New ways into space


DFG travelling exhibition on loan to Russia - stopping in Moscow and Novosibirsk - a contribution to the Year of German Culture

After an extensive tour through Germany and international exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok and Seoul, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is now presenting its exhibition "The New Way into Space – Space Transporters of the Next Generation" in Moscow and Novosibirsk.

On 7 June, DFG President Prof. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, the Russian Minister of Science Dr. Andrej Fursenko, the Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Nikolai Platé, and German Ambassador Dr. Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz will jointly open this exhibition in the State Museum for Contemporary History in Moscow.

In addition to a number of Russian cosmonauts, the first German in space, the former East German cosmonaut Dr. Sigmund Jähn, and astronauts Thomas Reiter and Prof. Ernst Messerschmid, currently head of the ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, will be present.

This DFG exhibition is a contribution by science to the cultural encounters agreed upon by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Following the "Year of Russian Culture in Germany" in 2003, 2004 is dedicated to "German Culture in Russia". After its stops in Moscow, the exhibition "The New Way into Space" will travel to Novosibirsk. There, DFG Vice President Prof. Frank Steglich, Governor Victor Tolokonskij, the Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Nikolai Dobrecov; and German Consul General Michael Grau will open the exhibition on 30 June.

A number of the experiments that will be exhibited were conducted in cooperation with Russian scientists. The Institute for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in Novosibirsk was also involved.

The main focus of the exhibition is a reusable system resembling an airplane: a smaller upper stage pickabacks on a horizontally-launched lower stage to an altitude of about 30 kilometres, where the two vehicles separate.

While the lower stage is flown back to its point of origin, the upper stage begins its climb into orbit. After completing the mission, both vehicles land at the airport.

Richly illustrated and easily understood display panels and a multitude of exhibits – among them the Mirka capsule, which was launched into space with a Russian Soyuz rocket – demonstrate the new concept in the form of a fictional flight.

This encompasses the full circle from launch to flight, ascent into space, re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere and landing.

In its exhibition, the DFG will present the results of three Collaborative Research Centres from the Rhineland-Westphalian Technical University of Aachen, the Technical and Military Universities of Munich and the University of Stuttgart. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) also contributed to these projects.

So far, over 160,000 visitors around the world have visited the DFG exhibition. The complete exhibition programme is available on the Internet at together with a number of real and computer-animated films.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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