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ESA


— 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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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

Philae comet lander phones home

By - June 14, 2015 3 Pictures

After seven months of hibernation and dwindling hopes, the European Space Agency has announced that its unmanned Philae comet lander has reestablished contact with the Rosetta mothership and mission control. The European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt received the first signals on Saturday at 22:28 CEST, indicating that the lander has warmed up and charged its batteries sufficiently to return to active duty.

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— Space

ESA panoramas allow a virtual tour of the ISS

By - June 10, 2015 1 Picture

ESA has released an interactive panorama that allows the earthbound to take in the interior of the International Space Station (ISS). This first offering allows users to pan around and explore the Columbus space laboratory, which is the agency's single biggest contribution to the ISS and became a permanent fixture in 2008 after being delivered by the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

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— Space

ESA's mission to de-clutter low-Earth orbit takes a step forward

By - June 5, 2015 1 Picture

ESA's mission to mitigate the environmental impacts on low-Earth orbit from mankind's relentless march into space has entered a new phase, ahead of its make-or-break review before the ESA's Council of Ministers in December 2016. The e.Deorbit program would launch multiple debris-seeking probes into orbit each year, tasked with the removal of defunct satellites and other potentially hazardous man-made objects from low-Earth orbit.

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— Space

First ISS to Earth "handshake" demonstrates space-to-ground remote control

By - June 4, 2015 3 Pictures

NASA astronaut Terry Virts, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and ESA telerobotics specialist André Schiele, in the Netherlands, made space history this week with the first telerobotic "handshake" between space and Earth. Using special force feedback joysticks that acquire force data and create the sensation of pressure, Virts and Schiele brought the agencies closer to allowing astronauts in remote locations to naturally and safely control robotic devices and perform potentially dangerous or otherwise impossible tasks.

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— Space

Huge release of Rosetta images paints a spooky picture of comet's rugged landscape

By - June 2, 2015 52 Pictures

Around seven months after the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe made history by deploying its Philae lander onto the surface 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, an expansive catalogue of images has been released providing an up-close look at the comet's rugged landscape. The photos were snapped by Rosetta's NavCam between September and November last year, as the spacecraft came as close as 8 km from the surface.

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