Rockets

Description This intricate structure of an ancient river delta once carried liquid water across the surface of Mars. To best enjoy this image, produced with infrared and visible filters on the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) of the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, view through red/green ‘3D’ glasses. To create a stereo view
0 Comments
Columbus module on International Space Station Spotlight on Space Station science 4 February 2019 Though all ESA astronauts are back on Earth, European science on the International Space Station is ongoing. Explore a few experiments underway right now in celebration of science at ESA. Learning the ropes Crew of ISS Exp 58 Every ESA astronaut
0 Comments
Description This Copernicus Sentinel-1 image combines two acquisitions over the same area of eastern Iraq, one from 14 November 2018 before heavy rains fell and one from 26 November 2018 after the storms. The image reveals the extent of flash flooding in red, near the town of Kut. Kut is in the lower-centre of the
0 Comments
Description This life-size copy of the world-famous Rosetta spacecraft is living out its retirement at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Engineering models are an important part of spacecraft operations – acting as faithful and realistic testbeds for all sorts of trials and tricks too risky to attempt, first-go, on the original. Models
0 Comments
Description A side view of ESA’s Solar Orbiter as it entered a vacuum chamber for thermal vacuum testing at the IABG test facility in Ottobrunn, Germany, last month. The spacecraft flight model had been readied by prime contractor Airbus in the UK. Due to launch in 2020, Solar Orbiter will observe the Sun and measure the solar
0 Comments
Description Getting a science experiment on the world’s only floating outpost in Earth orbit is a costly and time-consuming endeavour. ICE Cubes is ESA’s faster, lower cost answer to making science happen in space. The International Commercial Experiment Cubes or ICE Cubes is a facility that houses modular experiments on the International Space Station. The
0 Comments
Description This montage of 365 images shows the changing activity of our Sun through the eyes of ESA’s Proba-2 satellite during 2018. The images were taken by the satellite’s SWAP camera, which works at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths to capture the Sun’s hot turbulent atmosphere – the corona, at temperatures of about a million degrees.  The satellite is continuously monitoring
0 Comments
Stellar occultations during the lunar eclipse The ins and outs of stellar occultations 25 January 2019 On the night between Sunday 20 and Monday 21 January, many people across the world were treated to the spectacle of the lunar eclipse. During this phenomenon, the Moon is engulfed by Earth’s shadow and the only sunlight that
0 Comments
Radiation for dummies Helga, the radiation dummy 25 January 2019 Meet Helga and Zohar, the dummies destined for a pioneering lunar flyby to help protect space travelers from cosmic rays and energetic solar storms. These two female phantoms will occupy the passenger seats during Orion’s first mission around the Moon, going further than any human
0 Comments
Description The Moon seen rising over the Goonhilly antenna, taken at 5:27 UTC (06:27 CET) on Monday, 21 January, during an eclipse of the Moon, which gave it a reddish tinge. If you’re planning on flying a robotic or human mission in the near future to the Moon, an asteroid or even Mars, an indispensable requirement
0 Comments
Description This 1.5 tonne block was 3D printed from simulated lunar dust, to demonstrate the feasibility of constructing a Moon base using local materials. The building block is on show in the laboratory corridor of ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands, visited during public tours from neighbouring Space Expo. Produced using a binding salt
0 Comments
[embedded content] Preparing astronaut lunar exploration Preparing astronaut lunar exploration 23 January 2019 Developing the most efficient and safest way to return to the Moon starts on Earth. European astronauts and spacewalk experts are getting ready for the future of Moon exploration with electronic aids, upgraded geological tools from the Apollo era and improved scientific
0 Comments
Moving on the Moon International Space Station flying in front of the Moon 23 January 2019 Europe is preparing to go forward to the Moon, but how will astronauts move once they get there? Despite the Apollo missions, little is known about what lunar gravity may mean for our bodies. ESA’s space medicine team is
0 Comments
Rocket Lab to launch dedicated Electron mission for DARPA The mission intends to space-qualify a new membrane reflect-array antenna and highlights the Electron rocket’s suitability as a responsive, flexible and rapidly-acquired launch service for commercial and government missions alike  Huntington Beach, California. January 22, 2019 – Small satellite launch company Rocket Lab announced today that its
0 Comments
Description The lunar eclipse that took place in the early hours of Monday 21 January kicks off a major year for our satellite. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the first crewed landing on the Moon. After more than four decades, the Moon is again in the spotlight of space
0 Comments
Description This ethereal image was taken by Daniel Michalik, currently a research fellow at ESA. It was shortlisted as a finalist in the Royal Society photography competition in 2017, and went on to become the overall winner in the ‘Astronomy’ category – and it’s easy to see why. It captures a beautiful scene at the
0 Comments
Total lunar eclipse 2019 18 January 2019 On the night between Sunday 20 and Monday 21 January, a good fraction of the world’s population will be able to look up see our bright Moon slowly turn dark orange. The phenomenon known as a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the Moon
0 Comments
Compete in a lunar economy Join the Metalysis–ESA Grand Challenge 18 January 2019 Sign up to the Metalysis–ESA Grand Challenge worth €500 000 rewarding innovation that helps us to explore space. As ESA and other agencies prepare to send humans back to the Moon – this time to stay – technologies that make use of materials
0 Comments
What do you know about the Moon? This set of infographics illustrates the most frequently asked questions and facts about Earth’s natural satellite. ESA is teaming up with international partners to explore the Moon as a destination for both robotic missions and human explorers. Orion, the NASA spacecraft, will bring humans farther than they have
0 Comments
Loading… Horizons mission time-lapse – The dancing aurora Join the #AuroraHunters 17 January 2019 It’s difficult to comprehend the size and sheer power of our Sun, a churning ball of hot gas 4.6 billion years old and 1.3 million times larger than Earth, which emits solar wind — the constant stream of electrons, protons and
0 Comments
