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ESA


— Space

Philae lander goes silent again

By - July 20, 2015 4 Pictures

ESA’s Philae comet lander has once again gone silent. According to the space agency, the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on a comet lost radio contact with the Rosetta orbiter mothership on July 9. Despite this setback, engineers are still transmitting commands to the unmanned probe in the hope of reestablishing communications and getting it to continue observations.

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— Space Feature

State of the Game #2: Deep Space Exploration

New Horizons is making headlines today with its historic flyby of Pluto – and if that's caught your imagination, welcome to the tip of the iceberg! Deep space exploration represents some of humanity's most astonishing achievements, so we've decided to feature five active space missions that absolutely blow our minds. Meet the Mars Orbiter, New Horizons, Rosetta and the intrepid Voyager spacecraft in our second State of the Game video presentation.

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— Space

Quantum satellite reconfigures itself in orbit

By - July 11, 2015 2 Pictures

In the early days of spaceflight, every new satellite was a one off. Today, satellites are produced in classes, but each new mission still needs a satellite that's individually configured for its role. With the goal of creating a next-generation universal satellite, ESA, Eutelsat, and Airbus Defence & Space have signed an agreement to develop the first fully reconfigurable Quantum satellite.

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— Space

World Asteroid Day raises awareness of a deadly menace

By - July 2, 2015 7 Pictures

June 30th marked the world's first Asteroid Day – a global awareness campaign designed to promote an understanding of the dangers presented by the rocky bodies, and how best to protect our planet from a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact. Significantly, the campaign was held on the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska asteroid strike – an impact that devastated eight hundred square miles of Siberian forest, and served as a powerful indicator of the damage that could be wrought by just one of the 600,000 plus known asteroids whizzing around our solar system.

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— Space

Best evidence of active lava flows spotted on Venus

By - June 24, 2015 3 Pictures

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has found the best evidence yet of active lava flows on Venus. Earlier missions to Venus have shown that the surface bears the unmistakable scarring of fierce, ancient volcanic activity. However, prior to Venus express, no mission had been successful in directly imaging clues to contemporary volcanism. This quirk has baffled scientists for years, as it has long been assumed that Venus hosts an internal heat source, and that heat has to escape somehow.

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Rosetta mission extended by nine months

ESA has announced that its Rosetta comet orbiter mission will be extended by nine months. The unmanned spacecraft that rendezvoused with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last year will carry out further observations until September 2016, by which time it will be too far from the Sun to power itself and will land on the comet.

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— Space

ESA successfully tests 3D printed thruster

By - June 21, 2015 3 Pictures

The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully test fired a 3D printed platinum alloy thruster combustion chamber and nozzle. The world first test is further evidence that the 3D printing approach is a viable one for the aerospace industry, with the potential to cut costs by streamlining production methods and adding a greater level of flexibility in terms of supply and demand construction.

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