Ten years ago, NASA's Dawn space probe embarked on a mission destined to become one of the most exciting and scientifically productive in the history of unmanned exploration of the Solar System. On board is the German framing camera that is providing fundamental information on planetary formation from Vesta and Ceres.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be showcasing its latest research at this year's International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia.
Over billions of years, meteorite impacts have altered the surface of Mars. Current images from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft show an impact crater over 30 kilometres in size with a prominent ejecta blanket. It is located to the north of the largest impact basin on Mars, Hellas Planitia, where some scientists believe there was once a large lake.
The oldest regions on Mars are often the most interesting as well. Here, numerous traces of geological processes that have altered the planet's surface are visible. The latest images from the high performance HRSC camera show such an ancient area – the Thaumasia Highlands with grabens and mountain ranges.
On Monday, 3 July 2017, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Transport Research signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Berlin that aims to promote cooperation between the two institutions in the field of sustainable urban mobility.
The Libya Montes highland region is one of the oldest areas on Mars. The latest images from HRSC identify a number of drainage channels and dense valley networks.
Among the most remarkable geological formations on Mars is the vast shield volcano Olympus Mons that towers up to 26 kilometres above the surrounding plains. It is situated on the Tharsis plateau, a volcanic province the size of Europe. Volcanism is a widespread phenomenon on Mars.
It looks simple: the rover heads straight for the landing craft, uses a gripper arm to remove a sensor unit from the loading bay and takes it quickly to the determined deposit location, where seismic measurements are then carried out. Everything takes place without human intervention, as the rover, lander and sensor unit complete their job autonomously and effectively.
On 20 June 2017, the European Space Agency (ESA) gave the go-ahead for the further development of the PLATO space telescope. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) is leading the international consortium responsible for the construction and scientific operation of the space telescope.
These images from the HRSC Mars camera show an impact crater in the southern highlands with remarkable surface features. Unusually light-toned deposits and so-called ‘chaos terrain’ are visible inside the crater.