Tag: ESA

International Asteroid Day Set for June 30

Comments
ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA - ScienceOffice.org)

ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA – ScienceOffice.org)

NOORDWIJK, Netherlands, 9 February 2016 (ESA PR) — Asteroid Day, a global movement to increase knowledge and awareness of asteroids, announced its plans for 2016 from a press conference hosted at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands and livestreamed around the world.

Continue reading ‘International Asteroid Day Set for June 30’

QinetiQ Studies How to Save World From Killer Asteroids

10 Comments

Asteroid Impact Mission spacecraft. (Credit: ESA/The Science Office Ltd.)

Asteroid Impact Mission spacecraft. (Credit: ESA/The Science Office Ltd.)

FARNBOROUGH, England — QinetiQ is examining what it would take to save the world from an asteroid impact, under an €840,000 [$937,398) contract awarded by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Continue reading ‘QinetiQ Studies How to Save World From Killer Asteroids’

European Commission Releases Space Strategy Roadmap

Comments

eu_flagEUROPEAN COMMISSION ROADMAP

Title of the Initiative: A Space Strategy for Europe
Lead DG – Responsible Unit – AP Number: DG GROW – DIRECTORATES I & J – 2016/GROW/007
Date of Roadmap: 12/2015
Likely Type of Initiative: Communication from the Commission
Indicative Planning: tbd
Additional Information: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/space/index_en.htm

This indicative roadmap is provided for information purposes only and can be subject to change. It does not prejudge the final decision of the Commission on whether this initiative will be pursued or on its final content and structure.
Continue reading ‘European Commission Releases Space Strategy Roadmap’

Russians Doubt Reusable Boosters, Look to Phase Out Rockot Launches

53 Comments
Falcon 9 launch and landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 launch and landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

Russia doesn’t seem overly impressed by the recent progress by SpaceX and Blue Origin in developing reusable launch vehicles. At according to TsNIIMash, which is the company’s main research institute.

“The economic feasibility of reusable launch systems is not obvious. First and foremost it will depend on how often launches will be made. At the moment it is hard to forecast which way the market of launch services will go when reusable space rockets become available. The designers are still to demonstrate the real costs of production and of making reusable stages for re-launching,” a TsNIIMash spokesman said.

Continue reading ‘Russians Doubt Reusable Boosters, Look to Phase Out Rockot Launches’

Luxembourg’s Bold Move into Space Mining

43 Comments
ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA - ScienceOffice.org)

ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA – ScienceOffice.org)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Luxembourg’s announcement of its space resources initiative provides three things that companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries (DSI) need to make their dreams of mining asteroids a reality.

Legal Recognition. The United States is alone in the world in recognizing space property rights. There is some dispute over whether the law violates the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
Continue reading ‘Luxembourg’s Bold Move into Space Mining’

ESA Budget Gets 18 Percent Boost

23 Comments

ESA_budget_2016_node_full_imageBuoyed by major satellite and launch vehicle programs, the European Space Agency (ESA) has received an 18.44 percent increase in its budget for 2016.

The space agency’s budget rose from 4.43 billion euros in 2015 to 5.25 billion euros ($4.8 billion to $5.69 billion),  an increase of 817 million euros ($884.8 million).

Continue reading ‘ESA Budget Gets 18 Percent Boost’

ESA EDRS Launched as First Node of Space Data Highway

Comment
Relaying data via laser (Credit: ESA)

Relaying data via laser (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The European Data Relay System’s first laser terminal has reached space aboard its host satellite and is now under way to its final operating position.

EDRS-A was launched on 29 January as part of the Eutelsat-9B telecom satellite at 22:20 GMT (23:20 CET, 04:20 30 January local time) atop a Proton rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Continue reading ‘ESA EDRS Launched as First Node of Space Data Highway’

ESA to Invest in Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

26 Comments
Dream Chaser cargo ship docking with International Space Station. (Credit: SNC)

Dream Chaser cargo ship docking with International Space Station. (Credit: SNC)

Sierra Nevada Corporation is receiving an investment from ESA for its Dream Chaser spacecraft:

Once the agreement is signed, ESA will begin work building the first flight model of the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM), which Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser Cargo System will use to attach itself to the space station.

ESA said it would spend 33 million euros ($36 million) to complete the design of the IBDM and build a flight model for Dream Chaser’s first cargo run. Future IBDMs will be financed by Sierra Nevada, ESA said.

ESA and Sierra Nevada in early 2014 agreed to adapt the IBDM to Sierra Nevada’s winged Dream Chaser, which was originally designed to carry astronauts and more recently has been adapted for unmanned cargo missions.

The agency spent about 8 million euros on the early work, which slowed after Sierra Nevada failed to win a NASA contract to send commercial crews to the space station.

ESA said it had spent some 20 million euros in total in recent years working on IBDM and on preparatory work for Dream Chaser.

