Articles for "Space"

to homepage
Space | 08. October 2021 | posted by Nicole Schmitz

Perseverance – the name says it all

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Perseverance takes a selfie after successful acquisition of a sample

On 18 February 2021, the Perseverance rover of NASA's Mars 2020 mission landed on Mars safe and sound. The research mission, initially scheduled to last two years, has begun. In this blog, DLR researcher Nicole Schmitz, together with her colleague Frank Preusker, will report regularly on the progress of the mission and the camera experiment in which they are involved. Both are part of the Science Team of the Mastcam-Z instrument, a stereo camera located on Perseverance's approximately two-metre-high mast. read more

Space | 21. September 2021 | posted by Celia Baumhoer

Aerial campaign on the Aletsch Glacier

DLR-Wissenschaftler auf dem Weg über den Gletscher zur Konkordiahütte
Copyright: © DLR/Celia Baumhoer
The path across the glacier to the Konkordia Hut

Only superlatives can properly describe the sheer magnitude of the Aletsch Glacier. Measuring over 22 kilometres in length and with a thickness of up to 900 metres, it is the largest glacier in the Alps, accounting for one fifth of Switzerland's total ice mass. But climate change is obviously leaving its mark on the Aletsch Glacier as well. How has the snow cover changed in the Jungfrau-Aletsch region over recent decades? How much mass is the glacier losing each year? At the start of September 2021, a DLR team from the Polar Monitor Project embarked on a two-week mission to seek answers to these and other questions using high-resolution aerial images and a variety of satellite sensors. read more

Space | 22. March 2021 | posted by Manfred Gottwald

Using principles from painting – creating 3D-effect satellite images in true colour

Die physische Karte des Nördlinger Ries, abgeleitet aus einem farbkodierten, schräg beleuchteten digitalen Höhenmodell von TanDEM-X
Credit: © DLR
A physical map of the Nördlinger Ries, derived from a colour-coded, diagonally illuminated digital elevation model created using data acquired by TanDEM-X

How can an impression of three-dimensionality be created using a two-dimensional medium? In art, this question arose centuries ago. Certain painting techniques have since evolved to simulate effects of light and shadow, creating a 3D effect for the viewer. Such effects are referred to as trompe-l'œil – they 'deceive the eye'.

Earth observation satellites with multispectral sensors provide images in natural colours when their red, green and blue (RGB) channels are combined. However, they tend to appear somewhat 'flat'. To turn them into attractive, three-dimensional representations, they must first be 'transformed' into three dimensions. This can be achieved if we use proven methods from art as a guide in science, but this requires elevation information. read more

Space | 09. March 2021 | posted by Jess Bunchek

EDEN ISS - Growing vegetables in the eternal ice: Coming to Antarctica

Credit: DLR/NASA/Jess Bunchek
Neumayer III Station in Antarctica

The EDEN ISS greenhouse, developed by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), has been in Antarctica since 2018. It was designed to conduct research into food production in deserts and cold regions, as well as exploring the possibility of growing fresh food in the hostile conditions of the Moon or Mars. Plant scientist Jess Bunchek from NASA's Kennedy Space Center is spending a year in the eternal ice as a DLR guest researcher. In this blog, she will report about her exciting research on Earth's coldest continent.

In a typical year, you can reach the Neumayer III Station in Antarctica by air, but as we all know, the last year has been anything but typical. With countries restricting travellers and flights being cancelled, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), which runs Neumayer, came up with an alternative: go by ship. The icebreaker RV Polarstern (German for 'polar star') already travels annually from Germany to Neumayer to resupply the station, so adding a few passengers to this year's transit was a logical and COVID-safe solution for AWI. read more

Space | 23. February 2021 | posted by Nicole Schmitz

'We' are on Mars – here we go!

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
First high-resolution colour image of the landing site in Jezero Crater, taken by the Hazard Avoidance Camera (HazCam).

On 18 February 2021, the Perseverance rover of NASA's Mars 2020 mission landed on Mars safe and sound. The research mission, initially scheduled to last two years, has begun. In this blog, DLR researcher Nicole Schmitz, together with her colleague Frank Preusker, will report regularly on the progress of the mission and the camera experiment in which they are involved. Both are part of the Science Team of the Mastcam-Z instrument, a stereo camera located on Perseverance's approximately two-metre-high mast.

We're on Mars! That's the thought I've been waking up with for the past three days. Of course, 'we' are not actually on Mars, but it feels that way since Thursday 18 February, when the NASA Mars 2020 mission rover Perseverance touched down in Jezero Crater at 21:55 CET. It was set down gently by the sky crane, the same system that delivered Curiosity safely to Gale Crater almost nine years ago. Delivered? That might not be the correct word for this exceptional space manoeuvre that has made it possible for us researchers to embark on our mission. read more

Space | 03. December 2020 | posted by Ulrich Köhler

Sample return - first class spaceflight

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Separation of the sample capsule on 5 December 2020, during the return to Earth of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 (artist's impression).

If there is one industry or scientific discipline in 2020 in which the infamous coronavirus pandemic has left relatively few traces, it is space exploration. Everything rises and falls; Newton and Kepler send their regards. There is simply no way around it. When expensive metal boxes are in orbit around Earth or out in the depths of the Solar System, with or without valuable human passengers, someone on the ground has to make sure that the mission continues. For obvious reasons, control of it must not simply be given up, as in most cases this would lead to the total loss of the very valuable spacecraft. read more

Space | 16. October 2020 | posted by Tilman Spohn

The InSight mission logbook

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
 

Since February 2019, the scientific director of DLR's HP3 instrument, Tilman Spohn, has been providing us with the latest news about the InSight mission in the DLR blog and regularly explains the current situation of the heat probe HP3, which we affectionately refer to as the Mars 'Mole'. read more

Space | 09. September 2020 | posted by Mattia Marconcini

World Settlement Footprint - Where do humans live?

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
WSF2015 - Subset including India and vast part of Eastern and South Eastern Asia

After three years of meticulous data processing and comprehensive quality control, the World Settlement Footprint 2015 is now available. With a resolution of 10 metres, the new world map reveals settlement structures on Earth in 2015. read more

Space | 19. August 2020 | posted by Alessandra Roy

The SOFIA airborne observatory: Understanding the role of magnetic fields in star formation

Für diese Abbildung wurden die Magnetfelder mit einem Bild der NASA-Mission Spitzer überlagert und als Linien dargestellt.
Credit: NASA/SOFIA/T. Pillai/J. Kauffmann; NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Allen
For this illustration, the magnetic fields were superimposed on an image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and are represented as lines. The magnetic fields are pulled along with the movement of the gas. In this image you can see the change of direction from perpendicular (top – marked red) to parallel (bottom left – marked blue) with respect to the thick black filament of dust and gas.

A research team led by Thushara Pillai from Boston University and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn has just published their work on the interaction of interstellar magnetic fields with newly forming stars in Nature Astronomy. The observations were made using the High Resolution Airborne Wideband Camera Plus (HAWC+) – the unique far-infrared polarimetry instrument on board DLR and NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). We at the DLR Space Administration supported Dr Pillai and her team’s observations through the DLR Astronomy and Astrophysics Collaborative Research project. read more