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Space

Hubble zooms in on galactic core

A new Hubble image has presented a stunning glimpse of the nuclear star cluster known to shroud Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) – the supermassive black hole that lurks at the heart of our galaxy. The spectacular 50 light-year wide image was captured in the infrared spectrum by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.Read More

Space

ESA puts 3D-printed satellite antenna to the test

We can't print entire satellites yet, but the 3D printing of major components is moving forward with ESA unveiling a prototype 3D-printed radio antenna. Currently undergoing testing at ESA's Compact Antenna Test Facility in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, it's the space agency's first 3D-printed dual-reflector antenna incorporating a corrugated feed horn and two reflectors.Read More

Space

ExoMars 2016 is on its way to the Red Planet

The latest mission to Mars began its long journey today as the ExoMars 2016 lifted off at 09:31 GMT atop a Russian Proton-M/Breeze-M rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. A joint effort led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, ExoMars 2016 is the first of a two-spacecraft mission to the Red Planet with the second unmanned probe scheduled to launch in 2018.Read More

Space

Orion's solar panels readied for Moon mission

When NASA's Orion capsule made its maiden flight in 2014, it was easy to forget that only half of the spacecraft actually went into orbit. A dummy version of the European Service Module (ESM), which is still undergoing development, sat behind the the unmanned capsule as it lifted off from Cape Canaveral. That development has just passed a major milestone according to the main contractor, Airbus Defence and Space, with a model of the ESM's solar array performing "flawlessly" in a deployment test this week.Read More

Space

Solar sails to help keep pole-sitting satellites in their place

Pole sitting was a fad in the United States in the 1920s, but ESA is putting a modern orbital spin on the practice. Investigating advanced orbital mechanics, the space agency has concluded that it's possible to build a hybrid solar-sail/electric-propulsion satellite that could hover over either of the Earth's poles by balancing the pull of the Earth and the Sun.Read More

Space

Sorry, but there are no giant caverns inside Rosetta comet

A new study spearheaded by researchers from the Rheinische Institut für Umweltforschung an der Universität zu Köln, Germany, has used data collected by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft to establish that the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) is devoid of any large interior caverns. It had previously been theorized that the relatively low mass of the comet in regard to its volume may have resulted from cavernous hollows within the celestial wanderer.Read More

Space

First high speed laser communication satellite set for launch

Space-based laser communications are moving out of the testing phase and into orbit as the first satellite in the European DAta Relay System (EDRS), or SpaceDataHighway, prepares for launch at the end of January. Likened to having a fiber optic cable in space, the 1.8 Gigabit per second system is a joint public–private partnership between Airbus Defence and Space and ESA that will act as a relay system between ground stations, satellites, and aircraft.
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Space

Rosetta confirms the presence of water ice deposits on the surface of comet 67P

New analysis of data collected by ESA's Rosetta orbiter has revealed significant quantities of water ice on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P). While the presence of water had previously been observed on 67P both in the comet's coma, and as frost on the surface, this discovery represents the first time that a surface deposit of water ice has ever been definitively confirmed on the comet.Read More

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