German Space Program

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Germany is a member of the European Space Agency. The German Aerospace Center (DLR)  is the National Research Center for aviation and space flight in the Federal Republic of Germany.

German Space Program

Sigmund Jahn was the First German in Space and the First East German in Space (Cosmonaut of the German Democratic Republic). He flew to Salyut 6 in 1978 aboard Russia’s Soyuz 31.

Ulf Merbold was the first West German in Space and the second German Astronaut in Space. He flew for ten days on Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-9 mission) in 1983 . Ulf Merbold was the first non-American to fly on the Space Shuttle.

German Aerospace Centre (DLR)

The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) runs national research centres in Braunschweig, Göttingen, Köln-Porz, Oberpfaffenhofen (near München), and Stuttgart. The address of the German Aerospace Centre is Linder Hoehe, 51147 Koeln (Cologne), Germany.

European Astronaut Centre for ESA (EAC)

The European Astronaut Centre of the European Space Agency is situated in Cologne, Germany. It was established in 1990 as a result of Europe’s commitment to human space programmes.

European Space Operations Centre for ESA (ESOC)

The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) was created in 1967. ESOC plans and conducts mission operations for ESAsatellites and they operate and maintain the necessary ground segment infrastructure.

The ground station system provides the link between the satellite in orbit and the Operations Control Centre on the ground. ESOC has uses a network of ground stations around the world, which are called ESTRACK. The stations include: Kiruna (Sweden), Kourou (French Guiana), New Norcia, (West Australia), Redu (Belgium),  Villafranca (Spain), Cebreros (Spain), Malindi (Kenya), Maspalomas (Spain) and Perth (West Australia).

The address of the European Space Operations Centre is:  Robert-Bosch Str. 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany. Telephone: +49 6151 900, Fax: +49 6151 90495.

German Space Projects

The first German research satellite was Azur and it was launched in 1969.

Germany contributed to the European Sapce Agency’s Huygens mission. These included the use of a Doppler Wind Experiment used to test wind speed, a descent imager and spectral radiometer to take pictures of the atmosphere and the moon’s surface, and an atmospheric structure instrument to measure electrical properties within the atmosphere.

Eurorockot, based in Bremen is a joint undertaking between EADS and Khrunitchev of Russia. Eurorockot markets the Rockot in collaboration with the Russians for smaller payloads.

TerraSAR-X is the first German space project implemented in a public/private partnership. Cooperation partners are the German Aerospace Centre (DLR, Cologne) and EADS Astrium GmbH. TerraSAR-X has been specifically designed for scientific and commercial use. It might be launched by a Dnepr 1 rocket in 2005.


Did you know?

Wernher Von Braun

Wernher Von Braun was a famous rocket engineer. He assisted in the development of the V-2 Rocket, Explorer satellites, the Jupiter and Jupiter-C rockets, Pershing, the Redstone rocket, Saturn 1 and 1B Rockets, Saturn V Rockets, and Skylab Space Station. Wernher Von Braun was born in Wirsitz, Germany on March 23, 1912 and died in June 15, 1977 in Alexandria, Virginnia.


German Space Program Links:

German Aerospace Center: In German. DLR is Germany’s national aerospace center as well as the national space agency.
ESA – Human Spaceflight – Astronauts – EAC: European Astronaut Centre
ESA – ESOC: European Space Operations Centre
Eurorockot: Eurockot Launch Services GmbH
European Southern Observatory ( ESO ) – ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is a multinational organisation of eight European member states. It operates astronomical observatories in Chile and has its headquarters in Munich, Germany.¡¡Others

Wernher Von Braun:


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