At a press conference last week, ESA Director-General Johann-Dietrich Woerner said it was possible that Dream Chaser would be launched aboard Europe’s Ariane 5 booster from French Guiana. He said ESA could use the vehicle to launch microgravity experiments into space that would be returned to Earth.

Video: ESA Looks Ahead to Lunar Exploration

17 Comments

Video Caption: This 8-minute film gives an overview of the past, present, and future of Moon exploration, from the Lunar cataclysm to ESA’s vision of what Lunar exploration could be.

Video: 3D Printing at ESA

Comment

Video Caption: No matter what you take with you when going up into space, it’s going to be complicated and expensive. Very expensive. If we talk about longer missions, we better come up with something sustainable. Tommaso Ghidini, Head of the Materials Technology Section at the European Space Agency, might have an answer.

Tommaso and his team have already come quite close to realising this goal with some mind blowing 3D printing results. What’s even more interesting is that this technology is not only made for space, but can also be used in other environments.

The theme of the first official TEDxESA 2015 event was Science Beyond Fiction.
Official theme score by Graham Plowman. Find his youtube channel on youtube.com/Plowking2

More videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/tedxesa

Follow us on Twitter or facebook for updates:

http://www.twitter.com/tedxesa
https://www.facebook.com/TEDxESA/

More about our speakers on http://tedx.esa.int

Tommaso Ghidini obtained his Ph. D. in experimental and numerical Fracture Mechanics at the Institute of Materials Research of the German Aerospace Centre. After having worked on major civil and military aircraft developments such as the A380, A350 and A400M at AIRBUS Industries, he joined the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2007. In 2009 he became the VEGA Launcher Product Assurance and Safety Engineer and since January 2012, Dr. Tommaso Ghidini is the Head of the Materials Technology Section at the European Space Agency. The Section qualifies for space flight all metallic materials and related advanced manufacturing technologies and is in charge of the European strategic roadmap on 3D printing for space applications.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

A Video Look Back at Europe’s Year in Space

Comments

Video Caption: 2015 began and ended with two pioneering missions: IXV, the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, proving Europe’s ability to return autonomously from space, and LISA Pathfinder, which set out in December to test the technologies needed to detect gravitational waves and, with them, a new way to look at our Universe! But a lot has happened in between… More European astronauts have visited space and more satellites are beefing up Galileo and ESA’s Earth Observation programme!

JAXA-NASA Agree to New Cooperative Framework for Extending ISS Operations

Comments
Japanese KIBO module

Japanese KIBO module

TOKYO and WASHINGTON (JAXA & NASA PRs) — On December 22, 2015, the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed on a new cooperation framework for the International Space Station (ISS) Program and, accordingly, Japan decided to extend its participation in the ISS operations until 2024.

Continue reading ‘JAXA-NASA Agree to New Cooperative Framework for Extending ISS Operations’

UK Celebrates Tim Peake’s Launch to Space Station

Comments
Students celebrate Tim Peake's voyage to the space station. (Credit: UKSA)

Students celebrate Tim Peake’s voyage to the space station. (Credit: UKSA)

SWINDON, England (UKSA PR) — Tim Peake has successfully launched into space, becoming the first Brit to undertake a long duration mission on the ISS.

The launch was celebrated across the UK as millions of people watched the live feed and over 15,000 people gathered at launch events across the country to wave Tim on his way.

Continue reading ‘UK Celebrates Tim Peake’s Launch to Space Station’

British Astronaut Arrives at Space Station for 6-Month Stay

Comment
Tim Peake arrives at Space Station. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

Tim Peake arrives at Space Station. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS, Dec. 15, 2015 (ESA PR) — ESA astronaut Tim Peake, NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut commander Yuri Malenchenko arrived at the International Space Station today, six hours after their launch at 11:03 GMT.

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft docked with the Space Station at 17:33 GMT. The astronauts opened the hatch at 19:58 GMT after checking the connection between the seven-tonne Soyuz and the 400‑tonne Station was airtight.

Continue reading ‘British Astronaut Arrives at Space Station for 6-Month Stay’

ESA Laser Communications Payload Ready to Fly

Comment
EDRS-A ready for shipping. (Credit: Airbus Defence and Space)

EDRS-A ready for shipping. (Credit: Airbus Defence and Space)

TOULOUSE, France (ESA PR) — After a year-long wait in storage for a Proton rocket to become available, the EDRS-A laser communications payload and its Eutelsat host satellite are finally at the Baikonur cosmodrome and being prepared for launch in late January.

EDRS-A is the first element of the European Data Relay System, which will collect information from low-orbiting satellites via laser and send it down to Earth in near-real time. It was packed into an Antonov plane by Airbus Toulouse, France and flown to Kazakhstan in November.

Continue reading ‘ESA Laser Communications Payload Ready to Fly’