ESA

Gaia satellite launches, will chart 1 billion stars 70 times over 5 years

Gaia satellite launches, will chart 1 billion stars 70 times over 5 years

The European Space Agency last week launched Gaia, a star-charting satellite that will repeatedly survey a billion stars over the course of five years. It is en route to a virtual orbit point called "L2", 1.5 million km further from the sun than the planet Earth orbits. It will measure the position, brightness, temperature and chemical composition of each star 70 times.

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GOCE gravity-measuring satellite gives in to gravity

GOCE gravity-measuring satellite gives in to gravity

The GOCE satellite we reported to be falling to Earth has finally succumbed to gravity entirely, breaking up into dozens of remnants weighing 20-25% of its original one ton, reports the BBC. It didn't strike any populated areas as it showered down this Sunday afternoon. Interestingly, the extremely low-orbiting observation satellite was designed in 2009 to run out of orbit-maintaining fuel right about now and fall, just, you know, anywhere. No big deal.

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Clean up space or suffer satellite destruction warns ESA

Clean up space or suffer satellite destruction warns ESA

Space debris that could potentially disrupt future satellites or even space travel must be actively cleared, with nets, harpoons, and other collection methods all under consideration, the European Space Agency concluded today. Although expensive, the tidy-up of space is essential if we're not to face even bigger bills for replacing damaged satellites, the ESA warned after the 6th European Conference on Space Debris held this week; in fact, the agency argues, the issue is akin to the problems recognized around climate change two decades ago.

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Universe is 80 million years older than previously thought

Universe is 80 million years older than previously thought

The universe is billions of years old, but new research suggests that it's a bit older than we all originally thought. According to the European Space Agency, who looked at the findings by its Planck space probe, the universe is actually around 80 million years older than previously expected, making it just over 13.8 billion years old now.

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Europe and Russia teaming up for mission to Mars

Europe and Russia teaming up for mission to Mars

NASA may have already landed several rovers on the surface of Mars, but that isn't stopping other countries from trying it themselves. The European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos have signed a deal to launch an orbiter in 2016 that will orbit the Red Planet, as well as plans to put a rover on Mars in 2018 as part of the ExoMars program.

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ESA proposes 3D-printed buildings on the Moon

ESA proposes 3D-printed buildings on the Moon

The European Space Agency and London-based architecture firm Foster are exploring the possibility of constructing buildings on the Moon that are 3D printed using lunar soil and inflatable domes. While the soil itself wouldn't be durable enough to be used in structures, scientists have mixed simulated lunar soil with magnesium oxide to produce a more robust solution.

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