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Space

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Market-ready: Electric propulsion systems 'made in Germany'

22. September 2017

Electric propulsion systems are considered to be particularly promising space technology. Although they produce less thrust, their fuel efficiency is significantly higher than that of conventional chemical engines. Satellites can thus be made considerably lighter and more durable. Additionally, the payload capacity can be increased because of the lower fuel mass needed.

Greenhouses for the Moon, moles for Mars

22. September 2017

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.

Titanium oxide in the atmosphere of a 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet

13. September 2017

Since the first observation of an extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, almost 4000 planets have been identified orbiting other stars in the Milky Way. With these new discoveries, scientists are now increasingly investigating their atmospheres, the composition and structure of gas hull.

#DLRparabolicflights – major milestone for experiencing microgravity in real time

11. September 2017

Twenty nine parabolic flight campaigns run by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have resulted in 97 flight days, 3270 parabolas and almost 19 hours of microgravity.

Radarsatellit TerraSAR%2dX

DLR provides satellite data for Hurricane Harvey

30. August 2017

In anticipation of the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey, the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' was activated early on the evening of 24 August 2017. This was initiated by the Charter member United States Geological Survey (USGS) on behalf of the Texas Emergency Management Council. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) provided real-time recordings and archive data from the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, which enabled a detailed analysis and an overview of the flood situation. Using these and other satellite data provided by 16 Charter members, the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas is currently working on providing assistance and information to disaster relief personnel on the ground.

In the shadow of the Moon – total solar eclipse visible from the USA

18. August 2017

A total solar eclipse is spectacular for observers: “Around 30 seconds before the Sun disappears entirely behind the Moon, it becomes noticeably darker in the middle of the day, as if someone had quickly turned the dimmer switch for a light,” explains Manfred Gaida, an astrophysicist in the Space Administration team at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), describing the phenomenon. The Moon moves in front of the Sun until just a luminous halo – the corona – can be seen. Where the conical umbra reaches the Earth, the sky goes dark. The partial phase of the eclipse begins around 75 to 90 minutes beforehand, and lasts for the same amount of time after the eclipse, until the ‘all-around twilight’ has completely disappeared.

So schwingt die Raumzeit

LISA Pathfinder paves the way for the gravitational-wave observatory LISA

19. July 2017

The last command to LISA Pathfinder was sent at around 8:00 pm Central European Time on 18 July 2017, after 16 months of scientific operation, marking the end of a sophisticated technology demonstration in space. The Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Max Planck Society funded the German contribution to this European Space Agency (ESA) mission.

Feuerdetektion mit FireBIRD

Cosmic guardians, virtual rover missions and a hopping lander

17. July 2017

The German Aerospace Center will use the occasion of Russia’s national aviation and aerospace show from 18 to 23 July 2017 – the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS – to present satellite models, simulators and experiments for space missions.

The small satellites 'TechnoSat' and 'Flying Laptop' are successfully launched into space

14. July 2017

On 14 July 2017At 08:36 CEST, the two research satellites 'Flying Laptop' and 'TechnoSat' were successfully launched to space on board a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Junge Vulkane auf dem Mars

Recent volcanic activity and hydrothermal minerals on Mars

12. July 2017

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.

World premiere of the Antarctic greenhouse EDEN-ISS

7. July 2017

Global food production is one of the key societal challenges of the 21st century. A growing world population with the simultaneous upheaval caused by climate change demand new methods of cultivating crops in regions with unfavourable climates. A closed greenhouse is a good way of growing food in deserts and low-temperature regions – as would be the case on missions to the Moon and Mars – as it permits harvesting regardless of the weather, the Sun and specific seasons.

Robex

Successful interaction between rover, lander and sensor units

4. July 2017

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.

Mountain air 'at an angle'

3. July 2017

A wedge-shaped pillow, with which the upper body is raised by 30 degrees, could be a solution to shortness of breath, headaches and nausea caused by ascending to high altitudes within a short time. In August 2016, researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) at the Italian Regina Margherita mountain hut in the Valais Alps investigated the mechanisms that trigger altitude sickness in the human body in 10 selected participants.

New thrust for Ariane 6

28. June 2017

Space travel is not possible without launchers. Every space activity is based on this simple fact. Launcher systems connect Earth to space. They transport people and materials into space and deliver research and commercial satellites to orbit. Launchers provide the only way to conduct scientific research and ensure commercial utilisation of space.

Green light for the German 'Heinrich Hertz' satellite communications mission

28. June 2017

The German 'Heinrich Hertz' satellite communications mission has now reached its final phase: on 28 June 2017, Gerd Gruppe, member of the DLR Executive Board for the Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR), and Marco Fuchs, the Chief Executive Officer of the company OHB System AG, signed a contract to manufacture, test and launch the German satellite.

‘Comets – The Rosetta Mission’ Exhibition Curation Team Awarded Europlanet Prize 2017

28. June 2017

The 2017 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science has been awarded to the team behind the outstandingly successful exhibition, ‘Comets – The Rosetta Mission: Journey to the Origins of the Solar System’, at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. Ulrich Köhler, Barbara Stracke and Ekkehard Kührt, of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, will accept the award on behalf of the exhibition’s curation team.

Kia ora SOFIA – Airborne observatory welcomed in New Zealand

23. June 2017

Kia ora is how the Māori, New Zealand's indigenous people, traditionally welcome their guests – even when said guest is a flying observatory. At 01:05 Central European Summer Time (11:05 local time) on 23 June 2017, SOFIA was greeted with Kia ora when it touched 'down under' at Christchurch Airport.

Excellence in space – 10 years of TerraSAR-X

14. June 2017

Designed to return unique images of the Earth for five years, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X has outdone itself. The satellite has been in operation for twice that time – and there is still no end in sight to its service.

Discovering new horizons

29. May 2017

'Horizons' is the name of German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst's next mission. The 41-year-old geophysicist will take part in expedition 56/57, his second 'research voyage' to the International Space Station ISS, at the end of April 2018, just under a year from now. After the Belgian ESA astronaut, Frank de Winne, Gerst will be the second European to be commander of the ISS. Gerst will remain in orbit, at an altitude of almost 400 kilometres, for six months – until the end of October 2018. The name 'Horizons' symbolises the curiosity and fascination of exploring and researching the unknown.

Joining Alexander Gerst on the ISS: Winners of the DLR student competition 'High-flyers' announced

8. May 2017

The three winning teams in the High-flyer competition have now been selected: students from the universities of Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Duisburg-Essen will send their experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) during German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst's upcoming mission in summer 2018.

 
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