Space Exploration

Our know-how in the development and production of high-tech opto-electronic instruments is also applied in the field of Space Exploration.

We develop components and systems to explore the solar system and planets:

  • Instrument for the NASA GLAST mission
  • Components of the camera HRSC for Mars Express
  • Anticoincidence System ACS for INTEGRAL
  • Instrument Processing Facilities for ENVISAT  and EPS instruments
  • Re-entry capsule MIRKA
  • Contingents for the ROLIS camera within Rosetta mission
  • Optics and test facilities for of HRSC for ESA Mars Express mission
  • Laser Scanner for EXOMars/Mars Sample Return

The lens systems of the High Resolution Stereo Camera HRSC on ESA's highly successful MarsExpress mission were developed in Jena. Moreover, the complex optical test equipment for this camera was also made by the specialists from Jena-Optronik.

The Anti-Coincidence System ACS for the Spectrometer Instrument on ESA's INTEGRAL mission was designed, assembled, integrated and tested in Jena. The mission was launched in 2002 and will end in 2010.

The company gained various experiences in developing cameras for orbiters and landers of planetary missions, like NetLander, DAWN, BepiColombo and Space shuttle flights. Jena-Optronik contributed to ESA's ROSETTA mission by delivering the ROLIS-D lens system and camera housing. The mission has a planned operational duration of 12 years and was launched on March 4th 2004. Future planetary missions can use the Smart Panoramic Optical Sensor Head, which was developed in Jena within the framework of an ESA study. Its features include a maximum light sensitivity, collection area and time coverageas well as real time analysis and object detection. 

Furthermore the company lead Germany's first successful re-entryexperiment: The Micro Re-entry Capsule MIRKA was launched in 1997 andre-entered the atmosphere 14 days later providing very valuable data on aero-thermo-dynamical re-entry parameters.

Turning science fiction into reality: MEV servicing mission to extend the lifespan of satellites

The "Mission-Extension Vehicle" (MEV for short) of the US tech company Northrop Grumman has been successfully deployed in space with the latest optical technology from Jena on-board. A new docking sensor system from Jena-Optronik GmbH is on its maiden flight as part of the world's first commercial on-orbit servicing mission in geostationary Orbit.

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For the Earth from outer space: EDRS-C

The European "data highway in space" is on its way into geostationary orbit with technology from Jena.

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A satellite constellation enters into retirement

After almost 12 years in space - five years longer than originally planned - the RapidEye satellite constellation ceased operations at the end of March and delivered the last images of our blue planet.  

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Enhancing the present to the future

CEO change at Jena-Optronik GmbH: Our long-standing CEO, Dietmar Ratzsch transfers his responsibility at Jena-Optronik GmbH to the hands of Peter Kapell, who took over the position at the Thuringian space company by October 1st, 2019. 

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Space photography

Apollo astronauts as photographers: stunning pictures of our blue marble, the moon and astronauts' lifes 

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Space: It’s all around us

Space inspires us all and creates a wealth of knowledge

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  • 2020 November, 13-18
    ESA GNC Conference, Sopoto, Poland