Tag: ESA

Airbus Starts Orion Service Module Assembly

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A test version of ESA’s service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. (Credit: Airbus)

A test version of ESA’s service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. (Credit: Airbus)

TOULOUSE, France (Airbus PR) — Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, has started assembling the European Service Module (ESM), a key element of NASA’s next-generation Orion spacecraft that will transport astronauts into deep space for the first time since the end of the Apollo program.

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Roller Coaster Ride on a Comet: The Saga of ESA’s Philae

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Video Caption: Philae’s landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (#CometLanding) on 12 November 2014 was a historic moment – the first time in the history of space exploration that a spacecraft landed on a comet. Millions of people across the world followed the Rosetta mission via the Internet.

The DLR Video ‘Pieces of the Puzzle – Philae on Comet 67P’ provides an insight into the ‘roller coaster ride’ on the day of the #CometLanding: “We had to make decisions, develop concepts, alter schedules, sleep briefly and return – and then do the whole thing again and again. There was not a moment to breathe.”

In the video, Koen Geurts, Philae’s Technical Manager, looks at the days immediately after the landing and the following seven months of waiting for a renewed sign of life from Philae. The ‘crazy year’ was to continue, as on 14 June 2015, the comet lander once again reported back. However, the connections thus far have been irregular and unstable. And so, all those involved in the Rosetta mission must examine the pieces of the puzzle together to decipher what is happening 266 million kilometres from Earth.

More: http://www.dlr.de/blogs/en/desktopdef…

ESA Develops Lunar Ice Drill

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Lunar ice drill (Credit: ESA/Finmeccanica)

Lunar ice drill (Credit: ESA/Finmeccanica)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A drill designed to penetrate 1–2 m into the lunar surface is envisaged by ESA to fly to the Moon’s south pole on Russia’s Luna-27 lander in 2020.

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Chinese Space Program Increases International Cooperation

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The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

China’s growing space program is deepening its cooperation with Russia and Europe while partnerships with the United States remain severely limited due to Congressional restrictions.

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ESA Delays Second Part of ExoMars Mission to 2020

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Prototype ExoMars rover. (Credit: Airbus Defence and Space)

Prototype ExoMars rover. (Credit: Airbus Defence and Space)

PARIS (ESA PR) — On 14 March 2016, the Roscosmos State Corporation and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the jointly-developed ExoMars 2016 interplanetary mission, comprising the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli lander, on a Proton rocket from Baikonur, thus marking the first phase in the European-Russian ExoMars cooperation programme. The success achieved by Russian and European experts involved in ExoMars 2016 is the result of long and fruitful cooperation. The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft are due to arrive at Mars in October 2016.

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Fly Your Satellite! CubeSats Phone Home

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CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)

CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — All three satellites of ESA’s Education Office Fly Your Satellite! programme have established their first contact with the ground.
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15 Years of ESA on the International Space Station

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Astronaut Umberto Guidoni, STS-100 mission specialist representing the European Space Agency (ESA), records activity on the Zvezda Service Module following hatch opening and the reunion of STS-100 crew members with the three members of the Expedition Two crew. This image was taken with a digital still camera. (Credit: ESA)

Astronaut Umberto Guidoni, STS-100 mission specialist representing the European Space Agency (ESA), records activity on the Zvezda Service Module following hatch opening and the reunion of STS-100 crew members with the three members of the Expedition Two crew. This image was taken with a digital still camera. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — On 23 April 2001, Italian ESA Umberto Guidoni made history as the first European astronaut to board the International Space Station.

Guidoni had been launched on four days earlier, on 19 April, on Space Shuttle Endeavour as part of its seven-strong STS-100 crew from Kennedy Space Centre, with a liftoff at 20:41 CEST.

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NASA Partners with IMAX & Jennifer Lawrence for ‘A Beautiful Planet’

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Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, left, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, second from left, Jennifer Lawrence, third from left, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, third from right, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, second from right, and NASA astronaut Terry Virts, right, post for a picture as they arrive for the world Premiere of the IMAX film "A Beautiful Planet" at AMC Lowes Lincoln Square theater on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in New York City. The film features footage of Earth captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, left, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, second from left, Jennifer Lawrence, third from left, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, third from right, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, second from right, and NASA astronaut Terry Virts, right, post for a picture as they arrive for the world Premiere of the IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet” at AMC Lowes Lincoln Square theater on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in New York City. The film features footage of Earth captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — For crew members aboard the International Space Station, the view doesn’t get any better than looking at the Earth from the station’s Cupola. The dome-shaped module’s seven panoramic windows offers them a unique view of our magnificent blue planet. It was from the Cupola that NASA’s eighth collaboration with IMAX came to life.

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Tiny CubeSat Tracks Worldwide Air Traffic

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Detections of aircraft in flight made by ESA CubeSat GomX-3 during the last six months, since it was released from the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. Built by GomSpace in Denmark, the tiny 3-unit CubeSat has picked up millions of ADS-B signals which give flight information such as speed, position and altitude. All aircraft entering European airspace are envisaged to provide such automatic surveillance in the coming years. (Credit: ESA/GomSpace)

Detections of aircraft in flight made by ESA CubeSat GomX-3 during the last six months, since it was released from the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. Built by GomSpace in Denmark, the tiny 3-unit CubeSat has picked up millions of ADS-B signals which give flight information such as speed, position and altitude. All aircraft entering European airspace are envisaged to provide such automatic surveillance in the coming years. (Credit: ESA/GomSpace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Since its launch six months ago, a satellite small enough to fit in an airline passenger’s carry-on bag has been tracking aircraft in flight across the entire globe.

