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Extremes and dangers in space
Why do a feather and a hammer fall to the ground at the same speed on the moon? They really do! It has something to do with a vacuum: there’s no air in the extreme conditions prevailing in space. That’s why DLR scientists need to test in vacuum chambers whether their satellites and probes are suitable for use in space. Feel like an expert as you get acquainted with the effects of a vacuum by carrying out various experiments.
Astronauts in space are not the only ones who can experience weightlessness. Experiments can also be conducted in the Bremen drop tower during almost 10 seconds of microgravity conditions. You can find out how that works by using its “little brother” in the DLR_School_Lab. And the results can be amazing, often quite different from expectations! For scientists, microgravity is often a real challenge: for example, at DLR in Bremen investigations are under way to figure out how to get rocket fuel where it’s supposed to be, even when it can’t simply flow “downward”.
What’s the sun doing at the moment? If it weren’t so bright we could see that it’s more than simply a yellow disk. With the right technical aids it’s possible to have a closer look at the sun and see that it sometimes has dark spots on it, and that things also get a bit turbulent up there! At DLR we’re investigating the dangers coming from solar activity — not only for astronauts and satellites, but also for us down here on Earth. With the right technology you yourselves can have a close look at the sun during a visit to DLR. You’ll be surprised!
Satellite technology and remote sensing
Here we have a look at invisible light! Normally, our eyes react to only a tiny part of the spectrum. But with modern measurement technology it’s possible to see normally invisible radiation. Like heat. This technology is used on satellites, for example to monitor climate change on Earth. In experiments you can discover the surprising characteristics of invisible infrared radiation.
How do you twist and turn in space if you can’t push off from or hold on to anything? Satellites have to be able to constantly determine and adjust their location so that they don’t tumble about aimlessly in their orbit. In the DLR_School_Lab you can find out what technology is used for this purpose and experiment with it yourselves.
How does a radar trap actually work? Radar measurement technology makes it possible to determine distance and velocity remotely. What leads to images which have expensive consequences for drivers is used on satellites to precisely measure the various elevations of the earth’s surface, for example, or to improve agricultural harvests. We’ll show you how it’s all done!
The most powerful engines on earth are rocket engines. How these gigantic machines make it possible to escape the earth’s gravitational pull can be demonstrated also on a small scale. You can do this at our School_Lab by launching mini-rockets, and learn the basic principles behind the technology while you’re doing it.
Landing space vehicles on distant planets, moons or asteroids is always a risky maneuver and at the same time decisive for the success of a mission. At DLR in Bremen methodologies for navigating landings are investigated and developed. This technology is also used in the School_Lab. You can train yourselves to conduct your mission’s landing maneuvers, and success depends on your skill!
Because of the extreme conditions existing in space, robots are often use to assist astronauts, or even to replace them on distant planets. Scientists at DLR Bremen are currently helping to develop robot vehicles —“intelligent” rovers — to investigate the moon and the planet Mars. Use small rovers to explore the mysterious Mars landscape yourselves at DLR_School_Lab!
Sensor systems and specimen analysis
What are scientists actually looking for on distant planets and asteroids? And how do they do the searching? Cameras on landing vehicles not only provide an optical impression of the surroundings, but also important information about its makeup. Soil and rock samples are often collected as well. Equipment for this purpose is being developed at DLR. However, since the specimens cannot usually be brought to us on Earth they have to be studied locally. At the DLR_School_Lab you yourselves can analyze images and material from space as well as ground specimens — and become acquainted with the profound questions our planet researchers are trying to answer.
Robotik: „Schlaue“ Rover
Sensorik und Probenanalyse
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