About the author

Manuela Braun

Manuela Braun is editor for space. As a qualified journalist for both print and online media, she loves nothing more than asking questions. Her favourite thing of all is being there, in the midst of the action. She followed Alexander Gerst's launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in Baikonur. When Philae performed its spectacular landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, some 500 million kilometres away from Earth, she was there, in Cologne, watching it unfold directly from the control room. Whether it is a rocket launch in Norway or Sweden, Manuela is close by with her laptop and camera, writing press releases, reports or blogs, enabling the media and the public alike to be part of the action, right when scientists are getting to the bottom of things.

She is also enthusiastic about the work being done at DLR laboratories such as rocket vehicle tests, instrument assembly, centrifuge tests, planetary and robotic testing. This is where the science fiction films she loves to watch sometimes really do come true.

Posts from Manuela Braun

Space | 17. April 2019

AGBRESA – strict bed-rest for 60 days

With his head down and legs lifted upwards, Test Participant B is being rolled towards the centrifuge. Or rather, his bed is. He will not be allowed to stand up for the next two months. From his bed, Test Participant B mainly sees one thing as he travels the few metres from the test station to the centrifuge – the :envihab ceiling. The 5400-square-metre building has been home to ESA astronauts Alexander Gerst, Andreas Mogensen, Timothy Peake and Thomas Pesquet immediately following their missions, in order to study the effects of microgravity on the human body. read more

Space | 30. June 2017 | 1 Comment

ROBEX Part 4: Ash, beetles and blustering winds

Dust is inescapable after four weeks of field research on Mount Etna: a tenaciously fine layer covers everything: equipment, transport crates and notebook keypads. It penetrates the mission container and sticks to hands and legs lathered in sunscreen. read more

Space | 28. June 2017

ROBEX Part 3: Hammering for science

Mount Etna is very close to being a substitute Moon for the planetary researchers of the ROBEX project – it is here that they find volcanic basalt in quantities similar to those of the constituents of the lunar soil. In addition, the Sicilian volcano is the only place in Europe that experiences earthquakes at a depth of up to 600 kilometres. Mount Etna is like the Moon in this respect as well, as Earth's lunar companion experiences most earthquakes 700 to 1100 kilometres below the surface. "Etna is the only place in Europe where we can measure earthquakes at a similar depth," says planetary researcher Martin Knapmeyer. read more

Space | 27. June 2017

ROBEX Part 2: Lander on a trolley

500. 350. 80. On Friday, these numbers set the rhythm. Weighing in at 500 kilograms, the RODIN lander will be taken 350 metres from its current location, 80 metres downhill. The lander was initially kept near base camp – the perfect location for carrying out repairs following its transit to Sicily and for the first tests and connection to the control room on Mount Etna. To conduct the actual 'Moon mission', the RODIN lander will be on the Piano del Lago. read more

Space | 23. June 2017

ROBEX Part 1: Mission in the lava landscape

A journey to the Moon is an arduous one, even if this 'Moon' is located here on Earth, 2600 metres above sea level, directly on Mount Etna. A heavy transporter winds its way slowly and laboriously through the narrow, serpentine roads above Catania in Sicily to arrive at our lunar destination. The landscape becomes increasingly black as the team from the HGF Alliance ROBEX (Robotic Exploration under Extreme Conditions) approaches its temporary work location. read more

Security | 09. September 2016 | 1 Comment

Ein Teppich aus Popcorn - EMSec Teil 4

Der Morgen fängt mit Verladearbeiten an. Zig Hände packen an, um 70 Kartons ungesalzenes und ungezuckertes Popcorn auf die "Bayreuth" zu laden. Kaum ist die eine Kiste aus dem Lkw, stehen schon wieder zwei Helfer an der Laderampe. 50 Kubikmeter Popcorn rutschen über ein Holzbrett aufs Deck der "Bayreuth" und werden dort von den nächsten Helfern im Empfang genommen. read more

Security | 08. September 2016

Treibend zwischen Helgoland und Büsum - EMSec Teil 3

Zehn Sekunden dauert es, dann ist die erste Boje über Bord. Die nächsten beiden folgen. Innerhalb von einer Minute sind somit gleich drei "Menschen" über Bord des Seenotrettungskreuzers "Hermann Rudolf Meyer" gegangen, die die EMSec-Partner mit Satelliten und Flugzeugen aufspüren wollen. read more

