Tag: ESA

Russia Commits to Operating International Space Station Until 2024

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Some good news for NASA came last week when the Russian government formally committed to operating the International Space Station until 2024. The orbiting facility had been previously slated to be decommissioned in 2020.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is reportedly to have fought hard for the four-year extension despite tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.

Earlier this year, the Canadian government agreed to continue participating in the program until 2024. The European Space Agency and Japanese government have made similar commitments yet. Japan is widely expected to sign on to the extension.

 

UK Space Conference Showcases Growing Space Sector

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UK_space_agencyLIVERPOOL, England (UKSA PR) — From a feasibility study into the next generation of mobile satellite services, to a study examining the potential for UK communications support for the Orion mission, a host of new contracts were announced last week as leading figures from the space industry met for the 2015 UK Space Conference in Liverpool.

The conference announcements illustrated the strength and diversity of the UK space sector and the skilled services it has to offer.

ICE Telecommunications Contract

On day 2 of the Space Conference, the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract with Inmarsat in the UK to support the Inmarsat Communications Evolution project, ICE – a public-private partnership that gives European industry the opportunity to shape future mobile satellite services on land, at sea and in the air.

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Reaction Engines Marks Installation of New Vacuum Furnace

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Representatives from the UK Space Agency, Department of BIS and European Space Agency recently visited REL's pre-cooler manufacturing centre in Culham, UK. (Credit: Reaction Engines)

Representatives from the UK Space Agency, Department of BIS and European Space Agency recently visited REL’s pre-cooler manufacturing centre in Culham, UK. (Credit: Reaction Engines)

CULHAM, England (Reaction Engines PR) — The Reaction Engines team are celebrating the installation and current commissioning of a new state-of-the-art high vacuum furnace at Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire.

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Rosetta Approaches Perihelion

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The orbit of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and its approximate location around perihelion, the closest the comet gets to the Sun. The positions of the planets are correct for 13 August 2015. (Credit: ESA)

The orbit of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and its approximate location around perihelion, the closest the comet gets to the Sun. The positions of the planets are correct for 13 August 2015. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Rosetta’s investigations of its comet are continuing as the mission teams count down the last month to perihelion – the closest point to the Sun along the comet’s orbit – when the comet’s activity is expected to be at its highest.

Rosetta has been studying Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko for over a year now, with observations beginning during the approach to the comet in March 2014. This included witnessing an outburst in late April 2014 and the revelation of the comet’s curious shape in early July.

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Philae Checks In

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Philae mission control (Credit: DLR)

Philae mission control (Credit: DLR)

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — The Philae lander communicated with the Rosetta orbiter again between 19:45 and 20:07 CEST on 9 July 2015 and transmitted measurement data from the COmet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission (CONSERT) instrument. Although the connection failed repeatedly after that, it remained completely stable for those 12 minutes.

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New Facilities Open at UK Space Gateway

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UK_space_agencyOXFORDSHIRE, England (UKSA) — Another boost for the UK’s £11.3 billion space industry as 2 new space facilities are opened at the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

  • Inauguration of European Space Agency’s ECSAT facility in the UK
  • STFC’s RALSpace opens £27.7 million state of art test facility
  • UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space awarded contract for Quantum satellite with Eutelsat and European Space Agency (ESA)

The inauguration day for the multimillion pound space facilities was also the backdrop for the first contract signed from the new European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) – a €180m contract between ESA and Eutelsat for the first of an innovative class of geostationary communications satellite to be primed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) in the UK using flexible payload technology and a new platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL).

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ESA Plans Quantum Leap in Satellite Design

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Quantum (Credit: Airbus)

Quantum (Credit: Airbus)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Telecom satellites are set to enter a new age, as ESA, Eutelsat and Airbus Defence & Space begin designing the most flexible payload ever.

The Quantum programme is a departure from the traditional, custom, one-off approach to building satellites by offering a new and generic payload design. For the first time, it will enable users to request the performance and flexibility they need in terms of coverage, bandwidth, power and frequency.

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New ESA Director General Takes Over

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Johann-Dietrich Wörner (Credit: DLR, CC-BY)

Johann-Dietrich Wörner (Credit: DLR, CC-BY)

PARIS (ESA PR) — As of today, 1 July 2015, ESA has a new Director General: Johann-Dietrich Woerner, who has taken up duty at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France.

“I am in the favourable position to nurture the seeds of Jean-Jacques Dordain’s work,” said Mr Woerner during a recent media briefing at the Paris Air Show, expressing his thanks to the parting Director General.

Mr Woerner called for the continuation of ESA’s ongoing programmes, projects and missions in cooperation with Member States, as well as preparing for ESA’s future, among the many important tasks he has to fulfil.

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A Look at the ISS Flight Manifest

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

There was a lot of discussion on Sunday about the impact of the loss of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft on the International Space Station. NASA officials said the ISS crew was in no danger from a supply standpoint, and they said they would stick to the existing schedule for crew rotation but might change the cargo manifest.

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ESA, CSF Weigh in on Failed Falcon 9 launch

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Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain

Hearing the news of today’s loss of SpaceX CRS-7 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain stated: “We at the European Space Agency deeply regret this failure that shows that sending launchers into space is a very hard job. However a failure does not undermine all the previous successes. We wish our colleagues on the other side of the ocean all our best in fixing the problem and getting back into flight again soon”.

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