Built for ESA by GomSpace in Denmark, the GomX-3 CubeSat was ejected from the International Space Station on 5 October 2015, along with a Danish student satellite.

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Euro Updates: Ariane 6 Price Promises, SES Embraces SpaceX & Orbital Servicing

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Artist's impression of Ariane 6. (Credit: ESA)

Artist’s impression of Ariane 6. (Credit: ESA)

Updates from the Old World: European officials say they can beat SpaceX’s launch pricing four years from now.

Europe’s next-generation Ariane 6 rocket remains on track for a 2020 first launch with a cost structure allowing the heavier Ariane 64 version to advertise per-kilogram prices below today’s Space X Falcon 9, European government and industry officials said April 6.

They said they saw no roadblocks to the 2020 first-flight date despite what they described as noncritical delays that have no impact on the rocket’s design, performance or cost targets.

These issues include a delay of several months in the ramp-up of Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL), which is the Ariane 6 prime contractor, due to tax issues in France, and an extended antitrust review by the European Commission of ASL’s plan to become the dominant shareholder of the Arianespace commercial launch consortium.

Meanwhile, satellite fleet operator SES is embracing on-orbit servicing and SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9.

SES said specifically it had opened negotiations with two companies — industry officials said they are Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK’s Vivisat and MDA Corp. of Canada — “to have each extend the life of one of our satellites once their services are operational.”

The two in-orbit servicing projects take different approaches. Orbital ATK’s Vivisat launches a small vehicle that latches onto the target communications satellite and stays attached to it, providing fuel. MDA Corp. has designed an in-orbit fuel depot that would visit satellites, fuel them and then leave to service other customers….

ES has said that, for the right price, it is willing to be the inaugural customer using a refurbished Falcon 9 first stage “to show our commitment to reusable rockets.”

SES plans to launch seven satellites by late 2017– three in 2016 and four in 2017 – of which five are slated for SpaceX Falcon 9 missions, with two on Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket. The first of the seven, SES-9, was successfully launched in March aboard a Falcon 9.

VIdeo Animation of Ariane 6 Launch

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Video Caption: Decided in Luxemburg by the European Space Agency council meeting at Ministerial level, Ariane 6 is a modular three-stage launcher (solid–cryogenic–cryogenic) with two configurations using: four boosters (A64) or two boosters (A62).

ESA Sends Crude Oil Experiment to Space Aboard Chinese Satellite

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Crude oil experiment (Credit: ESA–A. Verga)

Crude oil experiment (Credit: ESA–A. Verga)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Containers of highly pressurised crude oil were launched into space from China on Wednesday will help improve our knowledge of oil reservoirs buried kilometres underground.

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Roscosmos Denies Anomaly With Proton Upper Stage

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Artist’s impression depicting the separation of the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, named Schiaparelli, from the Trace Gas Orbiter, and heading for Mars. (Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab)

Artist’s impression depicting the separation of the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, named Schiaparelli, from the Trace Gas Orbiter, and heading for Mars. (Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab)

Roscosmos has denied that the Breeze-M upper stage used to send ESA’s ExoMars mission to Mars malfunctioned.

Briefing reporters in Moscow, Igor A. Komarov reiterated statements made by Proton prime contractor Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow, saying the Breeze-M upper stage separated ExoMars without incident and then proceeded with the standard passivation and collision-avoidance maneuvers.

Komarov said he had seen photos taken from a Brazilian ground telescope that appeared to show small objects in the vicinity of the Breeze-M stage and ExoMars.

“I do have these pictures, provided by the Brazilian observatory, showing the ExoMars spacecraft surrounded by some dimly illuminated objects reportedly related to the upper stage,” Komarov said.

“Telemetry and other objectively verifiable data available to us, covering the entire time from the separation and the contamination and collision avoidance maneuvers to the passivation of the upper stage, show that all these steps have been performed successfully, without any anomalies,” Komarov said. “There is absolutely no indication of an upper-stage explosion or breakup.”

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ESA Appoints New Director of Launchers

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ESA logoPARIS (ESA PR) — At a meeting of the ESA Council held in Paris in restricted session on 16 March 2016, the appointment of Mr Daniel Neuenschwander as ESA Director of Launchers was announced.

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Did Russian Roulette Nearly Claim ExoMars?

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Artist’s impression depicting the separation of the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, named Schiaparelli, from the Trace Gas Orbiter, and heading for Mars. (Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab)

Artist’s impression depicting the separation of the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, named Schiaparelli, from the Trace Gas Orbiter, and heading for Mars. (Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab)

The Russian roulette that is that nation’s launch industry nearly claimed Europe’s most ambitious planetary mission earlier this month.

That’s according to a report from in Popular Mechanics. Zak says there is evidence of an anomaly that sent pieces of the Proton launcher’s Briz-M upper stage into interplanetary space along with ESA’s ExoMars spacecraft.

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