THE DENSITY OF BONE: Visiting Biologist Patrick Lau in his office and laboratory at DLR Campus

After passing passport control at the campus’ gates, it is building 24 on the DLR area. A large place, almost like a little town in the suburbs of Cologne, located in a wood. Not many know that it is the home of the German Aerospace Center DLR, as well as the European Space Agency ESA.

Every astronaut heading for outer space has to come here. Frank de Winne, Belgium commander of the international space station ISS, called it “the Houston of Europe.”

But there is more than just space travelling. There is research in progress. Often influenced by space travelling.

At building 24, biologist Patrick Lau works in a team of doctors, engineers and psychologists. Researching on the density of human bones. The loss and growing of cells. Most of the time in balance, disorders can affect the continous process. Also being in outer space can prevent the bone from growing and stabilizing. An astronaut’s problem.

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2,566 ORBIT FLIGHTS AROUND EARTH: German Astronaut Alexander Gerst took a piece of Cologne Cathedral to outer space

It’s traveling with a speed of 8 kilometres per second. And so there’s not much time to spot a very place from International Space Station ISS, as Alexander Gerst says. The German astronaut, living in Cologne, returned from a six-month mission up there called “The Blue Dot” back in November 2014.

A mission that took him around earth for 2,566 times. Him and a little piece of stone he got beforehand by Cologne’s mayor Jürgen Roters. A little stone from the world-famous Cologne Cathedral. Now after returning Gerst brought back that little stone.

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