The participants of the International Space University (ISU) Master of Space Studies (MSS18) recently ventured, on a very cold day, to Germany. German national, resident professor and medical doctor Volker Damann accompanied the cohort to two professional visits, as part of their academic curriculum.
The class first visited the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), the German Space Agency, on the Lampoldhausen site. The day started with a presentation of the site, which was founded in 1959 by pioneer Pr. Eugen Sänger to operate as a test site for liquid rocket engines.
DLR’s research field focuses on the combustion processes in liquid rocket engines and air-breathing engines for future space transport systems. The Institute of Space Propulsion also works on the use of ceramic fiber materials in rocket combustion chambers and the development and application of laser measurement processes for high-temperature gas flows.
DLR collaborates on many projects with the European Space Agency (ESA), the French Space Agency (CNES) and the space industry. It has built up a level of expertise in the development and operation of altitude simulation systems for upper-stage propulsion systems which is incomparable in Europe.
The second visit of the day was at the Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme (IRS) of the University of Stuttgart. ISU MSS18 participant, Samuel Naef (picture below, on the Soyuz Simulator), reports back.
“The IRS visit was really interesting. The institute is very active in the space field, from testing heat shields in huge vacuum cavities, growing algae for future manned spaceflight, and the SOFIA mission to observe the universe in IR from an airplane. However, my main interest was the Soyuz simulator, for which I managed to (successfully) dock the Soyuz to the ISS! Two joysticks enabled either lateral translations in x/y/z, or roll/tilt/pitch.
It was also great to see a student space society (kSat) launching rockets into space to test mini heat shields, while working on how ferromagnetism can be used as silent pumps on the ISS - as well as many others funded by ESA!”