Together with the site at Koeln, the DLR site at Oberpfaffenhofen is one of Germany's largest research centres. Located near the A96 motorway between Munich and Lindau, the site is home to eight scientific institues and currently employs approximately 1500 people. The research centre's main fields of activity include paricipating in space missions, climate research, research and development in the field of Earth observation, developing navigation systems and advanced robotics development.
At present, the Sun is very active – a surface covered with sunspots, frequent ejections of matter and a stronger solar wind blowing towards Earth. In the meantime, however, radiation exposure at aircraft cruising altitudes has reduced.
A special passenger was on board during the launch of ESA's fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), 'Albert Einstein', on 5 June 2013 at 23:52 CEST – the STEREX experiment, funded by the DLR Space Administration and the European Space Agency (ESA).