Prof. Dr. Detlef Koschny

Honorary Professor at TUM since 2023


Small Solar System Bodies


Detlef Koschny studied aerospace engineering at the TU Munich. 1988 – 1990 he worked at Kayers-Threde as project engineer in the area of human spaceflight. Then he worked on his Ph.D. with the topic ‘hypervelocity impacts into ice-silicate mixtures’. 1994 – 1997 he worked at the MPI for Aeronomy as technical manager for the institute’s contribution to various space cameras. He started 1997 with ESA in the field of science operations for planetary missions. He worked as study scientist for different sample return and lunar missions. Starting 2007, he developed ESA’s activities for ‘Planetary Defence’. He retired from ESA at the end of 2022. Now he spends 30 % of his time at the Space Exploration Institute in Neuchatel, working as manager for the Close-Up Imager on ExoMars. He has been teaching the topic of asteroid at TUM since 2010. He is also performing research again, in the field of hypervelocity impacts. He still leads the UN-endorsed Space Mission Planning Advisory Group in the name of ESA. His research interest is small bodies in the solar system.

Here you can get access to his publications.


  • Asteroid (21686) Koschny has been named in honor of Detlef Koschny