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.
Mars Express is currently the only satellite exploring Mars from an elliptical orbit. This allows regular, close flybys of Phobos, the larger of the two Martian moons. In summer 2017, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) observed the moon from a distance of approximately 115 kilometres.
The latest images acquired by the HRSC camera show the Neukum impact crater. This crater was named after the German physicist and planetary scientist Gerhard Neukum, who passed away in 2014. Neukum was the person behind the HRSC.
Emergency services in the US state of California are still fighting fierce forest fires. Severe drought and strong winds have allowed the fires to spread. The FireBIRD (Fire Bispectral InfraRed Detector) mission run by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) consists of a pair of satellites – TET-1 (Technology Experiment Carrier) and BIROS (Bispectral Infrared Optical System).
This unusual image, acquired by the Mars High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), shows a view of the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Martian north polar ice cap, situated at the bottom, up to the Martian equator at the horizon. It was taken for calibration of the camera in June this year.
How did the Solar System form? Are we alone in the Universe? What scientific methods can we use to prove the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms? These questions fascinate scientists and non-scientists alike. Planetary research seeks to find answers.
These images from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) show a region of Mars strongly marked by volcanic activity and associated tectonic processes. A striking feature is the existence of parallel grabens crossing the region – the Sirenum Fossae.
Heike Rauer will be Head of the Institute of Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) from 1 November 2017. She follows in the footsteps of Tilman Spohn, who had held the position since 2004.
In theory, it is impossible. Current theories of planetary emergence dictate that only small, rocky planets – and not a giant planet – can form around a dwarf star. The most recent discovery by the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) system has thrown some doubt on this assumption.
Two impact craters with expanses of dunes, located deep in the southern highlands of the Red Planet, can be seen in these images acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft. The HRSC was developed and is operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).