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 1700 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.
The operator orbits Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometres, while the assistant works on the ground. During the 'SUPVIS Justin' experiment, those who send and receive commands conduct a long-distance relationship.
The first 1480 kilometres from Denver to the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California have been completed – aboard an aircraft. The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander will now have to travel the remaining 485 million kilometres to Mars alone, following its planned launch on 5 May 2018.
The Crew Interactive MObile companioN (CIMON) is able to see, hear, understand, speak – and fly. It is roughly spherical, has a diameter of 32 centimetres and weighs five kilograms. Its robotic predecessor was Professor Simon Wright's 'flying brain', with sensors, cameras and a speech processor in the 1978 cartoon series, 'Captain Future'.
The Spanish Earth observation satellite PAZ was successfully launched on 22 February 2018 at 15:17 CET from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States, on board a Falcon 9 rocket. Interestingly, PAZ is being positioned on the same orbit as the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites.