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ESA%2dMinisterratskonferenz

ESA Council meeting at ministerial level in Lucerne – Germany awards approximately two billion euro to space projects

2. December 2016

The highest decision-making body of the European Space Agency (ESA) met this year on 1 and 2 December at the Culture and Convention Centre (KKL) in Lucerne, Switzerland, to set the financial and programme-based course for European space travel for the coming years. Ministers in charge of space in Europe last came together exactly two years ago on 2 December 2014 in Luxembourg.

Plasma research on the ISS

30. November 2016

The plasma crystal experiments are among the most successful research projects on the International Space Station (ISS). The PKE-Nefedov plasma crystal laboratory was one of the first scientific research laboratories on the International Space Station (ISS).

An icy surprise on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

18. November 2016

The Rosetta mission reached the end of its observation phase in late September when the orbiter touched down spectacularly on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gersimenko. By then, it had spent 4595 days in space, and had travelled 7.9 billion kilometres, performed a total of six fly-bys past Earth, Mars and two asteroids and accompanied Comet 67P during its journey through the Solar System on a mission lasting more than two years.

Four in one go – Ariane brings Galileo satellites into their orbits for the first time

17. November 2016

Antonianna, Lisa, Kimberley and Tijmen – those are the names of the four Galileo satellites launched on 17 November 2016, at precisely 14:06 CET, for the first time with a specially adapted version of the European heavyweight carrier Ariane 5 from the European spaceport in French Guiana.

German Federal Government Budget Committee approves funding for additional DLR institutes

11. November 2016

The Budget Committee of the German Federal Government has approved 42 million euro in funding to establish six new institutes within the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

Testing dexterity in a weightless environment

9. November 2016

Human beings do not always retain the same level of dexterity in a weightless environment as they would on Earth – not even with practice. This is a familiar, yet still mysterious, phenomenon encountered in human spaceflight: what is the reason for the reduced hand-to-eye coordination in space, and what can be done to compensate these performance deficits?

Third STERN campaign – New altitude record for student rockets

8. November 2016

At 10:30 Central European Time (CET) on 8 November 2016, the HEROS3 (Hybrid Experimental Rocket Stuttgart) research rocket was successfully launched from the Esrange Space Centre in Sweden to great enthusiasm from the students. Reaching an altitude of 30 kilometres, it set a new European altitude record for student rockets.

Das EDEN ISS%2dGewächshaus wird ab Dezember 2017 den antarktischen Bedingungen trotzen.

Antarctic vegetables for space – Greenhouse created for the South Pole

4. November 2016

The menu for polar explorers in the Antarctic is not usually very exciting. Often, there are only durable goods, especially in the polar winter, when the researchers are cut off from the outside world for months.

Rendezvous with a satellite

3. November 2016

A unique experiment – with a very special goal – has been devised by the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). The AVANTI experiment (Autonomous Visual Approach Navigation and Target Identification) is intended to demonstrate how a satellite can detect a spacecraft in space and approach it autonomously.

World record in free-space optical communications

3. November 2016

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have set a new record in data transmission using laser: 1.72 terabits per second across a distance of 10.45 kilometres, which is equivalent to the transmission of 45 DVDs per second.

In the desert: Rover SherpaTT and Coyote III complete 'Space mission' in Utah

24. October 2016

Starting 24 October 2016, a four-week 'space mission' will take place in Utah's semi-desert: this field test programme of the Field Trials Utah (FT-Utah) project is focusing on the SherpaTT Rover and Coyote III. In the impassable, Mars-like test area not far from the small town of Hanksville in the south of the US state, the robots will have to undergo endurance and stress tests and should also successfully complete a mock-up mission scenario.

Recently active lava flows on the eastern flank of Idunn Mons on Venus

18. October 2016

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Venus Express mission has provided a great amount of data from the surface and atmosphere of Earth's inner twin planet. Among these observations was the mapping of the southern hemisphere of Venus in the near infrared spectral range using the VIRTIS (Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) instrument.

ExoMars

Separate paths for ExoMars - The Schiaparelli probe will separate from its parent spacecraft on 16 October 2016

14. October 2016

Since 14 March 2016, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli lander have been flying together towards Mars for the ESA ExoMars mission. On 16 October 2016, the journey to the Martian surface begins for the lander, while the TGO will enter orbit around Mars.

Trend check for low-cost airlines – the long-haul business is taking off

7. October 2016

Norwegian Air and Eurowings are increasingly targeting destinations outside Europe, while Ryanair is continuing to shake up the German market and is now expanding its position as market leader within Europe.

BEXUS 22/23 – testing new technologies in the atmosphere with research balloons

5. October 2016

On 5 October 2016 at 15:33 CEST, the research balloon BEXUS 22 took off from the Esrange Space Center, near Kiruna, Sweden, en route to the stratosphere. BEXUS 23 is scheduled to be launched on 6 October.

New 3D world map – TanDEM-X global elevation model completed

4. October 2016

The new three-dimensional map of Earth has been completed. Mountain peaks and valley floors across the globe can now be seen with an accuracy of just one metre. The global elevation model was created as part of the TanDEM-X satellite mission; it offers unprecedented accuracy compared with other global datasets and is based on a uniform database.

Die Mission Rosetta ist beendet. Um 13.19 Uhr (MESZ) setzte die Sonde auf dem Kometen 67P auf.

End of mission for Rosetta

30. September 2016

On 30 September 2016 at 13:19 CEST, the final signal from the Rosetta orbiter was received back on Earth. The ESA mission ended when the spacecraft touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The international team of scientists had already said their farewells to the Philae lander back in February 2016, when its prolonged radio silence indicated that it would no longer report back to the team in the control centre at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

Zero-emission air transport – first flight of four-seat passenger aircraft HY4

29. September 2016

On 29 September 2016, the HY4 aircraft took off on its first official flight from Stuttgart Airport. The HY4 is the world’s first four-seat passenger aircraft powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell system. Researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) developed the aircraft's power train and worked on the project with industry and research partners.

Climate Research: Study calculates the impact of increasing carbon dioxide on plant photosynthesis

29. September 2016

Vegetation and soil are currently slowing down global warming by absorbing about a quarter of human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). This land carbon sink is believed to be in part due to increases in photosynthesis. A new study in the journal Nature shows that doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere will cause global plant photosynthesis to increase by approximately one third.

In the 'cooking pot' of the 'weather kitchen' – research flights over the North Atlantic for better weather forecasts

28. September 2016

Everyone knows this situation with a weather forecast, when the presenter reveals a new Icelandic low on the map. Very soon, they are then often told, the trough of low pressure will reach the mainland and determine the weather for many days in Europe. Small errors often lead to the forecast in Europe being very uncertain for several days, because the system develops vigorously in the 'weather kitchen' over the Atlantic, and that is difficult to capture in weather models.

 
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