About the author

Friederike Wolff

Friederike Wolff has long been interested in space travel. After graduating from high school, she moved to the Netherlands to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. She is particularly interested in missions bound for other planets and bodies in the Solar System, as well as projects that delve into unknown areas. After completing her degree, she moved to Kiruna in northern Sweden. This little-known place is famed throughout the aerospace community: the nearby Esrange Space Center sees the launch of sounding rockets and balloons, and is also home to a much-used ground station for satellite communications. As part of DLR’s REXUS/BEXUS project, she gained experience working on mission operations for an altitude research balloon, working with other students to develop a payload.

Since 2015 she has been working at the DLR Institute of System Dynamics and Control, focusing on the MASCOT project, for which she simulates and optimises the lander’s motion. Up until shortly before the landing she will be responsible for adapting the mobility unit’s control systems to the latest mission data and the reported conditions on asteroid Ryugu.

Posts from Friederike Wolff

Space | 24. September 2018

Moving around on an unfamiliar celestial body

Moving around on small bodies is difficult, because the gravitational pull and thus the friction between a lander and the ground is very small. Conventional means of transport, such as wheels or chains, are based on traction and are thus unsuitable for use on asteroids. Therefore, a mobility mechanism was developed for MASCOT in order to enable movement in such an environment: the lander is equipped with a swing arm that accelerates and decelerates an eccentrically mounted mass. read more