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Astrium

The first of three satellites designed to undertake a comprehensive study the Earth’s magnetic field left Munich airport on Tuesday aboard an Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft bound for Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. This first Swarm satellite will be followed by two identical craft and more than 60 tons of support equipment before all three are launched into polar orbit in November. Read More
Normally, a spacecraft slamming into a planet’s surface at the speed of sound is considered a bad thing, but the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to do just that. As part of its Core Technology Programme for Cosmic Vision, the agency fired a pair of experimental surface penetrators from a rocket sled at a test facility at the UK Military of Defence Pendine site in Wales last July. The goal is to find ways of delivering instruments beneath the ground or ice of alien worlds without drilling. Read More
This week, the European space technology company Astrium completed its Phase B1 study of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Lunar Landing Project. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the mission to land a spacecraft on the south pole of the Moon in 2019. That spacecraft would test new technologies, and explore an area of the lunar surface that scientists believe may contain deposits of ice in the permanently shadowed craters. Read More
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