On 19 March 1992, almost 25 years to the day, Klaus-Dietrich Flade became the first German to float into the Russian Mir space station as a cosmonaut. Flade, a trained test pilot and aerospace engineer, spent six days as a scientific cosmonaut on what was at the time the only human outpost in space, as part of the MIR' 92 mission.
How can space debris be captured? How can students reduce the rotation of research rockets in microgravity? The REXUS 22 research rocket was launched from the Esrange Space Center near Kiruna in northern Sweden, at 14:00 Central European Time (CET) on 16 March 2017. On board were student experiments to try and answer these and other questions.
Just two years after its 'twin satellite' was launched on 7 March 2017 at 02:49 CET (6 March at 22:49 local time), the European Earth observation satellite Sentinel-2B set off on its mission on board a Vega rocket from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
Only three female European astronauts have so far been into space. Numerous effects of microgravity on the functioning of the female body must still be researched and understood for future missions to Mars or tourist spaceflights, for example. As part of the 'Female Astronaut' initiative, HE Space is currently looking for a German female astronaut for a 10-day mission to the International Space Station ISS.
On 17 February 2017, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) Space Administration and Airbus Defence and Space GmbH signed a contract for the design and construction phases of the German-French climate satellite MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing LIDAR Mission).
In 2009, NASA's Kepler space probe was launched, embarking on a mission to hunt for exoplanets. In 2013, due to the failure of two of its reaction wheels, the mission had to be modified. Mission control managed to change the operational modus and manoeuvre the telescope orbiter into a different position in its orbit around the Sun that enabled the mission to continue.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Brazilian aerospace agency Agência Espacial Brasileira (AEB) have taken a big step forward in the development of a new rocket that is fuelled with oxygen and alcohol.
The Hispasat 36W-1 telecommunications satellite, the first in a new satellite platform called SmallGEO, developed and built in Germany, was launched to space on 28 January 2017 at 02:03 CET (27 January, 22:03 local time).
The MAIUS 1 (Matter-Wave Interferometry in Microgravity) experiment could be described as one of the most complex experiment ever flown on a sounding rocket. MAIUS 1 was launched at 03:30 Central European Time (CET) on 23 January 2016 on board a sounding rocket from the Esrange Space Center near Kiruna in northern Sweden.
The alarm clock rings mercilessly at 07:00 sharp. Get up, shower, breakfast! Half asleep after a night that was far too short, we make our way to work in the midst of rush hour traffic and do not feel fully awake until after the second cup of coffee. Does that sound familiar?
14,205 kilometres from Berlin, storms rage across the Antarctic Peninsula at speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour. Perched on the northern tip, the German Antarctic Receiving Station GARS O'Higgins, operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has defied these conditions for 25 years, operating a nine-metre antenna and staffed by a small team 365 days of the year.
Brussels – The European satellite navigation system Galileo took another step toward future routine operations on 15 December 2016. Acting on behalf of the European Commission, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) has assigned the responsibility for operating Galileo in the next 10 years to the firm Spaceopal from Munich. The contract was signed on this day in Brussels.
The Occator crater on the dwarf planet Ceres is a real eye-catcher: with a diameter of 92 kilometres, it is larger than Tycho crater on the Moon – which appears like a bright spot when seen with the naked eye. The Occator crater's steep walls stand tall at over 2000 metres, higher than the North face of the Eiger in the Bernese Alps.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will send the 'Mole' HP3 (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package) to Mars on board the United States InSight Mission on 5 May 2018 to conduct heat flow measurements. And it has just received good news: the landing site in the plains of Elysium Planitia most probably has a heat flow that is classified average, and will therefore be representative of Mars as a whole.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.