Deutsch (DE-CH-AT)English (United Kingdom)Russian (CIS)Italian - ItalyFrench (Fr)Español(Spanish Formal International)
<<  September 2023  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
External news
User Rating: / 7
Events - Excursions

6 young engineers from Leipzig are at the forefront as NASA VIPs for the launch of Artemis 1

photos Cosmas blog  Rovernauts Launchreports  Raumfahrt Concret  Werner-Heisenberg-School  


It is a promise made by Prof. Dr. von Puttkamer from Leipzig that has been kept 10 years after his death. When the Space Education Institute was first founded in Leipzig in 2005, he said: "If you stay involved with it, space will be open to you, and you will be right at the very front during the launch back to the moon". This was the same year that the first Space Shuttle had been launched again after the Columbia disaster. The professor was working on future long-term programs along with private participation, which are now coming to fruition. The couple, Yvonne and Ralf Heckel from Leipzig, were selected by him and invited to the first "Return to Flight" launch of the "Discovery" with the words: "Don't leave me hanging now. You are sitting next to the astronauts' families in the first row". But it took 2 flights to Florida and several launch attempts before the spacecraft finally took off.

Now 17 years have passed and, since then, a school for young engineers with an environment-friendly campus with the name "Puttkamer" has been established in Leipzig,  where Yvonne and Ralf have guided international pupils and students through the world of space travel on countless occasions. Here, 44 NASA rovers have been built by young engineers and three world championship titles were won at competitions. Leipzig has become a prestigious location for young international spaceflight talents. No one is closer: numerous pilots, space engineers and aspiring astronauts have begun their careers here. Additionally, the proportion of girls is even higher than that of boys.


Currently, the next giant moon rocket, named "Artemis 1", is standing on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, its height even surpassing that of Leipzig's 33-story business tower. The invitation for the team from Leipzig came directly from NASA headquarters and Professor von Puttkamer's work colleagues. Naturally, Yvonne and Ralf have been invited, as well as the current NASA rover of the 15-year-old experienced pilot, Cosma. Cosma is a member of the Youth Council of the US General Consulate in Leipzig. Her team, consisting of 8 to 17-year-old young inventors, represents not only Germany and the Free State of Saxony, but also the Jesco von Puttkamer School, Leipzig's Humbold Gymnasium, the Werner Heisenberg School, the Quartiersschule Ihmelsstraße and the 74th Primary School of Leipzig.

In addition, Yvonne and Ralf are leading 20 other international pupils and students to the VIP area at Banana Creek.They all come from the fellow educational institutions TEC Monterrey Campus Cuernavaca, UNAQ, Mc Kinley high school and TecMantra (USA, Mexico, India). Among them is aspiring astronaut Jasleen Kaur and Tesla-engeneer Valeria Vazquez Zafra. Banana Creek is a lagoon merely 3 kilometers away from the launch site and it is exclusive for NASA's closest advisors and family members.

Artemis 1 consists of the new heavy-lift rocket SLS (a symbiosis of the Apollo moon rocket Saturn V and Space Shuttle) and the Orion space capsule, large enough for a crew of 6 people. First, there will be an unmanned test flight around the moon and a re-entering of the Earth's atmosphere at 32 times the speed of sound. Earthquake sensors around the world will be able to register the launch and the fly-over. 

Three launch windows are planned for the 29.8., 2.9. and 5.9.2022. This rocket will be the most complicated machine to ever lift off from the ground. Hence, it is not yet clear whether the computer will interrupt the countdown. The first launch of the Space Shuttle took 2 years. Artemis 1 also has 5 different time windows between September and December 2022.

All participants will be writing a blog which will be updated daily on and their Facebook fan page. On 25 August, the plane will take off with these "transatlantic ambassadors of the future".






Yvonne Heckel (47) Managing Director International Space Education Institute
Ralf Heckel (53) Head of the International Space Education Institute
Arthur Sommer (17) Copilot Rovernauts, Basketball player, Heisenberg High School
Cosma (15) Pilot Rovernauts, CAD designer, Humbold Gymnasium
Tara (13) Social Media, soccer player Ihmelstraße secondary school
Jesco (8) Tinkerer, CAD designer, trike rider, 74th elementary school

International NASA-VIP-guests, hosted by International Space Education Institute for Artemis 1 launch-viewing & tour:

