The European-Japanese planetary mission BepiColombo is scheduled to take off from the European spaceport in French Guiana at 03:45 Central European Summer time on 20 October 2018 (22:45 on 19 October local time), on board an Ariane 5 launch vehicle.
The aircraft manufacturer Embraer, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and German–Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW) have succeeded in testing an innovative method for examining the safety of future aircraft. In another first, they have been able to analyse the flutter behaviour of a wing in real time.
Six minutes of free fall, a gentle impact on the asteroid and then 11 minutes of rebounding until coming to rest. That is how, in the early hours of 3 October 2018, the journey of the MASCOT asteroid lander began on Asteroid Ryugu – a land full of wonder, mystery and challenges.
On 4 October, a team from the aid organisation I.S.A.R. Germany (International Search and Rescue) met up with a representative from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Palu, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The region had been hit by a severe earthquake and a tsunami six days earlier.
In a sustainable energy system, energy storage systems are of vital importance for the integration of renewable energy sources. So far, however, there has been a lack of location-independent, cost-effective storage on a power plant scale. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are planning to construct the joint research facility NADINE (National Demonstrator for Isentropic Energy Storage) at the sites in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, with the aim of developing cost-effective and virtually loss-less energy storage systems.
Energy storage plays a key role in the sustainable energy system of the future, which is based on renewable resources. But until now, location-independent and cost-effective solutions for energy storage systems on a power plant scale have been missing. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Stuttgart, intends to build a research facility to research and develop technologies for highly efficient and cost-effective energy storage systems.
The 90-metre TanDEM-X Digital Elevation Model has been released for scientific use and is now available as a global dataset. By providing this data, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) follows the EU data policy under the Copernicus Earth observation programme, which encourages free and open access to satellite data.
It was a day full of exciting moments and a happy team of scientists and engineers: late in the afternoon of 3 October 2018, the German-French lander MASCOT completed its historic exploration of the surface of the asteroid Ryugu at 21:04 CEST, as its battery ran out. On-asteroid operations were originally scheduled to last 16 hours after separation from the Japanese mothercraft Hayabusa2.
Alexander Gerst will undoubtedly never forget 3 October 2018 – on the 'Day of German Unity', the 42-year old geophysicist and astronaut will be the first German and second European to become Commander of the International Space Station (ISS). The ceremony aboard the ISS will last from 04:10 to 16:30 CEST and be broadcast live on the Internet by NASA and ESA.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), and Teledyne Brown Engineering presented the first images of the DESIS hyperspectral Earth observation instrument at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). The instrument was mounted to the exterior of the International Space Station on 27 August 2018.