German agency for space affairs

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The German Space Agency ( DARA ) coordinated the publicly funded space activities in Germany from 1989 to 1997 .


DARA was founded in 1989 with headquarters in Bonn and took over management and project management tasks for the then DFVLR and the responsible federal ministry (at that time the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology BMFT). It was organized as a GmbH with the federal government as the sole shareholder. Tasks were:

  • Creation of the German space planning to be adopted by the federal government.
  • Implementation of the German space programs. Allocation of orders and grants within the framework of the available space funds.
  • Perception of German space interests in the international arena, within the framework of the decisions of the Federal Government. This included in particular the German representation to the European Space Agency (ESA).

The competences of DARA were regulated by the “Space Task Transfer Act” of June 8, 1990 (RAÜG).

However, the DARA never became very well known to the public, so that due to its strong media presence, the DASA was often mistaken for the German Space Agency.

In another reorganization of German space activities , DARA was merged with the German Aerospace Research Center (DLR) on October 1, 1997 ; the abbreviation DLR was retained under the new name German Aerospace Center .


  • Niklas Reinke: History of the German space policy. Concepts, influencing factors and interdependencies: 1923–2002 , Munich 2004, ISBN 3-486-56842-6