Articles for "Astronauts"

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Space | 13. July 2018 | posted by Christian Karrasch

CIMON – when science fiction becomes reality

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Picture-book launch of the SpaceX Falcon-9 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA, on the morning of 29 June 2018. CIMON is on board in the Dragon capsule

Cape Canaveral, Florida – it is really thrilling – go CIMON, go! Accompanied by a thunderous roar, the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher slowly rises from the launch pad above a dazzling stream of fire, delivering 7600 kilonewtons of thrust to thwart gravity painting a spectacular picture against the early morning skies over Florida. This 'dragon's tail' was even visible from the ISS itself. It takes the Dragon capsule for the SpaceX CRS-15 (Commercial Resupply Service) mission three days to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS), carrying a payload of precisely 2676 kilograms (provisions, equipment and scientific experiments) in the 'dragon's body'. What made this supply flight to the ISS so special was that it included a whole series of German experiments for Alexander Gerst's 'horizons' mission. Among them was CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion). read more

Space | 22. June 2018 | posted by Volker Schmid

The first two weeks of the horizons mission

Credit: ESA/NASA
Sunrise - seen from the ISS, photographed by Alexander Gerst during the horizons mission.

The 'horizons' mission has been underway for almost two weeks. Alexander Gerst arrived safely at the ISS on 8 June 2018. He gave his first press conference from an altitude of 400 kilometres on 12 June and assisted in an extravehicular activity on 14 June. The 42-year-old German ESA astronaut is now working on scientific experiments in the European Columbus laboratory. The DLR 'horizons' Mission Manager, Volker Schmid, looks back on two eventful weeks. read more

Space | 24. August 2017 | posted by Daniel Leidner | 2 Comments

Beaming instructions from space: robot experiment between the ISS and Oberpfaffenhofen

Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Rollin 'Justin and the solar panels he will inspect during the SUPVIS Justin experiment.

The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has long been a forerunner in the remote control of robot technology for space applications. In 1993, the ROTEX experiment was the first ever in which a robot was remotely controlled from the ground and actually caught a free-floating object in space. In a more recent experiment in December 2015, cosmonaut Sergei Volkov used technology that built on this experiment to operate a ground-based robot from the International Space Station (ISS). At the time, a finely-tuned joystick allowed the cosmonaut to shake hands with institute director Alin Albu-Schäffer and even raise a glass on the success of the Kontur-2 mission. read more

Space | 17. November 2014 | posted by Jan Wörner | 1 Comment

Not just any week – THE WEEK!

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
With Alexander Gerst, just a few minutes after landing at Cologne-Bonn airport.

This past week has been simply amazing. In my position as chairman, there are often intense experiences, and time and again I am especially impressed with the performance of our colleagues, who apply themselves to their job and hence to DLR with full commitment. I am quite used to having to take into account multiple dates, but this week was very special. Alexander Gerst return from the ISS, Rosetta and Philae, and discussions in preparation for the ESA Ministerial Council. Each subject alone offers enough material for a blog post. read more

Space | 26. August 2014 | posted by Reinhold Ewald

German astronauts lose a friend and colleague

Die Crew der D1-Mission
Credit: NASA
The crew of the D1 Mission (back row, from left to right): Pilot Steven R. Nagel, Mission Specialist Guion S. Bluford, Jr., Payload Specialists Ernst Messerschmid and Wubbo J. Ockels; (front row, from left to right): Payload Specialist Reinhard Furrer, Mission Specialists Bonnie J. Dunbar and James F. Buchli and Commander Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr.

"Steve Nagel was also of particular importance for Germany, since he held a leadership position on both the D1 Mission and the D2 Mission (D1: Pilot, D2: Commander) and made a major contribution to the success of the two Spacelab missions. We are indebted to him and will honour his memory," explains Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Executive Board. read more

Space | 27. August 2012 | posted by Jan Wörner | 1 Comment

A political week - with a sad ending

DLR got quite a bit of political attention last week, with a steady parade of three Federal ministers, a State minister and two State secretaries. Such contacts are very important for DLR because – rather than give a quantitative balance in terms of "what are you doing with the taxpayers' money?" – we are able to show them the work carried out at our research sites. Unfortunately, the weekend ended sadly with the death of a great man: Neil Armstrong.




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Space | 16. May 2012 | posted by Jan Wörner

Long time no see ...

Jan Woerner, ISS Symposium 2012, Berlin. Bild: ESA, J. Mai.

Quite some time has passed since my previous blog post – it was on the launch of the third European space transporter, ATV-3. This isn't due to any 'blog fatigue' on my part, but rather to the many activities that have simply kept me from writing my next entry. But I guess you could say that this is a fairly weak excuse, since it does not really take all that long to write a blog post. Blog entries give me the opportunity to report on my work as Chairman of the DLR Executive Board outside the 'normal' channels of communication and thus to allow all interested parties, both within and outside DLR, to gain a little more insight. read more

Space | 26. March 2010 | posted by Jan Wörner | 1 Comment

The fourth man on the Moon — an experience that lasts forever

Alan Bean, Gasometer Oberhausen

On 24 March 2010, Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the Moon as part of the Apollo programme, visited the Gasometer in Oberhausen. Apart from the personal encounter (it was my third meeting with an Apollo astronaut, and they have always impressed me), I had the chance to be in the presence of an enthusiastic and motivating witness to an incredible pioneering feat, someone whose lecture revealed far more than a just report of an extraordinary mission. read more