Results tagged “ESA”

ESA's Mars Express has returned images of a region on the Red Planet that appears to have been sculpted in part by flowing liquid. This again adds to the growing evidence that Mars had large volumes of water on its surface in the distant past.

Satellites and Ocean Currents

Satellites offer a frequent overview of our entire planet - covered mostly by water - and provide valuable data to monitor and understand global ocean circulation. Understanding water currents at the ocean surface is important for many applications.

JUICE Mission to Jupiter

Jupiter's icy moons are the focus of Europe's next large science mission, ESA announced today. The Jupiter Icy moons Explorer - JUICE - was selected over two other candidates: NGO, the New Gravitational wave Observatory, to hunt for gravitational waves, and ATHENA, the Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics.

Mars Express Gravity Results

Five years of Mars Express gravity mapping data are providing unique insights into what lies beneath the Red Planet's largest volcanoes. The results show that the lava grew denser over time and that the thickness of the planet's rigid outer layers varies across the Tharsis region.

Testing New Software Via Nanosat

Innovative Nanosat Will Test Space Software

"How do you test ground-breaking satellite software under real flight conditions? Why not build a satellite? A new design developed by ESA promises new opportunities for European space industry to test software on an actual mission in space. The popular image of a 21st-century satellite includes a sleek design, gossamer solar arrays, ultra-high-tech components and cutting-edge digital electronics. And the onboard software must be the very latest thing, too, right? Wrong. Or, at least, the reality is much more prosaic: software used in satellites today is certainly good, but it rarely runs the latest operating systems, languages or interfaces. "Space software is generally older because it is selected for its proven, rock-solid reliability rather than its use of the latest and newest programming technologies," says Dave Evans, a mission concept engineer at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany. "ESA is still using the Packet Utilisation Standard to control our satellites, which was defined in 1994. "Today, the software for terrestrial computers has completely changed. Who else do you know still using software from 1994? Back then, PCs were running Windows 3.1 with 3.5-inch floppy disks."

Optical, radar and laser observations of the Envisat satellite show that it is still in a stable orbit. Efforts to regain contact with the satellite have been under way since 8 April, when it unexpectedly stopped sending data to Earth.

It's a tricky balance when a country seeks to protect its own borders, but also needs to find international partners to get the job done. This is perhaps most readily demonstrated in the space arena.

Life After Mars

Seventeen months of isolation on a simulated trip to Mars came to an end five months ago. Their mission was over and they breathed fresh air again. What have ESA 'marsonauts' Diego Urbina and Romain Charles been doing since they left their 'spacecraft'?

ESA and NASA Measure Arctic Sea Ice

Marking another remarkable collaborative effort, ESA and NASA met up over the Arctic Ocean this week to perform some carefully coordinated flights directly under CryoSat orbiting above. The data gathered help ensure the accuracy of ESA's ice mission.

Mission-X 2012 Winners Announced

Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

"Mission-X is a worldwide educational initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. Astronauts are inspiring children to eat healthily and exercise regularly. This year's challenge involved 10 300 students exercising hard over six weeks since it was launched from the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on 2 February. The aim: gain points to send Mission-X mascot Astro Charlie to the Moon. Points were earned by completing challenges inspired by astronaut training."

Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

Mission-X is a worldwide educational initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. Astronauts are inspiring children to eat healthily and exercise regularly.

Contact Lost With Envisat

After 10 years of service, Envisat has stopped sending data to Earth. ESA's mission control is working to re-establish contact with the satellite. Although this landmark mission has been in orbit twice as long as it was designed for, ESA hopes to keep the satellite in service until the launch of the successor Sentinel missions.

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has studied the dusty belt around the nearby star Fomalhaut. The dust appears to be coming from collisions that destroy up to thousands of icy comets every day.

ESA: The latest images released from ESA's Mars Express reveal a series of 'pit-chains' on the flanks of one of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System. Depending on their origin, they might be tempting targets in the search for microbial life on the Red Planet.

ESA and JAXA Sign Astro-H Agreement

ESA: An agreement was signed by ESA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for cooperation on Astro-H, an important mission that will provide a unique opportunity for probing extreme phenomena in the Universe. Astro-H will study astrophysical objects including black holes and neutron stars, explore the non-thermal Universe, and investigate the large-scale structure of the Universe and its evolution.

New target launch date for ATV-3

A routine inspection has concluded that additional measures are required to ensure the maximum readiness of the third Automated Transfer Vehicle for launch. It has therefore been decided to postpone the launch previously scheduled for 9 March.

A large solar flare erupted from the Sun earlier today, launching a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. This plasma 'cloud' is expected to pass Earth in 2 to 3 days, potentially causing increased nighttime auroras. No major effects on Earth are expected.

Counting Down to the Transit of Venus

Three months before the last transit of Venus this century, scientists are gathering at the Observatoire de Paris to finalize their observation plans in a workshop supported by the Europlanet Research Infrastructure and the EGIDE/PHC Sakura Program.

ATV Launch Delayed

A routine inspection has concluded that additional measures are required to ensure the maximum readiness of the third Automated Transfer Vehicle for launch. It has therefore been decided to postpone the launch previously scheduled for 9 March.

Regional Winners named in Student Space Lab Competition

"European students are among the regional winners in the YouTube Space Lab student science competition, co-sponsored by ESA. The ultimate winners will have their experiment performed on the International Space Station, live-streamed to a global audience. Entries from Spain, Egypt, India, New Zealand and the US are among the six regional winners selected today in the YouTube Space Lab science competition. Sponsored by YouTube, Lenovo and Space Adventures together with ESA, NASA and the Japanese space agency, the international student contest is now in the final round of judging."

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