Kenneth Lesley, McKinley Highschool Washington DC, USA
David Garcia Suarez, Tec Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca, Mexico
Daniela Espinosa Biosca, Tec Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca, Cuba
Ian Doring Romo, Tec Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca, Mexico
Jorge Emiliano Turner Escalante, Tec Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca, Mexico
Sebastián Cruz Espinosa de los Monteros, Tec Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca, Mexico
Jorge Abraham Vega Méndez, Tec Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca, Mexico
Valeria Vazquez Zafra, Tesla, California
Alina Sandra Santander Vinokurova, Team Bolivia
Navdeep Singh Singh, TecMantra Global, India
Navpreet Kaur Kaur, TecMantra Global, India
Sarvik Singh Josan, TecMantra Global, India
Ashmeet Singh Singh, TecMantra Global, India
Hari Sundar Bhujel, STEM-Society Nepal

User Rating: / 1
Huntsville - Space celebrations

Tribute to German-American NASA scientist in Huntsville, AL

Memorial plaque unveiled at home - historical hand drawings found after 50 years

Prof. Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer (1933 Leipzig, 2012 Alexandria VA) resided in Huntsville, Alabama from 1962-1974. A telegram from the director of the Marshall Spaceflight Center, Dr. Wernher von Braun, brought him as a fresh engineer to the Dixieland between cotton fields, the Tennessee River and the new Apollo moon program. At that time, the airfield was still near Memorial Pkwy SW and the warm air hit him "like a wet sack" (from his essay: "Watercress & Rockets").


Puttkamer was a young mechanical engineer and a science fiction writer. It was this mixture that, over time, would make him one of NASA's most important strategic minds. Every day he travelled back and forth in his Chevrolet Impala convertible between the "Von Braun Hilton" at MSFC and the modest house No. 1420 on Monte Sano. "If there was ever a traffic jam on Governors Drive, the beer at the Mexican "EL Palacio" was cold enough and the subs at the Sub Villa always tasted good when work went on through the night." - Puttkamer would later say to his international students.

In the 1960s, Puttkamer worked on the survey and comparative analysis of current geophysical models (NASA TN D-5163) and the reusability of the Saturn V 1st stage. His book about the Apollo 11 flight "Columbia, hier spricht Adler", which, to this day, is still the most translated travelogue of the first moon landing, became internationally popular.

During this time, Puttkamer travelled to many conferences to promote and educate about the landings on the moon and to illustrate visions for missions to Mars and other planets. He drew posters and sketches by hand and illustrated technical and popular literature.


After being recalled to NASA Headquarters in Washington, Puttkamer directed the strategic planning division and the promotion of space shuttles. For this, he invited the Star Trek crew to the rollout, installed Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) as NASA ambassador and advised Gene Roddenberry on the first "Star Trek" movie in 1977. His baby in the 1980s, however, was the "Space Station Alpha", which still does its work as the "International Space Station" ISS in orbit today, through the help of multinational cooperation. Puttkamer was its first NASA director between 1998 and 2012.


Puttkamer passed away 10 years ago on 27.12.2022. But his memory remains: through international schools still bearing his name to this day, an asteroid with the name 266725 Vonputtkamer and currently, through the "Return to the Moon" with the launch of Artemis 1, which he had been supporting for a long time. Next year would have been his 90th birthday.

To mark the "Return to the Moon" and his 89th birthday, which would be on 22nd of September 2022, a memorial plaque will be installed at his home in Huntsville, Alabama, after the planned launch of Artemis 1. He lived there for 12 years during the Apollo era and was the source of decisive strategic visions for space travel as we know it today. 

All of Puttkamer's companions, living Apollo engineers and their interested descendants, MSFC engineers and scientists as well as representatives of Space Camp and the NASA Human Exploration Roverchallenge are invited. 

jvp-drawing-rangeWhile clearing up the attic of his house, colored hand drawings and sketches of Puttkamer's thoughts, which were thought to have been lost, were found. They show  NASA's thoughts before the first manned moon landing, as well as ideas for the exploration of Mars and Jupiter. They represent a unique comparison between vision and possibility, which is more relevant today than ever before.

The authenticity of the drawings has now been confirmed by the historican of NASA Headquarters and proposed by Dr. Alotta Taylor to be exhibited at international events by the Jesco von Puttkamer Campus teams. They will be on display in their original form for the first time on the day of the inauguration of his memorial plaque in Huntsville, Alabama.

Location: Huntsville Alabama, Monte Sano Blvd SE, 1420
Time: will be choosen asap beetween 09/08 and 09/10/2022

User Rating: / 7
Education - Summer school
There are no translations available.

