project term: Jan 01, 2017 — Dec 31, 2019
Mars Express is the first European mission to Mars. Since its arrival in 2003, the experiments aboard the spacecraft have provided important clues on surface geology and morphology, the subsurface, the atmosphere, the history of water and the question of life.
One experiment on the spacecraft is the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) which aims at global multispectral and three-dimensional coverage of the Martian surface with a resolution of up to 10 meters per pixel.
project term: Feb 01, 2017 — Jan 31, 2022
The ERC-funded project 'Habitability of Oceans and Aqueous Systems on Icy Satellites' (Habitat-OASIS) will mainly focus on investigations of the icy moons Enceladus at Saturn and Europa at Jupiter, which both have a very high astrobiological potential. Data from Enceladus was collected with the Cosmic Dust Analyzer experiment during the Cassini Mission until 2017. A future mission to Europa will carry a similar experiment to explore the subsurface ocean of the Jovian moon.
project term: Jul 01, 2015 — Sep 30, 2019
Journeys to planets and moons of the Outer Solar System always pose a great challenge to space-mission design and conduct. Within the framework of the Cassini-Huygens mission US and European space agencies jointly succeeded in sending a probe and a lander to the Saturnian system, over 1 billion kilometers away. From 2004 until 2017, instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft continuously collected scientific data. Thousands of stunning images have to be processed and interpreted now. Scientists of the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group are involved in the Cassini camera experiment, the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS).
project term: Nov 01, 2015 — Mar 31, 2020
Since its takeoff on September 27, 2007, the US space probe Dawn is on its mission to explore the small bodies Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The NASA-mission aims at investigating the formation and evolution of these bodies to find clues to the solar system’s early history. In July 2011 Dawn arrived at its first target, the asteroid Vesta. For one year, the probe collected scientific data of Vesta before going on a journey for two and a half years to its second mission object, the dwarf planet Ceres. In the beginning of 2015, the probe has reached the target; since then the instruments continuously transmit data about the properties of Ceres.
The composition of interstellar dust in our Solar System was analyzed in situ by the Cassini spacecraft with the Cosmic Dust Analyzer. For the future mission Destiny+ by JAXA a similar dust analyzer is being developed at the moment to conduct flyby exploration of an asteroid known to be a parent body of a meteor shower.
The composition of Saturn’s rings as well as mineral dust at Saturn was determined with the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), which is the only German instrument on-board the Cassini spacecraft. The project focuses mainly on the investigation of Saturn's E ring, as well as on exogenic mineral dust that does not stem from Saturn’s ring system.
project term: Jan 01, 2016 — Dec 31, 2019
In the Collaborative Research Centre „Late Accretion onto Terrestrial Planets“, scientists from five institutions (Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, University of Münster, German Aerospace Center, Museum für Naturkunde) investigate the late accretion history of planetary bodies in the inner solar system from 4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago.
project term: Jan 01, 2014 — Mar 31, 2017
The iMars project focuses on developing a user platform for Mars surface science, consisting of a consistent set of data products of Mars from the 1970s to the present day. The concept aims to generate a webGIS using imaging data from NASA and ESA missions; including specific tools for producing, exploring and analyzing data products for studies of surface changes over time.
project term: Apr 01, 2013 — Sep 30, 2015
The US Apollo- and the Russian Luna-missions returned hundreds of kilograms of surface rocks from the Moon to the Earth which have been used for detailed rock analysis. We therefore have high-precision geochemical information from very few locations on the Moon, whereas information about the rest of the Moon's surface is sparse. The main objective of developing a planetary X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) is the design of an experiment that allows us to precisely determine the geochemical composition of rocky surfaces from orbit.
project term: Apr 01, 2008 — Mar 31, 2013
The Helmholtz Alliance “Planetary Evolution and Life” under the coordinative direction of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof examines the correlation between life and the formation and evolution of planets in our solar system. The focus of studies is planet Mars, which is investigated from its interior to its atmosphere.