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Hütte Regina Margherita

Altitude sickness for missions to Mars

22. August 2016

Headaches, nausea or even swollen hands and feet: the test subjects currently ascending at a rapid pace to Europe’s highest building to voluntarily experience altitude sickness have all of these things coming their way. Ten test subjects will gather at the Margherita Hut in the Valais Alps in Italy, where their bodies will be closely monitored to see how they respond to an altitude of 4554 metres above sea level, oxygen depletion and low air pressure. “If astronauts are stationed in a Mars habitat some time in the future, it is extremely probable that they will live and work in an atmosphere with similar pressure conditions,” explains Ulrich Limper, the mission’s medical director from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). “As things stand, though, we are unable to predict which persons will experience altitude sickness and what the causes may be.” A possible explanation: “The oxygen depletion encountered at high altitudes damages the vascular barrier, allowing fluid and proteins to seep into the connective tissue. In some instances, this will produce dangerous oedema in the body, especially in the lungs and the brain.”

Rosetta, Philae and comet fever

8. August 2016

It's hard to say what surprised scientists and engineers the most during the Rosetta mission: the unusual form of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that earned it the nickname 'Rubber Duck'? The bizarre, unexpectedly varied landscape with fissures, terraces, crevasses, steep cliffs and even dune-like structures?

CAUTION, HOT: How a rocket holds up in hypersonic flight

19. July 2016

The exterior of a rocket is exposed to extremely high temperatures during hypersonic flight. But how exactly does the surface structure change under varying air resistance and with respect to heat flow and acceleration?

Mascot

Health check for asteroid lander MASCOT

14. July 2016

Space travel is no easy task – first comes the stressful launch with vibrations, then the long flight through the bitter cold and the vacuum. The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) has been travelling on board the Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft for the last one-and-a-half years, and is currently at approximately 65 million kilometres from Earth.

Biomex

Back from space

4. July 2016

The small containers that are currently being disassembled at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are rather inconspicuous, yet they may contain organisms that have endured the conditions of space for over 530 days.

Growth in global air traffic – June breaks records

1. July 2016

For the first time, the number of worldwide flights in June exceeded the three million planned take-offs mark – an increase of 3.5 percent compared to the previous year. This is one of the findings in the latest Global Aviation Monitor.

Augenuntersuchung

Thoroughly tested before going into space

17. June 2016

Out of 550 astronauts that have flown in space, only 60 have been women. The four female European spacefarers in this small group came from Britain, France and Italy. Germany has not yet had a female astronaut. In the late 1980s, German candidate astronauts Heike Walpot and Renate Bruemmer trained to go into space, but neither eventually flew on a space mission.

Satellit Eu:CROPIS

Eu:CROPIS – Greenhouses for the Moon and Mars

24. May 2016

Space missions are a bit like a marathon with checkpoints – only once the first model of a satellite has been successfully tested will construction commence on the actual flight model. The Eu:CROPIS satellite developed by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), which will operate two greenhouses under Martian and lunar conditions, has now reached this milestone – construction of the flight model can now begin.

Chancellor Angela Merkel visits DLR and ESA in Cologne

18. May 2016

Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the European Space Agency (ESA) European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne on 18 May 2016.

Low cost flight monitor – changing trends in the low cost flight sector

11. May 2016

Differing airline strategies are shaking up the range of offers in the low cost flight sector. Instead of continuing to build up their network of flight routes, the airlines concerned have been operating more flights on fewer routes.

 
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