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News Archiv 2019
16.12.19 - MORABA looks back to 15 years of VSB-30
At November 15 2019, the 30th VSB-30 sounding rocket launch lifted its scientific payload to an apogee of 266 km. This 30th flight of a Veiculo Sondagem Bostado 30 (VSB-30) represents an outstanding milestone in the cooperation of the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) with its Brazilian partner DCTA/IAE.
6.12.19 - CIMON-2 is on its way to the ISS
A new Crew Interactive MObile companioN (CIMON) is on its way the International Space Station (ISS). On 5 December 2019 at 18:29 CET (12:29 local time) the US SpaceX CRS-19 mission lifted off from the spaceport at Cape Canaveral, Florida. On board was CIMON-2, an astronaut assistant developed and built in Germany that has been modified and equipped for new tasks. Like its predecessor, CIMON-2 will be used in the European Columbus research module. CIMON is a spherical, free-flying technology demonstrator equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and designed for human–machine interaction.
03.12..19 - UN-Klimakonferenz: Monitoring der Erde – DLR stellt Satellitenmission Tandem-L vor
Die diesjährige Weltklimakonferenz (COP25) der Vereinten Nationen findet vom 2. bis 13. Dezember 2019 in Madrid statt. Im Rahmen des „Earth Information Day 2019“ stellte das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) am zweiten Tag des Klimagipfels Tandem-L vor, den Vorschlag für eine neuartige Satellitenmission zum Monitoring der Erde. Mithilfe von Tandem-L könnten zukünftig die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels überwacht werden und gleichzeitig die Wirksamkeit politischer Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Klimawandels kontrolliert werden. Insgesamt zwei Radarsatelliten sollen die Veränderungen der Erde im Wochenrhythmus erfassen – in hoher Auflösung und unabhängig von Wetter oder Tageszeit.
10.11.19 - Plasma crystal research on the ISS
More plasma research is being conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). From 10 to 16 November 2019, the Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov will be carrying out a new series of experiments with the PK-4 plasma crystal laboratory. Under the direction of scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), Skvortsov will record how microparticles move through a neon plasma in microgravity, forming structures and thus providing insights into basic physical processes.
07.11.19 - 50 Jahre Satelliten-Nation Deutschland: Start des ersten Forschungssatelliten AZUR (German)
Vor fünfzig Jahren, am 8. November 1969, startete der erste deutsche Satellit AZUR an Bord einer amerikanischen Scout-Rakete aus Vandenberg, Kalifornien. Das eigens in Oberpfaffenhofen errichtete Deutsche Raumfahrtkontrollzentrum (GSOC, German Space Operations Center) übernahm eine Woche später die Betriebsverantwortung von AZUR. Damit stieg die Bundesrepublik Deutschland in die Riege der Nationen auf, die über einen Satelliten verfügten wie bereits die USA, die Sowjetunion, Großbritannien, Italien, Frankreich, Kanada, Japan und Australien.
06.11.19 - The Mars Mole and the challenging ground of the Red Planet
NASA's InSight mission landed on Mars in November 2018. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is involved in the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) experiment. In addition to a radiometer for measuring the surface temperature, the core component of the experiment is the Mars 'Mole' – a 40-centimetre-long penetrometer designed to measure the heat flow from the Martian interior at a depth of several metres. In February 2019, the Mole began hammering. It got stuck at first, but with the help of InSight's robotic arm it was able to penetrate almost completely into the Martian surface in October 2019. Without the additional support from the arm's scoop, it then began a sudden retreat which has led to almost half of the Mole protruding from the Martian regolith.
08.10.19 - Erdbeobachtung für Umwelt und Klima
Begeistert kehrte der bayerische Staatsminister für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Thorsten Glauber im April aus dem Schneeferner Haus zurück. Klimaforschung buchstäblich auf höchstem Niveau: auf 2650 Metern Höhe knapp unterhalb der Zugspitze. In welchen weiteren Bereichen arbeitet das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) und wobei liegt der Fokus auf Globalem Wandel und Klimaforschung? Mit dieser Frage kam der bayerische Umweltminister am 8. Oktober 2019 zum DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen. Nach der Begrüßung durch Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dittus, Vorstand für Raumfahrtforschung und -technologie am DLR machte sich der Politiker mit der Forschungsarbeit des Standortes in Oberpfaffenhofen vertraut.
03.10.19 -InSight mission – a fresh attempt for the first ‘Mole’ on Mars
Only five centimetres of the Mars ‘Mole’ are still protruding above the planet’s surface, and it is thought that it could have initially driven itself as much as 35 centimetres into the subsurface. A small crater has formed around the shaft, with the result that the small penetrometer is experiencing insufficient friction against its exterior to be able to move deeper. Initial attempts to fill this ‘Mole hole’ using the arm of the InSight lander and its shovel have failed due to the strength of the surface crust. Researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are now making a new attempt. They are planning to press the Mole sideways against the crater wall using the scoop of the robotic arm in order to give it enough traction and friction to burrow deeper into the surface.
21.09.19 - Space pioneer Sigmund Jähn has passed away
It is with great sadness that the Executive Board and staff of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have learned of the death of Sigmund Jähn, the first German to go into space. He passed away on 21 September 2019.
