SGAC Germany

National Points of Contact

Our country continues to shape European space activities as one of the major contributors to the European Space Agency and with a strong national space programme. We are driving the human spaceflight in Europe through the exploitation of the International Space Station with the Columbus laboratory and the ATV cargo ship, both built in Bremen, Germany. About half of the European experiments conducted on ISS come from Germany and showcase scientific excellence and engineering ingenuity of the countries industry and research community.

ESA, mainly supported by Germany, is providing the ATV-derived service module for the support of the NASA Orion crew vehicle for prospective Mars missions.

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After landing Rosetta’s probe Philae on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in November 2014, DLR retrieved valuable scientific data for analyses to come. Up until today, the project members aim to reconnect with the lander and re-establish communication after finding Philae in a difficult terrain, leading to a slow-down in the program.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst continues to use his momentum from his six-months flight to the ISS in November 2014 for great public outreach and communication in schools, events and institutions.

The German far-infrared instrument upGREAT was mounted and flown on the airborne SOFIA observatory of DLR and NASA for the first time in 2015 during the Southern-hemisphere observation campaign in New Zealand.

The German MASCOT lander is still on the way to Asteroid 1999 JU 3 as part of the Japanese Hayabusa 2 mission to arrive at asteroid 162173 Ryugu in 2018.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) works together with NASA’s JPL and the University of California on the DAWN mission to observe and examine the dwarf planet Ceres, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft is currently flying and remaining in the lowest orbit of 375km after January 2016.

The STERN program of DLR resulted in the first successful prototype rocket launch campaign in Sweden for multiple student teams from Universities across Germany.

Space activities have become a continuous priority in the German federal research budgets, and 2017 will give us many new opportunities for exciting projects. Therefore, we are working hard to connect the next generation of German space leaders with the experts to continue our growth in space. Feel free to contact us in all space-related matters, share ideas and join us!

Young Space Activities Overview in Germany

SGAC representation and involvement in space activities has continued to increase in recent years, offering many possibilities for students and young professionals to get involved. We currently have two National Points of Contact and many active members in SGAC Project Groups and the annual Space Generation Congress. Our NPoC aim to work closely together in order to coordinate the work and communication of the many institutions, universities, project groups and clubs involving young people in Germany. We see a big opportunity for SGAC as a governing organisation to build on past achievements, stimulate exchange between different interest groups and to encourage individuals and new groups to get involved.

The Memorandum of Understanding between SGAC and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) continues into the coming years with a commitment for collaboration and exchange between DLR and SGAC. DLR sponsors and supports the participation of German delegates at the Space Generation Congress and other SGAC activities. The report from past year’s participants can be found here. Keep an eye open for this opportunity in preparation of SGC 2017 or contact NPoC Benjamin and Sebastian for further information in spring 2017.

As the German Space Agency, DLR itself offers many projects particularly dedicated to the involvement and education of young people. As an example, the REXUS / BEXUS programme (jointly operated by Germany and Sweden) allows students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons. Each year, two rockets and two balloons are launched, carrying up to 20 experiments designed and built by student teams. Calls for experiment proposals usually open around September each year. DLR also operates twelve DLR_School_Labs, which allow school students and teachers to experience technology research live at selected DLR and university locations. Each of these locations offers multiple experiments and opportunities each year. The German Aerospace Association (DGLR) features a number of young academics groups on various projects, all of which generally offer the possibilities for interested individuals and groups to participate. DGLR also hosts a student conference each year in the frame of the German Aerospace Conference (DLRK), featuring selected paper and poster presentations on aeronautical, aerospace and all related topics.

The Berlin Forum Zukunft at the German Council of Foreign Affairs (DGAP) is a dedicated think tank for aerospace with a specific focus on outer space affairs and conducts research about topics regarding security, defence, military and technology policy. They also host events on a wide range of topics.

The Space Education Institute (SEI) in Leipzig, offers high-school students the possibility to train as a “student astronaut” in Germany, the US and Russia. Through various projects, students gain early hands-on experience in space programs and related technologies. Each year, they participate successfully with one or several teams in NASA’s Moon Buggy Race in the US and have already received multiple awards for their design and performance.

Another interesting community is the Community of Ariane Cities (CVA), bringing together municipalities and groups of municipalities that possess common interests through Ariane-related space transportation activities. Besides other interesting activities the CVA Summer School is surely the most exciting. It is an annual four-week programme designed for 30 university students and young engineers from the space industry.

This is just a short list of young space activities in Germany, and some more are listed with links below. For more information make sure to check out our interesting link section below, and the national report of Germany in SGAC’s annual report! If you have additional information or links for us, please feel free to contact Germany’s NPoC directly … join us and get involved!

Germany remains to be a leading contributor to the International Space Station (ISS). About half of the European experiments conducted on the ISS come from Germany and showcase scientific excellence and engineering ingenuity of the German industry and research community. In February 2017, ESA announced that Dr. Matthias Maurer becomes the second active German Astronaut, following Alexander Gerst. Currently, the ESA Astronaut Corps includes ten people, who are from Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain and the UK. In January 2017, the first geostationary telecommunications satellite manufactured in Germany, was launched. Hispasat 36W-1 was built by the Bremen-based company OHB Systems. It is part of the SmallGEO platform, deriving from the ESA Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems program.

Country-Specific Events in 2019

Coming soon!

Interesting Web Links

Groups, People

Space Station Design Workshop 2017

DLR_next for young people interested in space

DGLR Nachwuchsgruppen

Yuri’s Night Germany

DGLR Student Working Group STAR

Hybrid Engine Development Student Project (HyEnD)

WARR – Student Working Group for rocket and space engineering


Kleinsatellitengruppe der Universität Stuttgart KSat e. V.

ExperimentalRaumfahrt-InteressenGemeinschaft e.V. (ERIG)



REXUS/BEXUS – Rocket and Balloon Experiments for University Students

Bonding Student Initiative

Berliner Forum Zukunft

Institutions, Universities

German Aerospace Center: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)

German Aerospace Association: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt – Lilienthal-Oberth e.V. (DGLR)

Deutsches SOFIA Institute (DSI)

Institute of Space Systems (IRS) – University of Stuttgart

Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt, TU Berlin

Institute of Astronautics, TU Munich

Institute of Aerospace Engineering, TU Dresden:

Institut für Luft-und Raumfahrtsysteme, TU Braunschweig

Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, RWTH Aachen:


Aerospace Studies are possible in all above listed Universities