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FLASH at Germany´s research centre DESY was the world´s first free electron laser built for soft X-ray region. It started user operation in August 2005. The accelerator is equipped with seven TESLA-type 1.3 GHz superconducting accelerator modules, yielding an electron beam energy of up to 1.25 Gigaelectron volts (GeV). A special 3.9-GHz module improves the quality of the accelerated electron bunches and propels the intensity of the laser light higher than ever before. Recently, 5000 FEL pulses per second have been produced with a record average FEL radiation power of 400 mW delivered to a user experiment. Together with DESY´s high brilliant storage ring based synchrotron radiation source PETRA III, FLASH attracts scientists from all over the world.