Security | 08. September 2016

Suchaktion für eine entführte Fähre - EMSec Teil 2

Am Montagabend hätte die Crew der entführten Passagierfähre schon noch etwas warten müssen, bis im eingerichteten Lagezentrum des DLR ihre brenzlige Situation klar ist. Die optischen Kameradaten der Do 228 laufen zwar bei den Wissenschaftlern ein, aber auf dem Lagetisch des EMSec-Projekts ist Datenstau. read more

Security | 06. September 2016

Ausweichen mit Ansage - EMSec Teil 1

Am Montag dient das Patrouillenboot der Bundespolizei "Bayreuth" für das Projekt EMSec als Fährschiff, vollgepackt mit Menschen - und verlässt auf einmal grundlos die geplante Route. Zumindest im eigens errichteten Lagezentrum des DLR in Cuxhaven sieht es so aus. Theoretisch könnten gerade Entführer an Bord sein, die den Kommandanten zu einem Kurswechsel zwingen. read more

Other | 31. August 2016

Back in saturated air at sea level

The altitude sickness study conducted in the Valais Alps has delivered a sizeable yield: almost 1500 vials containing blood samples from the test subjects, frozen in dry ice at minus 80 degrees Celsius, were transported from the Margherita Hut at an altitude of 4554 metres back down to the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne. There are also just under 200 urine samples, 44 saliva samples and 66 blood counts. read more

Space | 26. August 2016

Study routines with ice axe and crampon training

04:00, and outside Margherita Hut the world is pitch black. The clocks of the test subjects in the altitude sickness study sound their alarms. As the first group of mountaineers leave their lodgings for climbing tours in the Valais Alps, the study participants are already busy delivering the first set of data: headaches, quality of sleep, nausea, dizziness. All of these are noted in a daily journal, graded on a scale according to severity. read more

Space | 24. August 2016

When bad news is good news

The participants all keep a diary, where they record their symptoms – which one would not want to have as they climb to their destination: the Regina Margherita Hut situated at an altitude of over 4500 metres. read more

Space | 24. June 2015

Ein Stahlseil, eine Festplatte und die Konsequenzen

Pläne sind Pläne… und dann kommt die Realität hinzu. Im Idealfall hätte die Höhenforschungsrakete Mapheus5 schon am Montag starten sollen – doch ein angeschlagenes Stahlseil an der schwedischen Startrampe und eine unwillige Festplatte machten dem Mapheus-Team des DLR und der vorläufigen Zeitplanung einen Strich durch die Rechnung. read more

Space | 19. June 2015

Stahl-Kathedrale für Raketenstarts

Niemand bleibt unbeeindruckt, wenn er den Skylark Tower betritt. Niemand. Der Turm des schwedischen Raketenstartplatzes Esrange ist eine Kathedrale - 30 Meter, imposant, im Inneren hallen die Geräusche. Wer unten steht und die metallene Führungsschiene nach oben blickt, fühlt sich klein. read more

Space | 22. October 2013

Rosetta and Philae – Nomen est omen

Scientists often use abbreviations to designate their missions or projects; examples are MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) or SHEFEX (Sharp Edged Flight Experiment). But ESA’s Rosetta mission, which will mark a first in the history of space exploration by becoming the first spacecraft to follow a comet and carry a lander that will touch down on the comet, was given its name for a different reason. The name refers to the Rosetta Stone, which allowed hieroglyphs to be deciphered. read more

Space | 21. June 2010

TanDEM-X geht "eigenen" Weg

Im Kontrollraum ist auf dem großen Bildschirm die Liveübertragung aus der Steppe verschwunden. Stattdessen sind dort jetzt Tabellen und Zahlenreihen zu sehen. Aus Baikonur ist gerade die Nachricht gekommen, dass der Satellit sich von der Rakete getrennt hat. Während im Kontrollraum konzentriert gearbeitet wird, wird in der Eingangshalle des GSOC applaudiert. Jetzt warten alle auf den ersten Kontakt. Mit dem erfolgreichen Start und der Trennung von der Rakete ist aber überall zu merken, dass die Anspannung deutlich nachlässt. Zumindest bei den Besuchern, die in der Eingangshalle und auf der Brücke den Start verfolgt haben... read more

Space | 21. June 2010

Intensity picking up

This place, the German Aerospace Center at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen (close to Munich) has a serious trekkie air. As you walk into the building where the action is tonight, chairs and shiny lights have been set up. This is where the infotainment programme will be streamed live. But take a couple of turns around nondescript corridors, and you’re on the bridge — they actually call it that (hence the trekkie reference). read more