Articles about esa

Astronaut

ViaSat hops into bed with European Space Agency in €68m deal

Satellite outfit ViaSat is forming a €68m (£60m) public-private partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), which among other things is intended to fund ground stations for home broadband speeds of 100Mbps. The programme will focus on developing fixed and mobile terminals to allow its ViaSat-3 satellites to provide a …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2017
A plume of dust from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, seen by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera on ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft on 3 July 2016. The shadow of the plume is cast across the basin, in the Imhotep region.

Comet 67-P farted just as Rosetta probe flew through the gas plume

On July 3rd, 2016 something unusual happened on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko: a fountain of dust erupted out of a hole and spewed all sorts of stuff into space. As luck would have it, Earth's Rosetta probe had five instruments trained on the fountain as it started to blow. Better yet, the probe flew through the plume of …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2017
Radio waves reach earth from space

Rosetta probe's final packets massaged into new snap of Comet 67P

The European Space Agency (ESA) has been able to squeeze one last photo out of the Rosetta probe. Rosetta crash-landed onto Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in September 2016 and the ESA revealed the last image it captured. That snap was thought to have been taken from an altitude of about 50m, but the agency now thinks it was …

Cassini probe's death dive to send data at just 27 kilobits per second

Space is nasty and sending data across 83 light-minutes of it isn't easy, so the Cassini probe's death dive into the clouds of Saturn will be an instruments-only affair undocumented by photographs. Cassini has surveyed Saturn since 2004 but is out of fuel, so will be crashed into Saturn instead of leaving it an an orbit that …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Sep 2017
Solar storm - Shutterstock

Ten spacecraft – from Venus Express to Voyager 2 – all tracked same solar flare

On October 14th, 2014, the Sun decided it was time for a coronal mass ejection, the irregular hiccups that see it belch out astounding quantities of magnetised plasma. And after careful analysis, we've now fingerprinted the plasma's passing using no fewer than ten spacecraft. The event and subsequent analysis are detailed in a …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Aug 2017

NASA delivers CREAM-y load to ISS to improve cosmic ray detection

Hitching a ride on SpaceX's 12th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station is NASA's latest tech for studying the origins of cosmic rays, the high-energy particles that bombard Earth from deep space. Victor Hess, an Austrian physicist, is credited with discovering cosmic rays during a balloon flight in …
Andrew Silver, 15 Aug 2017
asteroid

Cancel the farewell party. Get back to work. That asteroid isn't going to hit Earth in October

The European Space Agency has confirmed there is no danger of asteroid 2012 TC4 hitting Earth in October, despite what some panicky YouTube videos might tell you. The rock was spotted five years ago when it whizzed past Earth, missing us by 94,800 kilometres (58,900 miles). Last month NASA eggheads reckoned the asteroid may …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2017

ESA trying to 'bake, rattle and roll' gravity wave space probe

The European Space Agency is giving the LISA Pathfinder probe what it calls the “Bake, rattle and roll” treatment in the hope it teaches us how to make its successors even better. As the name suggests, LISA Pathfinder is a test mission for the planned three-vessel LISA space observatory, which will be positioned in a …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017

Skynet? More like Night-sky-net. AI hunts for Milky Way's turbo stars

An artificial neural network has detected rare super-fast stars zipping through the Milky Way – by crunching piles of data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia probe. Hypervelocity stars (HVSes) are flung from the Way's Galactic Center and can reach speeds faster than our galaxy's escape velocity. Only 20 unbound …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Jun 2017
Galileo

Europe to upgrade its continental GPS

The European Space Agency has announced plans to upgrade the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). EGNOS uses three geostationary satellites and 40 ground stations to verify GPS signals. Output is deemed accurate to within three metres, rather less than the 17 metres assumed for unrefined GPS. EGNOS …
 Schiaparelli separating from Trace Gas Orbiter. Pic: ESA–D. Ducros

Schiaparelli probe crash caused by excessive spin, report concludes

The Schiaparelli probe suffered a botched landing on the Martian surface as it briefly spun out of control, confusing the computer systems onboard, an official report concluded today. As the parachute was deployed, the lander rotated at a faster acceleration than expected. It caused the “Guidance Navigation and Control” …
Katyanna Quach, 24 May 2017
Vega configurations

Experimental satellite-slinger seeks cargo: What could go wrong?

If you've got an application for a small satellite and a stomach for risk, the European Space Agency wants to hear from you. Next year, it's planning a multi-launch demonstration from its Vega spacecraft on a proof-of-concept flight for the Small Satellites Mission Service. The test launch of the Small Satellites Mission …
ESA's Phobos 3D image

European Space Agency slaps CC licences on its pics and vids

The European Space Agency has flung the data doors open: from today, it's adopted an open access policy for its trove of images and videos. As the agency explains, its adoption the Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike 3.0 Intergovernmental Organisation (it even abbreviates to a mouthful: CC BY SA IGO 3.0) licence as its …
ExoMars 2020

If at first you don't succeed, send another Mars lander – this time a deep driller

Undeterred by the crash of the Schiaparelli Mars probe during the first ExoMars mission, the European Space Agency has signed off contracts that will hopefully deposit a new and more advanced lander directly on the Martian Surface. In one piece. In a ceremony in Rome, ESA inked a deal with private firm Thales Alenia Space to …
Iain Thomson, 17 Dec 2016
CaSSIS Mars

ExoMars probe snaps photos of your next dystopian home world when Earth goes to crap

Video The European Space Agency's ExoMars orbiter has beamed back its first photos and sensor readings of the Red Planet after circling the harsh dust world. The agency's astro-boffins needed some good news: last month, their Schiaparelli Mars lander – which was dropped from the ExoMars craft – smashed onto the Martian surface after …
Iain Thomson, 29 Nov 2016

ESA: Sorry about Schiaparelli, can we have another €400 mill?

Later this week in Lucerne, Switzerland, the European Space Agency (ESA) will ask its 23 member states' ministers for a €400 million top-up to its ExoMars program. In an audio conference on Friday, director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration David Parker said the cash injection “includes all the technical work needed …
astronauts

ESA lofts one astronaut and four Galileo satellites into orbit

It has been a good 24 hours for the European Space Agency. Not only has its first four-in-one Galileo satellite launch gone flawlessly, but ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is on his way to the International Space Station. At 1306 GMT on Thursday, an Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from its spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2016
The Martian

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

Pic The European Space Agency has spotted what it assumes is what's left of its Schiaparelli lander that smashed into the Martian surface this week. NASA has been helping its European cousin out with use of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO): the satellite's low-resolution CTX camera has picked up two new objects on the surface …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2016

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