KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Due to additional checks on the ground support equipment, the flight VA255 – initially scheduled for October 22 – has been scrubbed. Investigations are ongoing in order to identify a new launch date. The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and its two spacecraft are in stable and safe conditions on the launch pad.
Arianespace will orbit two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a high throughput satellite operated by SES and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of Armed Forces.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
The launch is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 12:10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
PARIS (ESA PR) — As of today, ESA has appointed three new Directors – for Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement, Earth Observation Programmes and Navigation. The new Directors were appointed by ESA Council at its meeting on 21 October; they will support the Director General with responsibility for activities and overall objectives in their respective directorates.
Two microphones aboard the six-wheeled spacecraft add a new dimension to the way scientists and engineers explore the Red Planet.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Thanks to two microphones aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover, the mission has recorded nearly five hours of Martian wind gusts, rover wheels crunching over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft moves its arm. These sounds allow scientists and engineers to experience the Red Planet in new ways – and everyone is invited to listen in.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Social media users are invited to take part in another global virtual NASA Social for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission set to launch on Oct. 31 at 2:21 a.m. ET, now cohosted along with our partners at European Space Agency (ESA). This is the third crew rotation flight with astronauts on the Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of the Commercial Crew Program.
TORONTO, October 18th, 2021 (Kepler Communications PR) — Kepler Communications announced today that ÆTHER, Kepler’s recently announced solution for in-space connectivity, is continuing to build momentum and has been validated with a contract win with the European Space Agency (ESA). The value of the contract, which will see the delivery of hardware terminals capable of connecting other space assets to Kepler’s LEO communication network, is €500,000 [CAD $717,297/USD $582,725]. This contract was awarded under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency.
NASA, along with the European Space Agency, is developing a campaign to return the Martian samples to Earth.
GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — On Sept. 1, NASA’s Perseverance rover unfurled its arm, placed a drill bit at the Martian surface, and drilled about 2 inches, or 6 centimeters, down to extract a rock core. The rover later sealed the rock core in its tube. This historic event marked the first time a spacecraft packed up a rock sample from another planet that could be returned to Earth by future spacecraft.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station to allow additional time for spacecraft processing. The backup launch time and date is 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3.
NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft and its Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew entered their official quarantine Oct. 16, and will travel to Kennedy in the coming days for final training and preparations prior to launch.
Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a long-duration science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew. Launch on Oct. 31 would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station early on the morning of Monday, Nov. 1, for a short handover with the astronauts who flew to the station in April as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.
With the Crew-3 launch date adjustment, return of Crew-2 with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, currently is planned for early November with splashdown of Crew Dragon Endeavour at one of seven landing zones off the coast of Florida.
GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has secured European Space Agency InCubed programme financial and technical support to demonstrate a high throughput, flexible and intelligent payload downlink chain for small Earth Observation satellites. Currently advanced and innovative satellite imaging payloads are producing data with ever increasing dimensionality, volume and rates which can exceed small satellite’s downlink bandwidth.
To tackle the onboard data bottleneck SSTL is leading a consortium that includes the University of Surrey and Craft Prospect Limited to develop and demonstrate new capabilities for SSTL’s Flexible & Intelligent Payload Chain (FIPC) solution. The FIPC’s advanced hardware architecture enables a new intelligent and adaptive data downlink and a state-of-the-art framework for software defined onboard data processing to realise a payload chain capable of handling the throughput rates of future small Earth Observation satellites. The framework enables processing applications which include data calibration and image compression to Machine Learning (ML) for image classification and information extraction towards greater satellite autonomy.
PARIS (ESA PR) — With a boom in the global market for Earth observation information and data products, participants at this year’s Φ-week conference have been digging deep into the ‘market perspective’. This important topic includes how to gain a better understanding of what governments, industry, the public and other users of Earth observation products and services need and expect to create value for society and the economy.
MADRID, Spain (ESA PR) — How to propel a spacecraft without propellant? Use electrodynamic tethers. These are long, strong conductors connecting two spacecraft. When direct current is applied to the tether, the tether exerts a force on the spacecraft, causing it to either accelerate or brake.
Such tethers might be used to perform fuel-free orbital manoeuvres, or deorbit satellites at the end of their working lifetime to prevent buildup of orbital debris.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain has proposed an improved tether design incorporating thin film solar cells to harvest added power for the tether plasma circuit, intended for end-of-life deorbiting.
The idea was proposed through ESA’s Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) Open Discovery ideas Channel, seeking novel ideas for new space research activities. This innovative concept has been accepted by ESA for implementation, along with numerous others.
PARIS (ESA PR) — Nothing could stop the 19 finalist teams of the 2021 European CanSat competition – not the Covid restrictions, nor the fact that this year’s challenge had to be run in a fully virtual mode – from performing as top space professionals and impressing the jury of experts!
The 2021 European CanSat Competition virtual edition took place from 29 September to 8 October 2021. The teams took part in this virtual campaign after either winning their national competition or being selected by ESA to represent their country in this exciting championship.
PARIS (ESA PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) today agreed to further deepen their already close cooperation around cyber-resilience, aiming to strengthen Europe’s capacity to protect systems and networks critical for space.
Why it matters: Cyber-attacks can target individuals, companies and public institutions and civil services such as energy grids, water treatment and distribution, financial markets, autonomous vehicles and supply chains for food and medical goods like vaccines. And these all increasingly reply on satellites and space-based services.
ESA is committed to protecting its space assets and those of its partners and Member States. To that end, cyber-resilience is an on-going project, and includes activities such as ESA’s Cyber Centre of Excellence and Cyber Security Operations Centre.