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ESA

The ESA Common Berthing Mechanism is intended to replace other devices, such as this Russi...

Docking is the paradox of spaceflight. On the one hand, it’s as boring to watch as an apple turning brown; on the other, it’s white-knuckle suspense when you realise that tons of paper-thin metal are one misstep away from destruction. What’s worse, the number of different docking port designs makes compatibility a major concern, so ESA is developing a universal docking mechanism that will allow any spacecraft to lock onto any other.  Read More

Earth is surrounded by a cloud of debris that is becoming increasingly hazardous to operat...

As part of its Clean Space Initiative, the ESA is planning a satellite salvage mission called e.DeOrbit that would use a satellite to net space debris and remove it from low Earth orbit. To capture such debris using an autonomous system, it needs to be targeted effectively, which is difficult when the debris is tumbling unpredictably. To fine tune the design of the e.DeOrbit mission, the ESA will commission a study to shed light on why space debris tumbles the way it does.  Read More

Artist's impression of Sentinel-1A in low-Earth orbit (Image: ESA/ATG medialab)

Despite being in orbit for less than two months, the ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite is already showing its worth in the humanitarian sphere by aiding with relief efforts in the Balkans, where flood waters are estimated to have killed dozens, leaving thousands more displaced.  Read More

An artists impression of the ESA's CryoSat satellite (Image: ESA)

An analysis of data from the European Space Agency's (ESA) CryoSat satellite shows that ice loss in the Antarctic is increasing at an exponential rate. It is estimated that the polar region now loses 159 billion tonnes of ice each year, with the worst instances of degradation located in the Western area of the Amundsen Sea.  Read More

An artist's impression of Venus Express (Image: ESA)

After eight years of study of the second planet in our Solar System, ESA’s Venus Express orbiter is winding up its science program in anticipation of a plunge into the Venusian atmosphere sometime in the next two months.  Read More

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (center) against a star field (Photo: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for ...

On its way to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P, for short), the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Rosetta spacecraft has spied its approaching target and the coma – the "halo" made primarily out of ice and dust that gives the comet its fuzzy appearance – that is developing around its nucleus. At more than 600 million km (373 million miles) from the Sun, the opportunity to observe the early onset of coma production at such distances promises to add much to our knowledge of the life-cycle of a comet as it wends its way around the solar system.  Read More

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins making the first ham video transmission

ESA has announced the inauguration of Ham TV broadcasts from the ISS, which will allow the station to talk to amateur radio operators using video equipment, as well as providing space crews with a backup means of contacting mission control.  Read More

Sentinel-1 is the first satellite to be launched as part of Copernicus, an earth observati...

On April 15, just days after Copernicus' Sentinal-1 sent its first images back to earth, the Copernicus Masters opened its application process for its 4th annual competition that recognizes outstanding ideas, applications, and business concepts based on Earth observation data.  Read More

Image of a transect across the northern section of the Antarctic Peninsula – the different...

ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has returned its first images of Earth from space in its second week of achieving orbit. The satellite, having been launched on Apr. 3, has only recently undergone a complicated maneuver to extend its 10 m (32 ft) solar wings and 12 m (39 ft) radar imaging array.  Read More

The Sentinel 1A satellite was launched from Europe's Kourou Spaceport, French Guiana, on A...

ESA has released compelling video footage displaying the ascent of its Sentinel 1A satellite as viewed from external cameras mounted on the Soyuz Fregat launch vehicle which carried it into orbit.  Read More

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