The German Aerospace Centre DLR (Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for the nation’s largest project execution organisation.
DLR has approximately 7400 employees at 16 locations in Germany: Cologne (headquarters), Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Bremen, Goettingen, Hamburg, Juelich, Lampoldshausen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen, Stade, Stuttgart, Trauen, and Weilheim. DLR also has offices in Brussels, Paris, Tokyo and Washington D.C.
DLR Space Administration
Acting on behalf of the Federal Government, the Space Administration designs and implements Germany’s Space Program, which integrates all German space activities on the national and European plane. These activities include Germany’s national Space Program, DLR’s ‘Space’ research and development program and Germany’s contributions to the European Space Administration (ESA) as well as the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). In addition, the Administration designs and supervises space and security research projects under the sixth and seventh EU research framework program.
The Space Administration’s principal client is the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology. However, the Space Administration also works for other ministries, mainly in application-related fields such as Earth observation, navigation and satellite communication. The Federal Government’s Space Program provides both business and science with a reliable political framework for independent planning and action, thus ensuring that public funds are used efficiently.
The national Program is implemented by the Space Administration. Its major function is to promote and support Germany’s strategic goals in the European programs of ESA and the EU by purposefully equipping Germany’s industry and scientific institutions for competition within the EU as well as for their tasks within the ESA framework.
Being essentially a high-tech infrastructure, astronautics should be seen as an enabling technology that generates new output chains. Commercial markets for terminals and services owe their very existence to investments in space technologies.
The German Space Program focuses on:
- solving societal and institutional problems,
- exploring promising applications in which Germany holds a leading position or may hold such a position in the future,
- increasing Germany’s share in commercial sales and opening up new markets,
- promoting top-flight German research that is recognized worldwide, and
- using the fascination of space flight to awaken an interest in science and technology in school students and young adults.
The Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) is a department of the DLR Space Operations and Astronaut Training at the Oberpfaffenhofen site .
Since the 60s MORABA has performed scientific sounding missions using unmanned rockets and balloons and has developed mechanical and electrical systems.
The areas of application for parabolic flights and experiments under quasi-weightlessness are varied – whether atmospheric research, astronomy, geophysics, materials science or hypersonic research.
For planning, preparation and implementation of research projects, MORABA has developed a unique mobile infrastructure and hardware, with which, in principle, a rocket can be launched anywhere in the world at short notice.
The experience and skills are appreciated and sought after by national and international institutions, industry and academia.