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ESA

Modern deep space probes may be among the most sophisticated pieces of hardware the 21st century can produce, but that doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to the age-old problem of dust. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta space probe was thrown into safe mode recently when it was unable to take a simple star fix due to comet dust. Read More
Two new Galileo satellites have been successfully placed in orbit, joining the existing six probes in the constellation that aim to provide a European alternative to GPS and Glonass networks. The operation went off without a hitch – something that can't be said for the troubled assent of the fifth and sixth Galileo satellites. Read More
The ESA has been testing the possibility of using one of mankind's earliest inventions to cope with one of its newest challenges, by testing a concept that would allow satellites to net and de-orbit space debris in a safe and controlled manner. Space debris is an ever-increasing problem, and agencies around the world are starting to take steps to preserve the low-Earth orbit environment vital for a sustainable space industry. Read More
Hubble has been a boon to deep space exploration, gifting us iconic pictures of the skies and revealing new insights into the history of the early universe. For the next big step in space astronomy, NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency are raising the stakes even higher with one of their most ambitious projects in decades: building the largest space telescope ever ... the James Webb Space Telescope. Read More
Friday morning bore witness to a stunning solar eclipse, as our Moon traversed the face of our parent star, blocking its light in a beautiful example of the intricate orbits negotiated by the planets and moons that make up our solar system. For those able to secure a pair of protective glasses and be charmed enough to gaze through cloud-free skies, the sight was a spectacular one – a rare meeting of two celestial bodies that have accompanied each of us through every day and night of our lives. Read More
The European Space Agency (ESA) has temporarily suspended its attempt to reestablish contact with its Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For eight days, the agency’s Rosetta probe unsuccessfully beamed a wake up signal to the hibernating lander, which has been silent since its batteries were exhausted in November. Read More
The ESA is preparing a number of its orbital assets to observe Friday morning's solar eclipse, when the Moon will pass in front of the Sun's disk, blocking the light from our parent star in spectacular fashion. The event will be viewable to most of Europe, however the degree to which the Moon will obscure the Sun will vary depending on location. Viewers in parts of Norway will experience a total eclipse, while those watching from Rome will only see 56 percent of our star's surface covered. Read More
The ESA has successfully corrected the orbit of its sixth Galileo satellite following its launch into an elongated orbit in August 2014. It took 14 maneuvers to reposition the probe, which is designed to form part of a new global navigation system on par with existing GPS and Glonass solutions. Read More
The digital infrared sensor installed on the ESA’s Proba-V satellite is being adapted for use back home. While it’s currently being used to provide fresh pictures of the entirety of Earth’s flora every two days, its creators believe it’s well suited to less exotic applications, such as scanning for skin diseases and spotting defects in production lines. Read More
The airlock of the International Space Station (ISS) was turned into a laboratory last week. In a station with as much space as a 747, that may seem a bit odd, but its purpose was part of a study of the lungs of space travelers by monitoring the effects of one the astronauts' most surprising hazards: dust. Read More
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