that wind through the Martian highlands, it is not always clear which geological processes created them.

Weihnachtsinsel

TerraSAR-X image of the month – the coastal cliffs of Christmas Island

7. January 2013

Captain William Mynors was not particularly creative as he sailed past a remote island in the Indian Ocean on the 'Royal Mary', a ship belonging to the British East India Company, on 25 December 1643.

Der Südosten der Charitum%2dBerge auf dem Mars

Winter atmosphere on Mars

6. December 2012

Observing a seasonal phenomenon has its own special appeal on Mars. As the planet's rotational axis has a slightly greater inclination to that of Earth, our planetary neighbour experiences distinct seasons too – except these last around twice as long since it takes nearly two Earth years for Mars to orbit the Sun.

Santorini%2dInseln

TerraSAR-X image of the month – the Santorini volcano expands

23. November 2012

Glasses are rattling on the shelves and the ground is rumbling – since January 2011 the earth under the Santorini volcano has been stirring. Most of the time, it is barely noticeable, but every now and then the inhabitants notice small tremors jolting the volcanic archipelago.

Signs of water, ice and wind in Nereidum Montes

1. November 2012

Nereidum Montes, a chain of mountains over 1000 kilometres long, is part of the northern rim of Argyre Basin, the second largest impact basin on Mars. On 6 June 2012, the HRSC camera on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, which is operated by DLR, photographed a part of this mountain range

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.