DLR to Cooperate with Spanish Startup Pangea Aerospace on Developing Aerospike Engine

European research and technology test bench P8. (Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0))
  • DLR supports the increasing demand for engine tests for new, innovative propulsion technologies in space travel.
  • DLR and the Spanish start-up Pangea Aerospace agree on a collaboration. The focus is on tests with a technology demonstrator of an additively manufactured aerospike engine from October 2021.
  • At the Lampoldshausen site, DLR offers a test infrastructure that is unique in Europe for space propulsion systems of all sizes and types.

LAMPOLDSHAUSEN, Germany (DLR PR) — In order to ensure Europe’s independent and competitive access to space, the Federal Government is also relying on efficient start-ups. With their ideas and visions, they can accelerate the development of new technologies in the carrier market. Against this background, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) at the Lampoldshausen site has signed a contract with the Spanish start-up Pangea Aerospace in the summer of 2021.

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DLR Lampoldshausen Makes the P5 Test Stand Fit for the Engine Technologies of the Future

Installation of the methane tank in the ESA test stand P5. [Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]
  • The DLR is strengthening and modernizing its test infrastructure at the Lampoldshausen site with the renovation and expansion of the ESA large test bench P5.
  • The installation of a methane tank is an important milestone.
  • This means that tests of rocket propulsion systems with the fuel combination of liquid oxygen and methane will also be possible in the future.
  • The commissioning of the converted ESA test bench P5 is planned for 2022.

LAMPOLDSHAUSEN, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is making a central component of its extensive test infrastructure fit for the future: It expands the ESA large test bench P5 at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen. In this way, the next generation of space propulsion systems can also be tested flexibly and reliably.

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Isar Aerospace Opens Payloads Slots for First Two Spectrum Rocket Launches

Spectrum rocket

Isar Aerospace Announcement

In April this year, we won the national micro launcher competition #Boost! With a funding of 11M€ for the first two flights of its Spectrum [rocket] by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie and  Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V., Isar Aerospace will offer launch opportunities for institutional payloads of up to 150 kg total mass each flight.

Today, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V., European Space Agency – ESA and Isar Aerospace published the Announcement of Opportunity, which is to pre-select the payloads for our first test flight and to identify candidate spacecraft for the second flight of the Spectrum launch vehicle. It is open to any European institutional satellite customer of launch services. Application closes on Oct. 31, 2021.

Link to the full document with all details in English and German:

English — https://lnkd.in/dihvuaJW
German — https://lnkd.in/dswZy4Cv

Cargo Dragon Docks with International Space Station

Credit: NASA

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — While the International Space Station was traveling about 260 miles over the Western Australia, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked to the forward-facing port of the orbiting laboratory’s Harmony module at 10:30 a.m. EDT, Monday, Aug. 30. Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA monitored operations.

Among the science experiments Dragon is delivering to the space station are:

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23rd SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission to Launch Bone, Plant, and Materials Studies to International Space Station

Image of seedlings with different genotypes following 9 days of growth in the VEGGIE chamber under temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide conditions mimicking those recorded on the space station. Taken during verification testing at NASA Kennedy Space Center. (Credits: Dr. Shih-Heng Su)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting Saturday, Aug. 28, to launch its 23rd commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Dragon spacecraft is scheduled for liftoff at 3:37 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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DLR Parabolic Flight Experiments for Unfolding in Weightlessness

Boom test (Credit: DLR)
  • The 37th parabolic flight campaign of the German Space Agency at DLR took place from July 14 to 24, 2021 from Paderborn airport.
  • Five Braunschweig experiments on unfolding in weightlessness were on board.

PADERBORN, Germany (DLR PR) — From sun sails and photovoltaic modules to deployable space wings that have gleaned their functionalities from ear peckers and dragonflies – the experiments of the DLR Institute for Composite Structures and Adaptronics that were carried out at the 37th parabolic flight campaign of the space agency in the German Aerospace Center (DLR) were on board, were all about “development”.

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INNOspace Masters 2021: Innovation Comes from Competition

  • The sixth INNOspace Masters conference took place virtually on July 29, 2021 under the motto “Innovations for sustainable infrastructures in space and on earth”.
  • A total of 330 companies, start-ups, universities and research institutions from 23 European countries took part in the competition.
  • The winners include quantum processors for satellite communications, solutions for precision agriculture and a small satellite for the disposal of space debris.

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — At the sixth INNOspace Masters Competition, the German Space Agency looked for innovative solutions at DLR to ensure the unrestricted and reliable availability of satellite-based infrastructures in the digital age. A total of 330 participants from companies, start-ups, universities and research institutions in 23 European countries took part in the competition under the motto “Innovations for sustainable infrastructures in space and on earth.” There were five competition categories from different development and innovation phases to choose from. The winners have now been announced at the INNOspace Masters conference, which took place virtually on July 29, 2021. Initiatives like the INNOspace Masters are important because innovations mainly arise from competition.

