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. +++
Twenty years ago today, on 20 November 1998, a Russian Proton rocket took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and carried the first component of the International Space Station, the Zarya module (Zarya is Russian for sunrise), into Earth orbit. Sixteen days later, on 6 December 1998, the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour joined the Russian Zarya module together with the US Unity connecting node.
It will be the deepest hole ever hammered into another celestial body using manmade technology. During the NASA InSight mission, the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), the Mole, which was developed and built by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will penetrate up to five metres deep into the Martian soil to measure the temperature and thermal conductivity of the substrate materials there. This glimpse of the interior of the Red Planet will help us to better understand the formation and evolution of Earth-like bodies.
It is a small piece of cargo – not even half the size of a shoebox – but a group of students from Frankfurt are still tracking its progress with breathless anticipation. After all, the delivery address is none other than the International Space Station (ISS). The contents of the 10 x 10 x 15 centimetre container? An experiment that is set to be performed on the ISS.
On 15 November 2018 at 11:40 CET, the mission team in the Biotechnology Space Support Center (BIOTESC) at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts watched with baited breath. After two-and-a-half years of highly intensive preparations, as well as countless testing and training sessions with CIMON on Earth, you could hear a pin drop – there was an atmosphere of total concentration and thrilled anticipation.
New 5G (fifth-generation) mobile radio systems enable reliable, secure and wireless data transmission. In rail transport, this makes virtual coupling possible – in other words the independent, contactless coupling of trains during journeys to form longer virtual units.
On 7 November 2018 at 01:47 CET, the European weather satellite MetOp-C was launched on board a Soyuz rocket from the European spaceport in French Guiana. MetOp-C will join two structurally identical satellites, MetOp-A and MetOp-B, which were launched in October 2006 and September 2012, respectively.
An extraordinary mission has drawn to an end, after the NASA space probe Dawn fell silent on 31 October. On 27 September 2007, Dawn set off to explore the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres, which are located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.