In order to be able to communicate with spacecraft, antenna systems are needed. The DLR ground station in Weilheim, 60 kilometres south-west of Munich, was established in 1969 (start of construction November 1967) and is one of the links between Earth and its orbiting satellites.
On 25 August 2017, the Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, currently residing on the International Space Station (ISS), remote-controlled the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Rollin’ Justin robot. During the experiment, a tablet-PC was used to send instructions to the robot at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in Oberpfaffenhofen from the ISS. Justin was then left to his own devices in the completion of various tasks and was required to use artificial intelligence to decide how individual work stages needed to be completed. These tasks belong to the SUPVIS Justin experiment, which is being carried out as part of the METERON project (Multi-Purpose End-to-End Robotic Operation Network) in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA).
The German 'Heinrich Hertz' satellite communications mission has now reached its final phase: on 28 June 2017, Gerd Gruppe, member of the DLR Executive Board for the Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR), and Marco Fuchs, the Chief Executive Officer of the company OHB System AG, signed a contract to manufacture, test and launch the German satellite.
Designed to return unique images of the Earth for five years, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X has outdone itself. The satellite has been in operation for twice that time – and there is still no end in sight to its service.
The new season has begun: DLR is once again looking for the best application ideas in the fields of satellite navigation and Earth observation for the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) and the Copernicus Masters.
The Hispasat 36W-1 telecommunications satellite, the first in a new satellite platform called SmallGEO, developed and built in Germany, was launched to space on 28 January 2017 at 02:03 CET (27 January, 22:03 local time).