The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR) is Germany’s largest research institution for the engineering sciences. About 8000 employees – including more than 2.700 scientists – work at the locations in Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn-Oberkassel, Braunschweig, Bremen, Dresden, Göttingen, Hamburg, Jena, Jülich, Köln-Porz, Lampoldshausen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen (Munich), Stade, Stuttgart, Trauen and Weilheim.
The central task of DLR is research in the field of aerospace, in which it has generated valuable contributions since 1969, when it was created following the merger of three former institutions. DLR is also involved in the planning and management of projects, the design and operations of large-scale scientific-technical facilities, and the provision of scientific advisory services for government agencies. Furthermore, DLR carries out research and experimental studies to support technology transfer.
The Microgravity User Support Center, MUSC has particular experience in supporting complex instruments (racks) at the ISS (historically also aboard Spacelab and MIR), as well as in the system lead and operations of planetary landers, the Rosetta Lander Philae and MASCOT aboard Hayabusa2. There is also significant expertise in payload selection and management for in-situ science aboard solar system missions.
The Institute of Planetary Research carries out and supports research programs on the internal structure, formation and evolution of the planets, their moons, and asteroids and comets. Techniques employed include remote sensing and in-situ investigations using instruments carried on spacecraft, astronomical observations from the ground, theoretical modeling, and laboratory experiments.
DLR has decades of expertise in 3D reconstruction of the shape of comets and asteroids. Activities of the group also include contributions to relevant space projects of ESA, NASA and JAXA (Rosetta/Philae, DAWN, Hera, DART, Hayabusa 2, MMX,).