Although the Moon is so far the only celestial body other than Earth on which a human being has ever walked, the topography of its surface has not been studied comprehensively. This is why NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting the Moon since June 2009, using a wide-angle camera to digitally record its cratered surface.
On 17 November at 19:38 local time (12:38 CET), the Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-8, carrying the German SIMBOX experiment, landed on schedule in the Gobi desert in Inner Mongolia, completing a successful 17-day mission.
On 8 November at 21:16 CET (02:16 on 9 November, local time) the Russian Phobos-Grunt (Phobos Soil) spacecraft began its journey to Mars on board a Zenit-2 rocket that lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
520 days without sunlight, fresh air or direct contact with the outside world - the six test subjects on the Mars500 mission have had to forego plenty of things while 'travelling' to Mars and back to Earth in their virtual spacecraft.
On 31 October at 22:58 CET (on 1 November at 05:58 local time), the Chinese spaceship Shenzhou-8 was launched on board a Long March rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia.
A very special space breakthrough is approaching; on 31 October at 23:00 CET (1 November at 06:00 local time) the Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-8 will be launched on board a Long March rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia.
Right in the heart of Göttingen - 236 cubic metres of outer space! The German Aerospace Center (DLR) will now be able to conduct research on electric spacecraft propulsion systems under realistic conditions.
To this day, continental drift has been responsible for changes to Earth’s surface. Venus, on the other hand, displays a motionless crust, but this was not always the case. Using simulations, planetary researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have now discovered that, in the past, the surface of Venus was probably quite hot, and consequently dynamic.
On 23 October 2011 at 03:50 CEST, the German research satellite ROSAT re-entered the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal; it is not known whether any parts of the satellite reached Earth's surface.
The successful launch of the first two Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites on 21 October 2011 marks the start of space segment construction for an independent European satellite navigation system.
The ROKVISS (Robotic Components Verification on the ISS) technology experiment developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has returned to Earth after six years in space.
On 18 September 2011, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst was nominated for his first mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Gerst will visit humankind's largest outpost in space for a long–term mission lasting from May to November.
Varied impact craters, valleys, canyons and mountains among the highest in the Solar System – the 3D images and videos of the asteroid Vesta created by scientists at the German Aerospace Center reveal a most unusual celestial body. The US Dawn spacecraft, carrying a German camera system on board, has been orbiting the asteroid since July 2011.
'Encounter' a satellite in orbit, view the Moon and the Rhine Valley in 3D, board SOFIA, the airborne observatory, or visit the wind tunnel or astronaut training facility to experience the extreme conditions to which materials and people are exposed in space – these are just a few of the many space-related activities that DLR in Cologne will make available to the general public on 18 September 2011.
On 18 September 2011, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is holding its Aerospace Day in Cologne-Porz. On this date, DLR and the European Space Agency (ESA) – alongside other partners, will be showcasing their research projects from the aerospace, energy and transport sectors.
The Moscow Aviation and Space Salon show, MAKS 2011, takes place in Zhukovsky, south of Moscow, between 16 and 21 August 2011. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is once again represented at Russia’s national aerospace show this year.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is another step closer to Vesta; only 5200 kilometres now separate the asteroid and its new ‘neighbour’, Dawn. The images show Vesta from ists south pole to areas in the northern hemisphere.
After almost four years traveling through space, the NASA Dawn spacecraft reached its destination and entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta on 16 July 2011. On board Dawn, among other instruments, is a Framing Camera for imaging the surface of the asteroid. Using data from this camera system, scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will create detailed maps and elevation models of this celestial body.
During the night of 14 to 15 July 2011, two German teachers flew on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, for the first time. Wolfgang Viesser from the Christoph-Probst Gymnasium in Munich and Jörg Trebs from the Thomas-Mann Oberschule in Berlin were selected to join a team from the German SOFIA Institute (DSI), the University of Stuttgart and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to experience first-hand precisely how 'live' research on SOFIA is conducted at an altitude of 14 kilometres.
The successful launch of the US Space Shuttle Atlantis en route to the International Space Station (ISS) marked the beginning of the final space shuttle mission and the end of the 30-year era of US space shuttle flights. Atlantis lifted off from its launch site, Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Friday, 8 July 2011 at 11:29 local time (17:29 CEST).