28.08.19 - CIMON back on Earth after 14 months on the ISS
The Crew Interactive Mobile CompaniON (CIMON) mobile astronaut assistant, which is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), returned to Earth on 27 August 2019. The SpaceX CRS-18 Dragon spacecraft carrying CIMON was undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) at 16:59 CEST; the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean approximately 480 kilometres southwest of Los Angeles and was recovered at 22:21 CEST.
22.08.19 - The near-Earth asteroid Ryugu – a fragile cosmic 'rubble pile'
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. On 3 October 2018 MASCOT, operated by the control centre at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Cologne, separated from its mother craft 41 metres above the asteroid. It touched down on the surface for the first time six minutes after deployment, before coming to a halt 11 minutes later, like a dice on a board game moving in slow motion. Over the course of 17 hours, MASCOT carried out experiments in various places amid the large boulders. Evaluation of the image data from DLR's MASCOT camera (MASCam) showing the descent and Ryugu’s surface has now revealed a detailed view of a fragile 'rubble pile' made up of two different, almost black, types of rock with little internal cohesion.
21.08.19 - Interview with Ralf Faller about EDRS operations
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.
06.08.19 - Milestone for the future of networked satellite communications
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.
05.08.19 - 'Space data highway' Preparations nearly complete at the German Space Operations Center
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'. Using satellite-based Laser Communications Terminals (LCTs), EDRS can transmit large amounts of data from space to Earth in a very short time. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and GSOC are responsible for operating the EDRS-C satellite, the EDRS payloads and the ground stations.
15.07.19 - MASCOT confirms what scientists have long suspected
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.
19.06.19 - A rover for Phobos and Deimos
Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos. These are the target of the Japanese Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, which also involves international partners. Scheduled for launch in 2024. it will enter Mars orbit n 2025, and return samples to Earth in 2029. The spacecraft will carry a German-French rover that will land on either Phobos or Deimos and explore the surface in detail for several months.
26.04.19 - Rosetta 'post-mission' – new findings
Two-and-a-half years have passed since the operational phase of the Rosetta mission came to an end in September 2016. However, scientific evaluation of the enormous amounts of data from the instruments on the spacecraft and the Philae lander is still ongoing. The team of scientists working on the VIRTIS instrument have now published new findings relating to the surface temperature and thermal effects on the 'duck-shaped' Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the 22 April 2019 issue of Nature Astronomy. Germany's scientific contributions to VIRTIS are led by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).
11.04.19 - Lunar gravity 600 kilometres above Earth
The compact German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Eu:CROPIS satellite is now rotating in space at a rate of 17.5 revolutions per minute, generating a gravitational force in its interior similar to that found on the Moon. After its launch on 3 December 2018, DLR engineers successfully tested and commanded the spacecraft. The experiments were then put into operation on 5 December. As the upload of updated software for the two greenhouses inside the spacecraft caused delays in January 2019, the engineers and scientists replanned the sequence of additional experiments. After the experiments with the SCalable On-BoaRd Computing Experiment (SCORE) and the RAdiation Measurement In Space (RAMIS) devices, the third experiment, PowerCell, a mission contribution from NASA, was activated under lunar gravity conditions.
11.04.19- Tests for the InSight 'Mole'
A blue box, a cubic metre of Mars-like sand, a rock, a fully-functional model of the Mars 'Mole' and a seismometer – these are the main components with which the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is simulating the current situation on Mars. After its first hammering operation on 28 February 2019, the DLR Heat and Physical Properties Package (HP³), the Mars Mole, was only able to drive itself about 30 centimetres into the Martian subsurface. DLR planetary researchers and engineers are now analysing how this could have happened and looking into what measures could be taken to remedy the situation.
11.03.19 - Vom Nordpolarkreis in die Schwerelosigkeit
Rund ein Jahr lang hatten die Studierendenteams aus Bremen, München und Jena auf diesen Moment hingearbeitet: Am 11. März 2019 ist um 10:20 Uhr Mitteleuropäischer Zeit (MEZ) die Forschungsrakete REXUS 25 erfolgreich vom Raumfahrtzentrum Esrange bei Kiruna in Nordschweden gestartet. An Bord befanden sich die Experimente der deutschen Teams sowie von Studierenden der Universität Danzig und der TU Eindhoven. Die Rakete erreichte bei dem Flug eine Höhe von rund 80 Kilometern, wobei für rund zwei Minuten Schwerelosigkeit herrschte.
05.03.19 -InSight mission: the Mars ‘Mole’ takes a break
As part of NASA’s InSight mission, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) developed a penetrometer designed to dig three to five metres below the surface of Mars and measure the heat emanating from the planet’s interior. After the Mars ‘Mole’ began hammering into the ground on Thursday 28 February, the probe, which is part of DLR’s HP3 (Heat and Physical Properties Package) instrument, came about three-quarters of the way out of its housing structure before stopping. Data also suggests that the 'Mole' is at a 15-degree tilt.
01.03.19 - „Good luck ‘Mole’ – DLR’s HP3 experiment starts hammering into the Martian soil
On 28 February 2019, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; 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.
13.02.19 - InSight mission – DLR 'Mole' deployed on surface of Mars
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. In the coming weeks, the remote controlled penetrometer is expected to make space history by becoming the first probe to reach a depth of up to five metres in the Martian subsurface. Its goal is to measure the temperature and thermal conductivity of the subsurface and thus determine the heat flow from the interior of Mars.
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