At 21:57 CEST on 28 May 2014, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, en route to the International Space Station (ISS). He is the third German to live and work on board the ISS. During his mission, which will last 166 days, Alexander Gerst will be involved in 100 different experiments from the various ISS partners.
The latest images acquired during the Bluedot mission are available in our image gallery.
Images from Alexander Gerst's 'Blue Dot - Shaping the future' mission.
In this new blog, the staff at the Columbus Control Centre aim to use their expertise and take you behind the scenes of Alexander Gerst's 'Blue Dot' mission. In this context, they will pick interesting topics related to the ISS, the European Columbus research laboratory and space in general, as well as report on current developments.
News Archive including all DLR articles about the "Blue Dot" mission.
The target field on the International Space Station (ISS) where the final European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo carrier, ATV-5 Georges Lemaître, recently docked is just 60 centimetres tall. The spacecraft arrived at 15:29:53 CEST on 12 August 2014, precisely manoeuvring automatically to arrive at the Station, at an altitude of around 400 kilometres. Astronaut Alexander Gerst had one primary task – to monitor the docking process and cancel the automated procedure in the event of an emergency. Inside the 20-ton craft are experiments such as the Electromagnetic Levitator (EML) and the DLR magnetic experiment MagVector/MFX, together with food, coffee and clothing for the astronauts, fuel, air and drinking water, as well as a replacement pump for the water treatment system in the Columbus research laboratory. Overall, the ATV-5 transported roughly 6.6 tons of cargo into space. The sophisticated unloading process now begins for the teams in the control rooms at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen and Cologne.
Following its textbook launch on 30 July 2014, the fifth and final supply spacecraft in the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) series is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The freighter – which is named after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître, father of the Big Bang theory – is roughly the same size as a London double-decker bus and, together with its payload, weighs more than 20 tons. Scheduled to dock with the Space Station at 15:34 CEST on 12 August, it will supply the ISS with fuel, food and new experiments; it will remain attached to the Station for at least five months.