The Robotics and Mechatronics Center (RMC) at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is exhibiting at AUTOMATICA, the leading international exhibition for automation and mechatronics, which is being held in Munich from 22 to 25 May.
Almost 15 years after being paralysed by a stroke, a 58-year-old US-American woman was once again able to serve herself a drink of coffee. This was possible thanks to a state-of-the-art DLR robot arm and hand that she controlled with neural signals sent directly from her brain.
Even though it doesn’t quite qualify as a 'proper' planet, the second most massive asteroid in the Solar System, Vesta – which has a diameter of approximately 530 kilometres – exhibits numerous planetary characteristics. This is just one of the many significant results of NASA's Dawn mission, published in the journal Science on 11 May 2012. The Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting Vesta since 16 July 2011. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is involved in the mission.
GREAT results of the early science flights with SOFIA, the airborne observatory, puiblished in the European scientific journal 'Astronomy & Astrophysics'.
Alpine and polar lichens could also survive on Mars. Planetary researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) simulated the conditions on Mars for 34 days and exposed various microorganisms to this environment.
The Moon continues to be a fascinating research objective for scientists from around the world. The DLR Institute of Planetary Research collaborated with NASA's Lunar Science Institute to hold a two-day Lunar Symposium, which took place on 19 and 20 April 2012 at the Adlershof Forum in Berlin.
The SHEFEX II (SHarp Edge Flight EXperiment) spacecraft successfully withstood vibration on a shaker and spinning at two rotations per second. These tests represented the final simulation of the conditions that the space vehicle will be subjected to during its launch in the summer of 2012.
Rendezvousing at 28,000 kilometres per hour at an altitude of about 380 kilometres is hardly routine – even for experienced spaceflight engineers and astronauts, which is why applause broke out in the European Space Agency (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Control Centre in Toulouse when the third European space transporter, 'Edoardo Amaldi', docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 00:31 CEST (22:31 UTC) on 29 March 2012.
It is a freighter, storage facility and propulsion system all in one - and an important link between the astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) and their base on Earth. The third European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) space transporter was launched on 23 March 2012 at 05:34 CET (01:34 local time) on board an Ariane 5ES rocket, from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
"How clean is my air?" People, businesses and public authorities across Europe can now find this out online – the new 'obsAIRve' service portal provides rolling three-day forecasts and current observations of air quality for places and regions across Europe.
How has our ozone layer changed in the last 10 years? How do trace gases like nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide and methane influence our climate? How do environmental protection measures work? These were the questions that German researchers sought to address.
The first sounding balloons are in the air, and by 30 April 2012, 90 of these atmospheric probes will have been launched in sequence to gather data. Starting at Oberpfaffenhofen, their purpose is to record wind velocities and temperatures, especially at elevations between 12 and 30 kilometres.
Every year, the number of small items of debris in space rises by tens of thousands. This number is currently based on estimates, as it has not been possible to track space debris accurately.
It is not entirely clear when exactly the last major asteroid impact on Earth occurred. But there are plenty of examples of impact craters, such as the Nördlinger Ries in Bavaria.
After a year in service, the German Earth observation satellite TanDEM-X, together with its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X, have completely mapped the entire land surface of Earth for the first time. The data is being used to create the world's first single-source, high-precision, 3D digital elevation model of Earth.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been in its lowest orbit around asteroid Vesta since mid-December 2011. During November the orbit was gradually lowered to an altitude of 210 kilometres above the asteroid's surface.
Outside the door, penguins breed and use the large satellite antenna and its base as a windbreak. Inside the O’Higgins German Antarctic Receiving Station, DLR personnel control the reception of satellite data. Established in 1991, the station has been defying the icy storms on the White Continent for the last 20 years. The station is staffed around the clock – including Christmas and New Year.
Can new types of engine make spaceflight easier and more economical? This question is being investigated by researchers at the German Aerospace Center using one of Europe's leading hypersonic wind tunnels, located in Göttingen.
The US 'Curiosity' rover began its journey to Mars at 16:02 CET on 26 November on board an Atlas V 541 / Centaur launcher that lifted off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
First, it is launched into space at 5400 kilometres per hour, then come three and a half minutes of weightlessness, and finally it lands using a parachute.