The most important conference in the world on geoscience and remote sensing has begun – some 2400 experts from more than 70 countries will be guests at the International Congress Center in Munich until 27 July 2012. The focus of the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) will be on new applications, integrated Earth observation systems, satellite image processing methods, as well as ongoing and future satellite missions. The conference looks to the future in areas at the boundaries of its specialisations and has become an annual highlight in the events calendar. IGARSS 2012 has been jointly organised by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
On 22 July 2012 at 08:41:39 CEST, the first small German satellite in the ‘On-Orbit-Verification’ (OOV) programme was carried into orbit from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan by a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle. TET-1 is a technology testbed with 11 experiments on board that will be operated in space for a year.
Following the flight of the SHEFEX II spacecraft on 22 June 2012, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have performed an initial assessment.
An important milestone for the commissioning of a European 'information superhighway' in space has been reached; on 25 June 2012, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, the Chairman of the DLR Executive Board, Evert Dudok, CEO of Astrium Satellites, and Gerhard Bethscheider, CEO of SES ASTRA TechCom S.A. (Luxemburg) signed contracts for large parts of the ground segment of the new European Data Relay System (EDRS).
After a 10-minute flight, the sharp-edged SHEFEX II spacecraft landed safely west of Spitsbergen. Researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) launched the seven-ton and roughly 13-metre-long rocket and its payload from the Andøya Rocket Range in Norway at 21:18 CEST on 22 June 2012. As it re-entered the atmosphere, SHEFEX withstood temperatures exceeding 2500 degrees Celsius and sent measurement data from more than 300 sensors to a ground station. “The SHEFEX II flight takes us one step further in the road to developing a space vehicle built like a space capsule but offering the control and flight options of the Space Shuttle much more cost-effectively,” says project manager Hendrik Weihs.
Five years ago today, at 04:14 CEST on 15 June 2007, the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite was launched from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This marked the beginning of a new era in satellite remote sensing for Germany.
On 6 June 2012, it is now or never. On this day, between 04:40 and 06:55 CET, those living in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will have the last opportunity in their lifetime to see Venus pass directly between the Sun and Earth – a small circular spot crossing the solar disc.
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.