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ESA Top News
Updated: 16 hours 29 min ago

Mesh reflector for shaped radio beams

Thu, 17/09/2020 - 07:35
Image: Mesh reflector for shaped radio beams
Categories: News in English

Providing the facts to help Europe achieve 55%

Wed, 16/09/2020 - 13:48

Today, at her State of the Union address before the European Parliament, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, proposed a new target of a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The current target is a 40% reduction. With such ambitious goals ahead for Europe, understanding how greenhouse gases end up in the atmosphere and the intricacies of the carbon cycle is essential – something that satellites observing Earth can help provide.

Categories: News in English

New ESA podcast explores history of spaceflight in Europe

Wed, 16/09/2020 - 10:20

Join astronauts and experts for an aural journey through the history of European spaceflight in the latest series of ESA podcast, ESA Explores Time and Space

Categories: News in English

Making waves in space

Tue, 15/09/2020 - 16:16

The International Space Station is an exciting place for experiments. This one in particular was making waves in space. Called Fluidics, the experiment studies fluid dynamics in microgravity and recently performed another successful round of science on board the Space Station. 

Developed by French space agency CNES and co-funded by Airbus Defense and Space, the Fluidics or Fluid Dynamics in Space experiment is probing how fluids behave in weightlessness.

Have you ever tried walking while carrying a full cup of water? Your steps invariably cause the water to slosh about, making spills hard to avoid. Now imagine a satellite turning – the fuel inside will slosh, affecting the satellite’s stability.  The experiment will help improve the performance of satellite propellant systems, extending their working lives by using every last drop in their tanks.

A second part of the Fluidics experiment will look at capillary wave turbulence in liquids. On Earth, gravity and surface tension influence how energy dissipates in waves or ripples. In space, scientists can observe how surface forces behave without gravity.

By looking at capillary wave turbulence without gravity interfering, researchers can single out non-linear interactions. This could help us improve climate models forecasting the sea states and better understand wave formation on Earth, like rogue waves for example.  

The experiment is made up of five small, transparent spheres housed in a black centrifuge seen here. Three spheres hold water for the wave-turbulence research; the other two carry a special liquid with low viscosity and little surface tension for sloshing. 

Fluidics was first installed and run by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet during his Proxima mission in 2016. The most recent session was completed by NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy in the European laboratory on board the Space Station.

Learn more about the Fluidics experiment with this infographic


Categories: News in English

Spalte breaks up

Tue, 15/09/2020 - 15:03
Image: Spalte break up
Categories: News in English

Industry starts work on Europe’s Hera planetary defence mission

Tue, 15/09/2020 - 14:00

Today ESA awarded a €129.4 million contract covering the detailed design, manufacturing and testing of Hera, the Agency’s first mission for planetary defence. This ambitious mission will be Europe’s contribution to an international asteroid deflection effort, set to perform sustained exploration of a double asteroid system.

Categories: News in English

Back to school with Thomas Pesquet

Mon, 14/09/2020 - 10:00
Video: 00:03:32

It's that time of year again: everyone is back to school! Like many, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is also studying, for his next mission to the International Space Station. Join Thomas in learning about Earth and space by participating in ESA Education's 2020-21 school projects.

More info

Categories: News in English

Meet the Experts: Designing a space mission

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 15:00
Video: 00:06:25

Space missions are complex and require input from many specialists. The Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is where most of ESA missions are conceived and conceptually designed. In this episode of Meet the Experts, Massimo Bandecchi, the founding father of ESA's CDF, explains Concurrent Design (CD) and some of the missions studied using this methodology.

Find more episodes in the series

Categories: News in English

Week in images: 07-11 September 2020

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 14:20

Week in images: 07-11 September 2020

Discover our week through the lens

Categories: News in English

West coast wildfires

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 14:13
Image: Captured on 10 September 2020, this Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows thick smoke blanketing the US west coast.
Categories: News in English

ESA Open Day going online this October

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 13:22

This year’s ESA Open Day at ESTEC in the Netherlands is taking place on an online basis. Continuing COVID-19 restrictions make it impossible to let people on site in person, but participants will still enjoy virtual tours of the extensive establishment, get unique close-up views of space hardware and interact directly with astronauts and space experts.

Categories: News in English

Earth from Space: Amazon River

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 09:00
Video: 00:03:00

This week's edition of Earth from Space features a Copernicus Sentinel-1 image of the Amazon River meandering through one of the most vital ecosystems in the world – the Amazon rainforest in South America.

See also Amazon River to download the image.