„Der Schatten zeigt, wie ZEIT entflieht, obwohl die ZEIT man gar nicht sieht.“
Heinrich Christian Schumacher, Astronom und Geodät (1780-1850)

mexicoLeipzig, 21.03.2022 Gestern war Frühjahrs-Äquinoktium 2022 (Vernal-Equinox, Sonntag, 20. März, 16:32 Uhr), damit ist die Tag-Nacht-Gleiche gemeint. Es sind Tag und Nacht exakt jeweis12 Stunden lang. Die Ekliptik unseres Zentralgestirnes schneidet den Erdäquator. Damit beginnt der astronomische Sommer auf unserer Nordhalbkugel und die Tage sind nun bis zur nächsten Tag-Nacht-Gleiche länger als die Nächte.

Dieses Ereignis läutet nicht nur den astronomischen Frühling und den Countdown zur Sommerzeit ein, sondern ist auch auf horizontalen Sonnenuhren ein besonderes Ereignis - eine gerade Linie. Das International Space Education Institute stellt ab diesem Ereignis nun bis zum 23.9.2022 die zweitgrößte horizontale Sonnenuhr Deutschlands ein. Der Zeigerschatten (hier eine 7 meter hohe Rakete) schreibt eine exakte Linie. Die aus Edelstahl gelaserten Ziffern werden stündlich angebracht. Pfeile komplettieren alle 15 Minuten das Äquinoktikum-Ziffernblatt.

Das Besondere an diesem Ziffernstrahl ist, es ist eine Linie. Der Zeigerschatten der Rakete wandert aktuell zur Mittagszeit um 4,6 cm pro Minute. Eine Viertelstunde sind bereits 70 cm. Die Ziffern einer ganzen Stunde stehen 2,80 meter voneinander ab. Ab der Tag-Nach-Gleiche nun wölben sich die Ziffernlinien wöchentlich um den Zeiger, um nach dem Herbst-Äquinotikum eine offene Parabel von der Rakete weg zu beschreiben. So verkürzte sich der Zeigerschatten an nur einem Tag zwischen dem 20. und 21. Mörz bereits um 8 cm.

overviewjescoDer 8-jährige Jesco Heckel und seine Schwester Cosma setzen ab nun wöchentlich die Ziffern und gleichen den aktuellen Schatten mit einer Funkuhr ab. Dabei wurde die Sonnenuhr bereits auf Sommerzeit programmiert. Alle Zeiten innerhalb der Äquinoktikum-Linie sind Sommerzeit. Außerhalb ist Winterzeit. Das nun entstehende Ziffernblatt wird mehrere Schleifen enthalten, welchedie Ellipsenform der Erdbahn um die Sonne wiedergeben.

eclipticshaddowDas nächste besondere Ereignis bahnt sich in der zweiten Maiwoche an. Hier wird erwartet, dass sich die Schattenbahnen vor und nach der Sommersonnenwende schneiden und das einzige einheitliche Ziffernblatt des Jahres erzeugen. In allen anderen Wochen klaffen die Zeitlinien von Sommer- und Winterzeit um teilweise bis zu einer halben Stunde auseinander. Diese Schleifen sind auchbekannt durch die Mittagssonnenuhr am Royal Greenwich Observatory nahe London. Mithilfe dieser vertikalen Sonnenuhr wurden bis in das 20. Jahrhundert hinein Uhren zur Mittagszeit gestellt.

winterspringDie Leipziger Sonnenuhr ist nach Lüneburg mit ihrem 31 meter großem Zifferblatt und dem 7 meter Zeiger die zweitgrößte horizontale Sonnenuhr Deutschlands und die größte Sachsens. Sie ist eines der vielen Attraktionen, welche Ferienlagerkinder ab den diesjährigen Soimmercamp für Junge Naturforscher erwarten. Ab den Ferien führt der gemeinnützige Verein an der Wurzner Straße 4 wöchentliche Feriencamps mit Übernachtung im Space Hotel, Vollverpflegung und Vollprogramm an.

User Rating: / 9
Website - General


(grandson of the chief designer of Soviet space flight, Sergey P. Korolev)

The war started a few days ago, and we have no moral right to remain silent in such a difficult time. People die, millions of people suffer, the war won't spare anyone.

There is no excuse for the war. No matter what you call it. Attacking a neighboring fraternal nation has absolutely no excuse.

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the famous designer of spacecraft, our grandfather, was born in Zhytomyr. He spent his childhood in Nizhyn. He went to school in Odesa. His first college years were at Kyiv Polytechnic University. He continued his education at Bauman Moscow State Technical University. He worked in Moscow closely collaborated with Ukraine.

Oleg Antonov (AN aircraft manufacturer) was his close friend since his young years. He was a friend of our family.

These cities and names are now on the news daily with the most tragic events possible. There have always been and always will be both Ukrainians and Russians among Granddad's and our closest friends and relatives.
We believe that what is happening now is immoral and blasphemous.

