From the outside it resembles a shiny barrel; inside, however, it contains a myriad of possibilities for scientific work under microgravity conditions. The European Columbus research module has been flying through space for five years, attached to the International Space Station (ISS).
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is using knowledge for tomorrow to shape the future of our society today. DLR is a world-renowned partner for research and will continue to develop its international network in 2013 by establishing new collaborations with research institutes and universities.
From the research stage to full operation – The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) is now on call around the clock. This service facility established in 2004 provides up-to-the minute satellite-based maps for activities related to natural and environmental disasters, humanitarian aid, and civil security worldwide. On 22 January 2013 the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) officially launched regular ZKI operations.
For 205 days in 2011, Jens Titze, Professor of Electrolyte and Circulatory Research at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and his team strictly controlled the diet for the Mars500 test subjects during their virtual flight to Mars.
The vision is enticing – board in Europe, sit back, and disembark 90 minutes later on the other side of the world, in Australia. But before the SpaceLiner, which is being developed by the Institute of Space Systems at DLR, can fly a route like this for the first time, new technologies still have to be tested and basic requirements defined.
To the naked eye there is nothing to see, and yet the small transparent container holds something never observed before. For the first time, scientists are studying asteroid dust collected by a spacecraft and returned to Earth. Ute Böttger, from the Institute of Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), belongs to one of 11 teams across the world that are carrying out scientific work on the asteroid particles from the Japanese Hayabusa mission.
There are very few ways of conducting experiments without the influence of Earth's gravity. One of these platforms became available on 25 November 2012, when a rocket was launched from the Swedish Esrange Space Center in Kiruna.
On 20 and 21 November 2012, delegates from the 20 member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canada met at the 'Mostra d'Oltremare' conference centre in Naples, Italy.
The first two satellites for the European Galileo navigation system have been orbiting Earth since 21 October 2011. Now, two more are about to follow; on 12 October 2012 at 20:15 CEST, a Soyuz rocket will launch satellites three and four into their position in space.
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have been instrumental in the preparation of a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) regarding the development of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Based on estimates, by about the mid 21st century, the ozone layer will have the same thickness as it had in the early eighties.
When the Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission is launched towards asteroid 1999 JU 3 in 2014 to collect surface samples, MASCOT – the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout – an asteroid lander developed by DLR will be on board.
A robotic arm controlled entirely by the thoughts of a paraplegic woman – to accomplish this, Patrick van der Smagt from DLR and John P. Donoghue from Brown University in the USA 'networked' expertise from their two research disciplines, robotics and neuroscience.
A service satellite captures an uncontrollable satellite in space, repairs or refuels it and, at the end of the mission, ensures that the defective satellite is disposed of in a controlled manner. Something that sounds like science fiction is now a step closer to reality.
From the magnificent Vinci upper stage engine to the small but important MOSFET circuit board for the flight to asteroid 1993 JU3 – DLR will be showcasing new developments in space technology at its stand during the ILA Berlin Air Show 2012 from 11 to 16 September.
A giant impact crater on its south pole; deep grooves around its equator; dark material on the craters that puzzles planetary researchers; and a mountain more than twice the height of Mount Everest.
Satellites with electric propulsion, a 'mole' for exploring the Martian subsurface, a mobile robot that moves sideways like a crab, a pinch of Moon dust and a hands-on medical experiment.
After the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, NASA has selected one more lander mission to Mars. The InSight mission will reach Mars in September 2016, after a six-month journey; it has been designed to take a 'look' into the deep interior of the Red Planet; it will do this with geophysical experiments including DLR's HP3, which will penetrate several metres into the Martian subsurface to measure the soil's thermo-physical and electrical properties.
The future of aerospace will be showcased by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) at the International Aerospace Exhibition (Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung; ILA) in Berlin, from 11 to 16 September 2012.
A mere seven minutes on 6 August 2012 will decide whether the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will be successful. Then, the 900-kilogram capsule enclosing the Curiosity rover will begin decelerating 125 kilometres above the Martian surface before being lowered on cables by a rocket-powered 'sky crane'.
The ground segment for GMES is starting to take shape; the German Aerospace Center's Remote Sensing Data Center in Oberpfaffenhofen will be the European data centre for GMES satellites Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3.