Categories: News in English

Amazon River

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 09:00
Image: This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-1, shows the Amazon River meandering through one of the most vital ecosystems in the world – the Amazon rainforest in South America.
Categories: News in English

Register for ESA’s Φ-Week event

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 15:25

Register for ESA’s Φ-Week event

Categories: News in English

MOSAiC Arctic expedition reaches North Pole

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 12:35

On 19 August 2020, the world’s largest and longest polar research expedition – known as MOSAiC – reached the North Pole after making an unplanned detour owing to lighter-than-usual sea ice conditions. The expedition is now entering its final stage, during which researchers will study the last piece of the Arctic puzzle: the growth of new sea ice marking the end of the summer season.

Categories: News in English

Advice from an astronaut

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 12:30
Video: 00:01:41

English Advice from an astronaut

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano provides words of wisdom to young people on how investing their time wisely today can help build a better tomorrow.

In this video, Luca recalls his own childhood and says, the most valuable resource we have as young people is time. He encourages the next generation to continue having fun, but to do so while investing in their own education as they plant the seed for a successful future.

Success, Luca says, is not measured by being an astronaut or by being rich, but by committing to projects that give you satisfaction and contribute to a better world. If you choose something you love, and you love what you do, you will never work one day in your life.

As an ESA astronaut of Italian nationality, Luca has served two six-month space missions on the International Space Station. During his last mission, known as Beyond, in 2019/2020 he became the third European and first ever Italian in command of the Space Station.

Luca continues to work as an astronaut in Europe, inspiring the next generation of explorers, and supporting European efforts to enhance life on Earth and the future of space travel through human and robotic exploration.

Italian Consigli da un astronauta

L’astronauta dell’ESA Luca Parmitano dispensa ai giovani parole di saggezza su come investire attentamente il loro tempo oggi, può aiutare a costruire un domani migliore.

In questo video Luca ricorda la sua infanzia e, dice, la risorsa più preziosa che abbiamo quando siamo giovani è il tempo. Egli incoraggia la prossima generazione a continuare a divertirsi, ma a farlo mentre si investe nella propria formazione e si semina per un futuro di successo.

Il successo, continua Parmitano, non si misura con l’essere un astronauta, o con l’essere ricco, ma impegnandosi in progetti che ci danno soddisfazione e che contribuiscono a un mondo migliore. Se scegli qualcosa che ami, e ami ciò che fai, non lavorerai neanche un giorno della tua vita.

Come astronauta dell’ESA di nazionalità italiana, Parmitano ha preso parte a due missioni di sei mesi nello spazio, a bordo della Stazione Spaziale Internazionale. Durante la sua ultima missione, conosciuta come Beyond, nel 2019/2020 Luca è diventato il terzo europeo e il primo italiano in assoluto al comando della Stazione Spaziale.

Luca continua a lavorare come astronauta in Europa, ispirando la prossima generazione di esploratori e dando sostegno agli sforzi europei per migliorare la vita sulla Terra e il futuro dei viaggi spaziali attraverso l’esplorazione abitata e robotica.

Categories: News in English

ESA’s polar station marks three decades satellite tracking

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 12:00

North of Sweden and the Arctic Circle, ESA’s Kiruna ground station is celebrating 30 years looking skyward, connecting us to many of our beloved and most pioneering space explorers.

Categories: News in English

How can space promote green growth?

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:00

An all-day digital workshop to explore how space can boost clean energy and contribute to a sustainable economy will be held on 14 September.

Categories: News in English

Expanding ESTEC’s Test Centre

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 07:34
Image: Expanding ESTEC’s Test Centre
Categories: News in English

Backbone of a spacecraft

Tue, 08/09/2020 - 13:33

This structure is the frame and base for the European Service Module, part of NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will return humans to the Moon.

Built in Turin, Italy, at Thales Alenia Space, this is the third such structure to roll out of production. However, this one is extra special, as it will fly the first woman and next man to land on the Moon and return on the Artemis III mission by 2024.

The structure is nearly complete and acts as a backbone to the Orion spacecraft, providing rigidity during launch.

Much like a car chassis, this structure forms the basis for all further assembly of the spacecraft, including 11 km of wiring, 33 engines, four tanks to hold over 8000 litres of fuel, enough water and air to keep four astronauts alive for 20 days in space and the seven-metre ‘x-wing’ solar arrays that provide enough electricity to power two households.

Orion’s backbone will travel to the Airbus integration hall in Bremen, Germany, at the end of the month to integrate all the elements listed above and more. This third European Service Module will join the second in the series that is already in Bremen, and nearing completion, to be sent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center next year.

The first service module is already finished and will be integrated with the Crew Module and rocket adapters to sit atop the Space Launch Systems rocket. The first completed Orion craft is scheduled for a launch and fly-by around the Moon, without astronauts, next year on the first Artemis mission.

The countdown to the Moon starts in Europe with 16 companies in ten countries supplying the components that make up humankind’s next generation spacecraft for exploration.

Read more about Orion and the Artemis missions.


Categories: News in English