The Kangerlussuaq Glacier is the largest glacier on the southeast coast of Greenland and flows into the fjord of the same name. The glacier front, which in the past was protected by an ice mélange – a mixture of sea ice and calved icebergs – is retreating at an increasing rate. The glacier calves approximately 24 cubic kilometres of ice into the ocean every year. This corresponds to about five percent of the amount of ice lost annually by the entire Greenland ice sheet. Using a time series of 150 TanDEM-X elevation models of the Kangerlugssuaq Glacier, scientists from Swansea University in the United Kingdom have measured the decrease in the glacier’s surface height.
The German High Altitude and Long Range (HALO) research aircraft will be exploring the atmosphere in the southern hemisphere and its impact on climate change during September and November 2019 as part of the SOUTHTRAC (Transport and Composition of the Southern Hemisphere UTLS) mission. The main objective of the first phase of the campaign is to investigate gravity waves at the southern tip of South America and over Antarctica.
In the summer of 2018, the asteroid Ryugu, which measures only approximately 850 metres across, was visited by the Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft. On board was the 10-kilogram German-French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) – a lander no bigger than a microwave oven and equipped with four instruments.
The EDRS-C satellite was successfully launched at 21:30 CEST on 6 August 2019. After receiving the first telemetry data, the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) took over operation of the satellite. Now that the first critical launch phase with several orbital manoeuvres has been completed EDRS-C can enter the test phase. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) project manager in charge is Mission Operations Director Ralf Faller.
Against the backdrop of climate change, the aviation industry is increasingly becoming the focus of debate in wider society. Innovations geared towards more environment-friendly air transport are becoming more prevalent.
With the launch of the first EDRS-C communications satellite on 6 August 2019, a milestone has been reached for the EDRS system. EDRS is a globally unique network of geostationary relay satellites that can deliver data volumes of up to 1.8 gigabits per second to Earth with minimal delay using laser communications.
The final preparations for the launch of the EDRS-C satellite are currently underway at the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) in Oberpfaffenhofen. The communications satellite is scheduled to lift off from the European Spaceport in French Guiana on 6 August 2019 and will be a core component of the European Data Relay System (EDRS) – the 'space data highway'.
The Initial Services provided by the European satellite navigation system – Galileo – have been successfully restored. Galileo was affected by a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure. This event led to a temporary interruption of the globally available Galileo navigation and timing services, with the exception of the Galileo Search and Rescue Service. The Search and Rescue Service, which is used to locate and assist people in emergency situations, for example, at sea or in remote, mountainous areas, was not affected and remained operational. The navigation service impact was caused by a malfunction of some equipment in the Galileo control centres, which generate the system time and calculate orbit predictions; these data are used to produce the navigation messages. The disruption affected various elements at the control centres in Fucino (Italy) and at the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen.
The Saturn V rocket lifted off at an almost frighteningly slow speed at 09:32 local time (13:32 UTC) from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, on the eastern coast of Florida. Every second, 13 tonnes of fuel were pumped into the five engines and burned; each of them produced 7500 kilonewtons of thrust.
Ryugu and other asteroids of the common ‘C-class’ consist of more porous material than was previously thought. Small fragments of their material are therefore too fragile to survive entry into the atmosphere in the event of a collision with Earth. This has revealed the long-suspected cause of the deficit of this meteorite type in finds on Earth.