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Hybrid Rocket Engine VISERION Successfully Tested

Test of the hybrid rocket engine VISERION. (Credit: DLR)

FASSBERG, Germany (DLR PR) — After the successful test of the new hybrid rocket engine “AHRES-B” in spring 2019, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) carried out two more successful tests with the significantly larger VISERION variant on June 17 and July 7, 2021. The test preparations and commissioning were carried out by a team from the Spacecraft Department of the Institute for Aerodynamics and Flow Technology at the test bench for hybrid rocket engines at the Trauen site.

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NASA’s InSight Reveals the Deep Interior of Mars

Clouds drift over the dome-covered seismometer, known as SEIS, belonging to NASA’s InSight lander, on Mars. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Three papers published today share new details on the crust, mantle, and molten core of the Red Planet.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Before NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down on Mars in 2018, the rovers and orbiters studying the Red Planet concentrated on its surface. The stationary lander’s seismometer has changed that, revealing details about the planet’s deep interior for the first time.

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ArianeGroup wins ESA’s “ASTRIS” Competition for More Versatile Ariane 6

Astris kick stage for Ariane 6. (Credit: ArianeGroup)
  • In the framework of the Ariane 6 Competitiveness Improvement Programme, the European Space Agency has appointed ArianeGroup as prime contractor for the development of a complementary stage for Ariane 6, the “ASTRIS” kickstage.
  • ArianeGroup development activities are worth €90 million [US $106.2 million]
  • Developed by ArianeGroup in Germany, ASTRIS is a true additional stage, called a “kick-stage”, that will further increase the versatility of Ariane 6 and enhance performance for new types of mission
  • Powered by the BERTA engine with storable propellants, ASTRIS will increase the capability to inject satellites directly into geostationary orbit (GEO), allow electrically-powered satellites to reach their orbits in a few hours instead of in a few months, and facilitate missions to the Moon and deep space
  • The first Ariane 6 mission equipped with the ASTRIS kick-stage is scheduled for 2024

BREMEN, Germany (ArianeGroup PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA), as part of its Ariane 6 Competitiveness Improvement Program, has chosen ArianeGroup to develop and build a complementary stage (kick-stage) for Ariane 6, called ASTRIS, which will enable Arianespace, operator of the new European launcher to place with even greater efficiency a larger number of payloads in different orbits, or to inject satellites into geostationary orbit (GEO).

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German Start-up Wins Tender for Innovative Test Satellite

LoLaSat – a small low-flyer (Credit: S4 GmbH)
  • The German Space Agency in the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is committed to promoting start-ups within the framework of the European space organization ESA.
  • On July 5, 2021, the German space start-up was awarded the contract to build and operate an innovative test satellite for broadband internet in very low Earth orbit.
  • The test satellite “LoLaSat” (Low Latency Communication Satellite) is intended, among other things, to significantly shorten the transit times of the signals and pave the way for Internet via satellite, also for virtual reality or augmented reality and certain applications in autonomous driving.

COLOGNE (DLR PR) — Young, innovative companies are playing an increasingly important role in space travel – also in Germany. 

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From Parabolic Flights to the International Space Station: Technology Tests for the Cosmic Kiss Mission in Weightlessness

Retinal microcirculation in weightlessness test (Credit: Nicolas Courtioux/Novespace)
  • The 36th parabolic flight campaign of the German Space Agency at DLR took place from June 4th to 11th, 2021 from Paderborn airport.
  • In addition to eight experiments from the fields of human physiology, technology and physics, technology tests are carried out for the International Space Station (ISS) mission.
  • Topics include health care during space missions and gender-sensitive medicine.

PADERBORN, Germany (DLR PR) — At the 36th Parabolic flight campaign of the German Space Agency at DLR, which took place from June 4 to 11, 2021 from Paderborn airport, various technology tests for the “Cosmic Kiss” mission of the German ESA astronaut Matthias Mauer were carried out in advance in weightlessness.  These include “Retinal Diagnostics” for eye health for astronauts and “Thermo-Mini” for measuring human body temperature during space missions. Matthias Maurer will take off for the International Space Station ISS in autumn 2021. 

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From Bremen to the Moon

Orion at the Kennedy Space Center (Credit: NASA/Radislav Sinyak)
  • The first European Service Module (ESM) for the US Orion space capsule will be called ESM-1 “Bremen”. This suggestion comes from the German Space Agency at DLR because the “heart” of the Orion space capsule was largely built in the German Hanseatic city.
  • ESM-1 “Bremen” is currently being prepared at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for its flight as part of the Orion spacecraft in late autumn 2021. Five more modules are to be built in Bremen. The second ESM is supposed to bring astronauts from the USA and Canada back to the moon.
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ESA Selects Revolutionary Venus Mission EnVision

PARIS (ESA PR) — EnVision will be ESA’s next Venus orbiter, providing a holistic view of the planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere to determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently.

The mission was selected by ESA’s Science Programme Committee on 10 June as the fifth Medium-class mission in the Agency’s Cosmic Vision plan, targeting a launch in the early 2030s.

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