Life today is much more about knowledge than it was a generation ago. Global change, a sustainable development of our habitats, an efficient use of resources, securing our mobility and our competitive position in the world of advanced technology, the need to deal with crises and to minimise the risks imposed on us by natural, technological, and criminal hazards, all this puts us before huge challenges. Earth observation by satellite can help us stay on top of these tasks. Earth observation has become a strategic benefit for policymakers, industry, and citizens.
DLR has been working on energy research and making important contributions to a sustainable energy system since the mid-1970s. Multi-disciplinary teams with access to the unique test facilities and extensive computing capabilities of a major research institution are working on various key issues. DLR has adopted a nationally and sometimes internationally leading role in many of these areas.
Security research is a cross-departmental programme, newly established in 2010, under which defence and security-related research and development activities are planned and directed in close collaboration with our partners in government, academia and industry.
The objective of NASA’s Dawn mission is to investigate two asteroids, Vesta and Ceres, with unprecedented thoroughness. The two are the most massive objects in the asteroid belt and are two of the last major unexplored bodies in the inner Solar System. Having a diameter of almost one thousand kilometres, Ceres is the largest known asteroid.
In its "Research under Space Conditions"-programme, DLR supports biologists, medical researchers, physicists and material scientists from German universities and other research facilities in pursuing their microgravity research.
CoRoT is the first space mission which is systematically hunting for extrasolar planets. Among CoRoT's successful detections, the most exciting result was the discovery of a terrestrial planet whose radius is two times that of the Earth. These results have encouraged the prolongation of the mission until 2013.
Sputnik, humans on the Moon, interplanetary missions, the International Space Station (ISS). Seven decades have gone by since mankind began to extend its sphere of action into the neighborhood of space that surrounds our solar system.
Galileo, Europe’s future satellite navigation system, is scheduled to become available with up to 14 of the planned 30 satellites in 2014. These satellites, evenly distributed among three orbits at an altitude of nearly 24,000 kilometers, will provide precise positioning signals more reliably than today.
Everything on Earth is subject to the force of gravity. The effects of that force vary greatly: Sometimes they are very minor and go unnoticed by man, while at other times their impact is fundamental. In some scientific experiments, gravity may be a disturbing factor.
TerraSAR-X is Germany’s first national remote sensing satellite that has been implemented in a public-private partnership between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and EADS Astrium GmbH, with a significant financial participation from the industrial partner.
Mars is a source of imagination for humankind ever since. The similarity with Earth is making our neighboring planet a natural, and important, object of solar-system research. It cannot be ruled out entirely that primitive life forms existed for at least some time on Mars - and might even be extant today.