In theory, it is impossible. Current theories of planetary emergence dictate that only small, rocky planets – and not a giant planet – can form around a dwarf star. The most recent discovery by the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) system has thrown some doubt on this assumption.
After more than 15 years, the German-US Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for precise measuring of Earth's gravity field has come to an end. Since its launch from the Russian cosmodrome in Plesetsk on 17 March 2002 on board a Rockot launcher, the twin satellites GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 have been orbiting Earth in close formation flight, precisely recording how Earth's gravity field changes over time.
The BEXUS 24 research balloon was launched from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden at 13:39 Central European Summer Time on Wednesday 18 October 2017. The balloon reached its maximum altitude of 24.6 kilometres at 15:25 at which point the gondola separated from the balloon (in a procedure called 'cut down'). The gondola landed back on Earth at 17:22 local time.
In which quantity are trace gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide, present in our atmosphere? How high are the global and regional concentrations of aerosol particles? Which processes induce changes in our environment, and how do they affect our climate, air quality, and therefore our health?
The venture to cultivate plants in the Antarctic is gathering momentum: on 8 October 2017 the special EDEN ISS greenhouse container, packed safely away on a cargo ship, left the Port of Hamburg en route to the Ekström ice shelf in the Antarctic.
Representatives of international space agencies, the industrial sector and research institutes gathered at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) from 25 to 29 September 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) took this opportunity to sign a number of Memorandums of Understanding for closer collaboration with international partners.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the renowned University of Sydney have declared their intention for future cooperation in research and teaching activities related to aerospace research by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 27 September 2017 at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
Electric propulsion systems are considered to be particularly promising space technology. Although they produce less thrust, their fuel efficiency is significantly higher than that of conventional chemical engines. Satellites can thus be made considerably lighter and more durable. Additionally, the payload capacity can be increased because of the lower fuel mass needed.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be showcasing its latest research at this year's International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia.
Since the first observation of an extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, almost 4000 planets have been identified orbiting other stars in the Milky Way. With these new discoveries, scientists are now increasingly investigating their atmospheres, the composition and structure of gas hull.
Twenty nine parabolic flight campaigns run by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have resulted in 97 flight days, 3270 parabolas and almost 19 hours of microgravity.
In anticipation of the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey, the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' was activated early on the evening of 24 August 2017. This was initiated by the Charter member United States Geological Survey (USGS) on behalf of the Texas Emergency Management Council. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) provided real-time recordings and archive data from the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, which enabled a detailed analysis and an overview of the flood situation. Using these and other satellite data provided by 16 Charter members, the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas is currently working on providing assistance and information to disaster relief personnel on the ground.
A total solar eclipse is spectacular for observers: “Around 30 seconds before the Sun disappears entirely behind the Moon, it becomes noticeably darker in the middle of the day, as if someone had quickly turned the dimmer switch for a light,” explains Manfred Gaida, an astrophysicist in the Space Administration team at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), describing the phenomenon. The Moon moves in front of the Sun until just a luminous halo – the corona – can be seen. Where the conical umbra reaches the Earth, the sky goes dark. The partial phase of the eclipse begins around 75 to 90 minutes beforehand, and lasts for the same amount of time after the eclipse, until the ‘all-around twilight’ has completely disappeared.
The last command to LISA Pathfinder was sent at around 8:00 pm Central European Time on 18 July 2017, after 16 months of scientific operation, marking the end of a sophisticated technology demonstration in space. The Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Max Planck Society funded the German contribution to this European Space Agency (ESA) mission.
The German Aerospace Center will use the occasion of Russia’s national aviation and aerospace show from 18 to 23 July 2017 – the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS – to present satellite models, simulators and experiments for space missions.
On 14 July 2017At 08:36 CEST, the two research satellites 'Flying Laptop' and 'TechnoSat' were successfully launched to space on board a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Among the most remarkable geological formations on Mars is the vast shield volcano Olympus Mons that towers up to 26 kilometres above the surrounding plains. It is situated on the Tharsis plateau, a volcanic province the size of Europe. Volcanism is a widespread phenomenon on Mars.
Global food production is one of the key societal challenges of the 21st century. A growing world population with the simultaneous upheaval caused by climate change demand new methods of cultivating crops in regions with unfavourable climates. A closed greenhouse is a good way of growing food in deserts and low-temperature regions – as would be the case on missions to the Moon and Mars – as it permits harvesting regardless of the weather, the Sun and specific seasons.
It looks simple: the rover heads straight for the landing craft, uses a gripper arm to remove a sensor unit from the loading bay and takes it quickly to the determined deposit location, where seismic measurements are then carried out. Everything takes place without human intervention, as the rover, lander and sensor unit complete their job autonomously and effectively.
A wedge-shaped pillow, with which the upper body is raised by 30 degrees, could be a solution to shortness of breath, headaches and nausea caused by ascending to high altitudes within a short time. In August 2016, researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) at the Italian Regina Margherita mountain hut in the Valais Alps investigated the mechanisms that trigger altitude sickness in the human body in 10 selected participants.