Description The ghostly green glow at the very top of this image reveals the presence of 46P Wirtanen – a relatively small comet with an estimated diameter of 1.2 kilometers. Had the path of history taken a different course, we would have much more than estimates about this Jupiter-family comet. Completing one full orbit of
0 Comments
How much do European citizens know about space? 16 January 2019 Europeans are undeniably interested in space activities, and the idea of pooling resources between European countries is considered important unanimously by European citizens: just two of the fascinating findings from a recent survey of public perceptions of issues related to space. Carried out on
0 Comments
How much do we think we know about space? 16 January 2019 Europeans are undeniably interested in space activities, and the idea of pooling resources between European countries is considered important unanimously by European citizens: just two of the fascinating findings from a recent survey of public perceptions of issues related to space. Carried out
0 Comments
Description Testing a candidate design for a subsonic parachute to slow a future mission to Mars inside Canada’s National Research Council wind tunnel, in Ottawa. Mars has a thin but substantial atmosphere, which is both a hindrance and a help to mission designers. Protective heat shields must be flown to protect any spacecraft making atmospheric
0 Comments
Description Usually associated with video games, virtual reality is an immersive technology that simulates physical presence and interaction. Today astronauts use computer simulations to help prepare for life on the International Space Station, practising spacewalks and operating equipment in microgravity – all while never leaving the ground. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is hard at work
0 Comments
Description Saturn’s moon Titan is enveloped in a thick atmosphere, but through the infrared eyes of the international Cassini mission, the moon’s myriad surface features are revealed in this exquisite global mosaic. Observing the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in visible light is difficult due to the globe-enshrouding haze that envelops the moon. On
0 Comments
On Friday, January 11 at 7:31 a.m. PST, 15:31 UTC, SpaceX successfully launched the eighth and final set of satellites in a series of 75 total satellites for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. Falcon 9’s first stage delivered the second stage to its targeted orbit followed by deployment of all 10 Iridium
0 Comments
Description The Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite takes us along the lower reaches of the brown, sediment-rich Uruguay River. Here, the river forms the border between Argentina and Uruguay and is the site of the Esteros de Farrapos e Islas del Río Uruguay wetlands. Composed of lagoons, swamps and 24 islets, the Esteros are a haven for
0 Comments
Supernova host galaxy Team of telescopes finds X-ray engine inside mysterious supernova 10 January 2019 ESA’s high-energy space telescopes Integral and XMM-Newton have helped to find a source of powerful X-rays at the centre of an unprecedentedly bright and rapidly evolving stellar explosion that suddenly appeared in the sky earlier this year. The ATLAS telescope
0 Comments
Description This Proba-V view shows all that is left of the Aral Sea, once one of the four largest lakes in the world and now one of the world’s major ecological disaster areas. It has shrunk into separate lakes, surrounded by Earth’s youngest desert. The Aral Sea was once a large land-locked lake between Kazakhstan
0 Comments
Description This year, ESA’s ground station boffins are planning to deploy a new cryogenically cooled ‘antenna feed‘ – a gizmo used to transmit and receive deep space signals – on the Agency’s three deep-space antennas. The ground stations routinely communicate with missions like BepiColombo – heading to Mercury, Gaia – surveying stars in our Galaxy, and
0 Comments
Rocket Lab appoints Lars Hoffman as Senior Vice President – Global Launch Services The former SpaceX executive joins Rocket Lab’s leadership team, strengthening the industry’s premium dedicated small satellite launch experience  Huntington Beach, California – January 8, 2019: Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab has appointed Lars Hoffman to the role of Senior Vice President (SVP) –
0 Comments
Description The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor – ASIM – is performing well outside the European Columbus laboratory module on the International Space Station. Launched in April 2018, the storm-hunter is a collection of optical cameras, photometers and an X- and gamma-ray detector designed to look for electrical discharges born in stormy weather conditions that extend above
0 Comments
Description New Year’s Eve may be past, but we are not done with fireworks just yet. This image, which includes data from ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, shows the remnants of an explosion – not of the colourful type ignited during celebrations, but of the stellar kind. The object in the image, dubbed G54.1+0.3, is a
0 Comments
Description ESA is looking forward to another interesting year in 2019. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano will return to the International Space Station, in Science Cheops will look at exoplanets, while the EDRS-C satellite will start the era of super-fast data relay on orbit. In Kourou preparation will go full speed for Vega-C, a more powerful
0 Comments
ESA sets clock by distant spinning stars Pulsar encased in supernova bubble 24 December 2018 ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands has begun running a pulsar-based clock. The ‘PulChron’ system measures the passing of time using millisecond-frequency radio pulses from multiple fast-spinning neutron stars. Operating since the end of November, this pulsar-based timing system is
0 Comments
GomX-4B Mission accomplished for ESA’s butane-propelled CubeSat 24 December 2018 The cereal-box sized GomX-4B – ESA’s biggest small CubeSat yet flown – has completed its mission for the Agency, testing out new miniaturised technologies including: intersatellite link communication with its GomX-4A twin, a hyperspectral imager, star tracker and butane-based propulsion system. “This multifaceted little mission
0 Comments
On Sunday, December 23rd at 5:51 a.m. PST, SpaceX successfully launched the United States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System III space vehicle (SV) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The satellite was deployed to its intended orbit approximately 1 hour and 56 minutes after liftoff. Due to
0 Comments
Earthrise image captured by NASA astronaut William Anders Reflecting on Earthrise: 50 years on 21 December 2018 Monday 24 December marks 50 years since Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders snapped an iconic image of Earth rising above the lunar surface. The image, known as Earthrise, has been credited with sparking an environmental movement. Now, head
0 Comments