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Earth's outpost in space
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News Archive

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Ask astronaut Alexander anything

11. March 2014

German European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst is all set for the 'Blue Dot' mission to the International Space Station in May. Crewmates NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and commander-cosmonaut Maxim Surayev will hold a media conference on Tuesday 18 March 2014 and ESA is inviting you to ask questions via Twitter.

Life of an astronaut – Alexander Gerst's blog

17. February 2014

In 100 days, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst will be launched to the International Space Station ISS with NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and cosmonaut commander Maxim Surayev.


The ISS turns 15 – from a ‘heavenly’ construction site to a research laboratory in the sky

20. November 2013

Floating water droplets, a Canadian astronaut singing his own version of David Bowie's ‘Major Tom’, spacewalks, or beautiful views of Earth from the Cupola – the images that reach Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) never cease to surprise. Things were different 15 years ago; on this very day, 20 November 1998, the first component of the ISS was launched. This ‘heavenly’ construction began with the Russian Zarya module, a cargo and control module. Today, six astronauts live and work 365 days a year in the space research laboratory. Also on board are numerous experiments supported by scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) or funded by the DLR Space Administration.

From the ISS to Mars

20. August 2013

On 20 August 2013, 12 space agencies, among them the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), published the second version of a Global Exploration Roadmap.


The 'Volare' mission begins

28. May 2013

His muscles are of interest to the scientists, as is his internal clock and the radiation dose to which he will be exposed during his work in the European Columbus research laboratory. On 28 May 2013 at 22:31 CEST, the European Astronaut Luca Parmitano will depart from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on board the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft, beginning his journey to the International Space Station (ISS), as part of the Expedition 36/37 crew.

"A certain level of stress is necessary"

27. May 2013

European astronaut Luca Parmitano's 'Volare' mission will begin on 28 May 2013 with the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The International Space Station will be his place of work and home for the next six months.


In search of antimatter

18. April 2013

The first results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) have been released. This space 'camera' has recorded 20 billion cosmic particles in the first 18 months of operation – yet that is just a small step.

Studying human skin in space – Soyuz mission takes SKIN B to the ISS

29. March 2013

Human skin is an organ with many functions; it regulates, among other things, the water balance and temperature of the body, it prevents the entry of pathogens, protects the body from ultraviolet radiation and serves as a sensory organ. But how does it react to the harsh conditions of space? Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are seeking answers to these questions with the SKIN B experiment, funded by DLR Space Administration. The experiment started its journey to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 21:43 CET on 28 March 2013, carried by the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft with the crew of ISS Expedition 35.

New 'room' for the ISS - ATV-3 now docked

29. March 2012

Rendezvousing at 28,000 kilometres per hour at an altitude of about 380 kilometres is hardly routine – even for experienced spaceflight engineers and astronauts, which is why applause broke out in the European Space Agency (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Control Centre in Toulouse when the third European space transporter, 'Edoardo Amaldi', docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 00:31 CEST (22:31 UTC) on 29 March 2012.

Successful launch of ATV-3 'Edoardo Amaldi'

23. March 2012

It is a freighter, storage facility and propulsion system all in one - and an important link between the astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) and their base on Earth. The third European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) space transporter was launched on 23 March 2012 at 05:34 CET (01:34 local time) on board an Ariane 5ES rocket, from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

DLR ROKVISS robotic arm returns from space

28. September 2011

The ROKVISS (Robotic Components Verification on the ISS) technology experiment developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has returned to Earth after six years in space.

Thirty years of the space shuttle - launch of Atlantis marks the end of the US Space Shuttle Programme

8. July 2011

The successful launch of the US Space Shuttle Atlantis en route to the International Space Station (ISS) marked the beginning of the final space shuttle mission and the end of the 30-year era of US space shuttle flights. Atlantis lifted off from its launch site, Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Friday, 8 July 2011 at 11:29 local time (17:29 CEST).


ATV-2: re-entry over the south Pacific

22. June 2011

Loaded with waste material, the second European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-2), Johannes Kepler, entered Earth's atmosphere shortly after performing its second de-orbit engine firing at 22:04 CEST on 21 June 2011 and burned up over the south Pacific. After more than four months in space, ATV Johannes Kepler undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) at 16:51 CEST on 20 June 2011. On board was a Re-entry Break-up Recorder, a special flight data recorder designed to log the mechanical stresses on the ATV during break-up and radio the data to the ground station via satellite.

Start geglückt: US%2dSpace Shuttle Endeavour fliegt ein letztes Mal zur ISS

Space Shuttle Endeavour flies to the ISS for the last time

16. May 2011

On 16 May 2011 at 08:56 EDT (14:56 CEST), Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center (Florida) on the penultimate shuttle mission (STS-134) to the International Space Station (ISS). On board are the commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory H. Johnson, mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and Italian ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori.

"Kamera" für Dunkle Materie

Searching for dark matter and antimatter

26. April 2011

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) will be located outside the International Space Station (ISS) and will use its various detectors to seek cosmic radiation in space. On 29 April 2011, at 21:47 CET (19:47 UTC), the AMS will be launched on board the space shuttle Endeavour from Cape Canaveral (Florida), en route to the ISS. The project, supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), will involve 500 scientists from 16 countries. The main scientific target is to find evidence for the presence of dark matter and antimatter.

Back from space: bacteria's survival skills tested on the International Space Station

4. April 2011

Resistant spores of bacillus subtilis have spent 22 months in the 'EXPOSE-R' test container outside the International Space Station (ISS). For the first time during a long-duration mission, they were mixed with artificial meteorite dust and exposed to the harsh conditions of outer space. Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are now determining precisely how many of these spores have survived their stay in space. If it turns out that the meteorite dust was able to shield the spores from the hostile space environment, microorganisms may be capable of surviving in meteorites for long periods of time and travelling from one planet to another.

Erfolgreicher Start: ATV "Johannes Kepler" auf dem Weg zur ISS

ATV Johannes Kepler on its way to the ISS

16. February 2011

The Automated Transfer Vehicle Johannes Kepler was launched on a specially modified launcher, the Ariane 5ES, at 22:50 CET on 16 February 2011 from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The second space cargo carrier in the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme, it is now en route to the International Space Station (ISS). The German contribution to the ATV programme is managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) through its Space Agency.