It is deeply saddening that the long-awaited launch of a piloted spaceship commemorating Sergei Korolev's 115th anniversary is shadowed by a monstrous, horrific, and unjust chapter of history.

Those who try to solve their economic issues by attacking their neighbor are immoral. Those who give orders to shoot at people are immoral.

Those who order to and those who are shelling cities and residential areas are war criminals.

Trying to solve old personal resentment with missiles, bombs, howitzers, cannons, and rifles is a crime and a sign of a completely degraded personality.

This senseless, monstrous fratricidal war must be stopped immediately.

Peace to everyone.
Sergei Korolev's family


multilanguage article:

PS: It is a special honor for me to be able to publish this open letter in English here. The word of a Korolev carries weight in Russia, with almost all citizens, cosmonauts, scientists and worldwide. It should show that not all Russians think like Putin and that these are 2 things that have to be separated. This letter is not without danger in Russia, but the author's grandfather was also imprisoned under Stalin in the Gulag under the most difficult human conditions.
I am forwarding this letter in multiple languages from Russia to the world, to NASA, the US Congress, the White House, our government, the EU and the UN. The mayor of Leipzig also receives it with the request to forward it to Leipzigs partner city Kyiv.

Ralf Heckel,
International Space Education Institute/
Jesco von Puttkamer Society

User Rating: / 9
Website - General

NASA engineer, visionary, book author, ISS director, Leipzig native

jvp1"One day, private citizens will travel to the asteriod belt on their own with self-built spaceships to mine for minerals." Sounds like science fiction? Not at all! Leipzig-born Jesco von Puttkamer is already there, as Asteriod (266725 Vonputtkamer).

Prof. Dr. Freiherr Jesco von Puttkamer was the face of NASA on German TV for over 50 years, an icon as advisor to Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek - The Movie) and that strategist who promoted private space travel as founding director of the ISS space station. His seeds are now slowly sprouting 9 years after his death. This weekend, the first 100% private space flight landed in the Atlantic Ocean with a SpaceX Dragon and 4 crew members. Inspiration4 flew even higher than the ISS at 570 km above Earth. Long ago 2 private companies fly cargo to the ISS and one of them is even flying crew members.

rod-jvprod-jvp2For Puttkamer, it was "just a step in the right direction that we're going to look at very closely." He foresaw it when NASA, under his strategic planning, decided in 2006 to budget two young private space companies and gradually also supported them with engineers from the outgoing space shuttle program (COTS program).

Jesco von Puttkamer was born on September 22, 1933, at Salomonstraße 25 in Leipzig. The pastor of the Nikolai Church had to perform the baptism in the small apartment, because mother no longer dared to cross the Augustusplatz in view of the Nazi marches. He would have been 88 years old today, a number he would have particularly liked - Infinity. It is no coincidence that the 100th anniversaries of the sci-fi authors Gene Roddenberry and Stanislav Lem fall in exactly this period. It was these visions that Puttkamer picked up as a student and sci-fi author and then turned into science reality as an aerospace engineer and non-fiction writer. His biggest baby was the ISS, which he worked tirelessly on since Skylab and became its American director at NASA headquarters in Washington.


Few today remember the straightforward, outspoken, and tall man with curly white hair and a hauntingly deep voice. But his works live on in countless books and spaceflight successes. It was he who hired the colored Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) from the Starship Enterprise as NASA's ambassador in 1977, a novelty at the time. It was he who suggested christening the first space shuttle "Enterprise" and inviting the entire cast crew to its rollout, or equipping the first feature film "Star Trek" with NASA's "Voyager". In the end, he also brought the two space superpowers together, with the construction of the ISS.

Since 2001, however, the tracks of the self-confessed "desk astronaut" Puttkamer have led back to his Leipzig home. A talent development school he founded for young engineers now bears his name in the Anger district of the city. His "children" are internationally successful and are regularly invited to compete. The "International Team Award" has been presented in his name since 2013 and continues his legacy: "Shaping the future together internationally, doing our best to open up the closed system of the earth.


Anyone who has been on the ISS or works at NASA headquarters knows this tireless man whose name is an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. And anyone who wants to see it will have to wait until his 90th birthday in September 2023. Because then "266725 Vonputtkamer" is closest to the earth, will be illuminated by the sun and will be visible with a telescope.

Puttkamers students of many generations Puttkamer are organizing the 1st Internationale Space & Science Festival“ on Leipzigs expocenter beetween 1.-3.10.2021. They only follow his tracks into the asteroid belt.

Position of the asteroid: Tracking 266725 Vonputtkamer

Jetzt Spenden! Das Spendenformular wird von bereit gestellt.
Google transl.