On 25 March 2019 the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US space agency NASA, will launch AGBRESA (Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study) – their first joint long-term bed-rest study. Also for the first time, the use of artificial gravity as a possible means of preventing the negative effects of weightlessness on the human body will be investigated.
A special experiment will begin at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBMP RAS) in Moscow on 19 March 2019 at 14:00 local time. Just four months before the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the first Moon landing by the Apollo 11 astronauts, three female and three male 'cosmonauts' will embark on a simulated journey to our terrestrial neighbour.
Ice road truckers in Canada – symbolically 'at the end of the world' – with their massive trucks travelling over the frozen lakes in the Canadian northwest, are well known around the world thanks to numerous TV programmes. The ice roads are open for only a few weeks per year.
As part of JEC World 2019, the leading European trade fair for fibre-composite technology, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is presenting its current research projects from 12 to 14 March 2019 in Paris.
Since the invention of the Remote Tower concept by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in 2002, the idea has made great progress and is now being used for remote air traffic control, initially at small airports in Sweden and Germany.
On 28 February 2019, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) ‘Mole’ fully automatically hammered its way into the Martian subsurface for the first time. In a first step, it penetrated to a depth between 18 and 50 centimetres into the Martian soil with 4000 hammer blows over a period of four hours. "On its way into the depths, the mole seems to have hit a stone, tilted about 15 degrees and pushed it aside or passed it," reports Tilman Spohn, Principal Investigator of the HP3 experiment. "The Mole then worked its way up against another stone at an advanced depth until the planned four-hour operating time of the first sequence expired. Tests on Earth showed that the rod-shaped penetrometer is able to push smaller stones to the side, which is very time-consuming.
The future European launcher, Ariane 6, is scheduled to lift off for the first time in 2020. To ensure that all its payloads can be safely transported into orbit, the engines for the new launcher must first undergo extensive testing. An important step in the upper-stage testing of the new launcher was taken on 26 February 2019. At the DLR site in Lampoldshausen, the new P5.2 test rig was officially inaugurated by Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Executive Board, Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Space Transportation at the European Space Agency (ESA), and Pierre Godart, CEO of ArianeGroup GmbH, in the presence of numerous space policymakers and representatives from industry and academia.
On 14 February 2019, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) presented some of its planned research and management activities for 2019 at its annual press conference in Berlin. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board addressed the challenges and goals for the coming year.
It stands vertically on flat ground, ready for its historic mission. At 19:18 CET on 12 February 2019, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP³) or 'Mole' was deployed on the Martian surface using the NASA InSight mission's robotic arm.
Humanitarian aid organisations are increasingly seeking technological support for their work in crisis and disaster situations. New technologies from fields such as satellite remote sensing, robotics and communications can assist aid workers in rescuing and caring for people as effectively as possible in emergency situations.
Thwaites Glacier, one of the most fragile glaciers in western Antarctica, is melting inexorably into the Amundsen Sea at an ever-increasing rate. Until now, it has been responsible for approximately four percent of the global rise in sea level and will cause the oceans to rise by over 65 centimetres in future as its remaining ice melts.
Fewer soot particles in the exhaust stream of aircraft reduces the formation of ice crystals and therefore the climate impact of the resulting contrail cirrus. Halving the ice particles that form in the contrail decreases the climate-warming effect of the contrail cirrus by 20 percent.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has been working with the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Melbourne on behalf of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to determine the necessary developments to achieve the aim of keeping global warming well below 2°C. This target is in line with the international agreements made at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.
Paul Zabel spent some 365 days in Antarctica – 257 of them isolated from the outside world – relying only on himself and his comrades in the overwintering crew. The Antarctic gardener, who works at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), has tested the cultivation of vegetables for missions to the Moon and Mars in the EDEN ISS greenhouse, and has succeeded in growing peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and different varieties of lettuce and herbs under artificial light.
A very special encounter is set to take place in the Kuiper Belt, six and a half billion kilometres from Earth, right at the beginning of the New Year. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will visit object 2014 MU69, better known as Ultima Thule. At 06:33 CET, New Horizons will fly past Ultima Thule and use its measuring equipment to examine the object from a distance of just 3500 kilometres. New Horizons was launched to space approximately 13 years ago to investigate the dwarf planet Pluto. This is the first close-up exploration of a body beyond Pluto.
Chasing emissions from alternative aircraft fuels with NASA. Successfully setting down a lander on the asteroid Ryugu and collecting data from the surface. Obtaining the first research findings for the autonomous and cooperative driving systems of tomorrow in the Next Generation Car project.
It was a task that required centimetre precision. Over the last few weeks, researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have measured every rock shown in the images of the InSight landing site and used the radiometer that is part of the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP³) experiment to analyse the dust on the surface of Mars, in order to determine the ideal point for deploying the InSight mission's instruments.
Alexander Gerst returned to Earth safely in the early hours of 20 December 2018 after 197 days in space, 195 of them on board the International Space Station ISS. The Soyuz MS-09 touched down close to Karaganda in the Kazakh steppe right on schedule at 06:02 Central European Time.
Scenarios for the application of civilian unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are becoming increasingly wide-ranging and diverse. In addition to initial tests of parcel deliveries from the air, the first applications in agriculture and the energy sector are already in use, with inspections carried out using unmanned aerial vehicles.
+++ Update: The Eu:CROPIS mission of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) was successfully launched to space. Following the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 3 December 2018 at 19:34 CET (10:34 Pacific Standard Time), the DLR satellite was successfully placed in orbit at an altitude of 600 kilometres. First radio contact of the approximately refrigerator-sized satellite to the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) in Oberpfaffenhofen took place about one hour and 15 minutes after the launch. In the next two weeks, GSOC will commission the satellite in space and test all functions. In about seven weeks, the researchers will be able to put the first of two greenhouses into operation. Shortly thereafter, the first tomatoes will be cultivated. +++