The Spacecraft Department in Göttingen is conducting research into the aerodynamics of reusable launch vehicles. This image shows the thermal load on a rocket's exterior during a braking manoeuvre in reverse flight, when three of its nine engines are running. Normally, the rocket would heat up considerably during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. The exhaust plume
created by the three central engines shields the underside of the rocket from the hot air flow and prevents this.