Tag: ESA

Canadian Budget Supports ISS Extension to 2024

Comments

CSAThe new Canadian federal budget supports the extension of the International Space Station from 2020 to 2024. Canada joins the U.S. and Russia to agreeing to the four-year extension; Japan and Europe have yet to weigh in.

 The budget also commits $30 million CND ($24.7 million US) over four years to support technology research and development through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program. Canada is an associate member of ESA.

“The inclusion of these measures, which follows on the heels of announcements by Industry Minister James Moore of a national Space Policy Framework and the creation of a Space Advisory Board, is another step as we continue to work with the government on a long term vision for Canada’s future in space,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.

ESA Welcomes New Members, Deepens Ties With Other States

Comment

ESA logoThe last six months have been busy ones for the European Space Agency (ESA) on the diplomatic front, with the space agency welcoming two new full member states and deepening cooperation with four other nations.

Estonia and Hungary joined ESA in February, increasing the number of full member states to 22. Their accession to the ESA Convention completed a lengthy four-step process under which their involvement in the space agency gradually increased over a series of years.

The process begins with a cooperation agreement which allows a nation to begin working with ESA on a formal basis. Financial commitments during this stage are low. The next step is to become a European Cooperating State (ECS), which allows the nation to participate in ESA procurements and to participate in most of the agency’s programs, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme.

Continue reading ‘ESA Welcomes New Members, Deepens Ties With Other States’

Bulgaria Becomes 10th ESA European Cooperating State

Comment

esa_logoSOFIA, Bulgaria, 9 April 2015 (ESA PR) — ESA is celebrating the tenth signature of the European Cooperating State Agreement, strengthening its relations with Bulgaria.

ESA’s Director of Industry, Procurement and Legal Services, Mr Eric Morel and the Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Mr Bojidar Loukarski, signed the ECS Agreement in Sofia on 8 April 2015.

Continue reading ‘Bulgaria Becomes 10th ESA European Cooperating State’

ESA, NASA Prepare to Blast Asteroid to Kingdom Come

23 Comments
ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission will provide before-and-after data on the ‘Didymoon’ asteroid, set to be struck by NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) probe in late 2022. A plume is expected to be triggered by the highly energetic collision. (Credit: ESA-Science Office)

ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission will provide before-and-after data on the ‘Didymoon’ asteroid, set to be struck by NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) probe in late 2022. A plume is expected to be triggered by the highly energetic collision. (Credit: ESA-Science Office)

PARIS (ESA PR) — If an asteroid were spotted headed towards Earth, what could humanity do about it? ESA’s latest mission is part of a larger international effort to find out.

This month marked the start of preliminary design work on ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission, or AIM. Intended to demonstrate technologies for future deep-space missions, AIM will also be the Agency’s very first investigation of planetary defence techniques.

Continue reading ‘ESA, NASA Prepare to Blast Asteroid to Kingdom Come’

ESA Exploring Ways to Remove Spacecraft From Orbit

26 Comments
Four-quadrant solar sail attached to Earth-orbiting satellite, which could speed up the deorbiting process for future missions. (Credit: NASA)

Four-quadrant solar sail attached to Earth-orbiting satellite, which could speed up the deorbiting process for future missions. (Credit: NASA)

NOORDWIJK, The Netherlands (ESA PR) — It takes a lot of ingenuity – not to mention a massive quantity of sheer force – to get satellites into orbit. Now space engineers are applying comparable ingenuity to the challenge of getting their missions out of there, too.

ESA, working closely with Europe’s satellite builders, will ask industry for new designs to help remove satellites from orbit at the end of their working lives, as well as ‘passivating’ them – making them safer for neighbouring missions.

Continue reading ‘ESA Exploring Ways to Remove Spacecraft From Orbit’

Netting a Derelict Satellite

Comment
One capture concept being explored through ESA's e.Deorbit system study for Active Debris Removal - capturing the satellite in a net attached to either a flexible tether (as seen here) or a rigid connection. (Credit: ESA)

One capture concept being explored through ESA’s e.Deorbit system study for Active Debris Removal – capturing the satellite in a net attached to either a flexible tether (as seen here) or a rigid connection. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — One of humanity’s oldest technologies, the humble fishing net, may yet find a new role in space: bringing down dead satellites.

The behaviour of nets in orbit was recently checked on an aircraft flying parabolic arcs to create brief periods of weightlessness.

Continue reading ‘Netting a Derelict Satellite’

ESA, China Open Moon & Mars Exploration to Private Sector

32 Comments

moon_rise_half
ESA and the Chinese space agency have made separate announcements opening their deep space exploration programs to private sector participation.

ESA issued a Call for Ideas for exploring the moon and Mars on its website.

Private-sector partners are welcome to join ESA in its space exploration strategy. Join us to explore beyond Earth’s horizon by sharing knowledge, capabilities, risks and benefits.

Continue reading ‘ESA, China Open Moon & Mars Exploration to Private Sector’

ESA Launches Competition for Deep Space CubeSats

Comments
ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission spacecraft will be humanity’s first mission to a binary system – the paired Didymos asteroids, which come a comparatively close 11 million km to Earth in 2022. (Credit: APL)

ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission spacecraft will be humanity’s first mission to a binary system – the paired Didymos asteroids, which come a comparatively close 11 million km to Earth in 2022. (Credit: APL)

PARIS (ESA PR) – Think of it as the ultimate hitchhiking opportunity: ESA is offering CubeSats a ride to a pair of asteroids in deep space.

CubeSats are among the smallest types of satellites: formed in standard cubic units of 10 cm per side, they provide affordable access to space for small companies, research institutes and universities. One-, two- or three-unit CubeSats are already being flown.

Teams of researchers and companies from any ESA Member State are free to compete. The selected CubeSats will become Europe’s first to travel beyond Earth orbit once the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is launched in October 2020.

Continue reading ‘ESA Launches Competition for Deep Space CubeSats’

Russia Looks to Extend ISS Operations to 2024 Before Splitting Off

145 Comments
The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is looking to continue operations of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, giving a boost to NASA’s effort to extend the life of the facility from the current 2020 deadline.

However, Roscosmos’ Scientific and Technical Council (STC) said the space agency plans to remove the Russian elements of ISS in 2024 in order to form the basis of a separate space station. That decision would end NASA’s hope of extending station operations to 2028.

Continue reading ‘Russia Looks to Extend ISS Operations to 2024 Before Splitting Off’

Hungary to Become 22nd ESA Member State

Comments

ESA logoBUDAPEST, Hungary, 24 February 2015 (ESA PR) — Hungary signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention on 24 February 2015. Upon ratification, Hungary will become the 22nd ESA Member State.

The signing ceremony took place at the Palace of Arts in Budapest with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General. For Hungary, the Agreement was signed by Ákos Kara, Minister of State for Infocommunication and Consumer Protection, Ministry of National Development, and in the presence of Fruzsina Tari, Head of the Hungarian Space Office, also from the Ministry of National Development.

Continue reading ‘Hungary to Become 22nd ESA Member State’