ESA

ESA’s Vega rocket demonstration reports success after months of delays

ESA’s Vega rocket demonstration reports success after months of delays

Last Wednesday, the European Space Agency successfully launched its Vega rocket from French Guiana after around a year of delays. The launch took place from Europe's Spaceport and involved deploying 53 small satellites into orbit -- a mission that ended up a complete success, according to the ESA. The space agency says this mission demonstrated that Vega and the wider Small Spacecraft Mission Service dispenser is capable of offering launch services to customers.

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Closest-ever images of the Sun released – and they expose a new mystery

Closest-ever images of the Sun released – and they expose a new mystery

NASA and the ESA have released the closest pictures ever taken of the Sun, jaw-dropping new photos captured by the Solar Orbiter as it came within 48 million miles of our closest star. A collaboration between the US and European space agencies, the spacecraft is designed to bring back information from deeper in the heart of the solar system than any probe before it, in the hopes of unlocking some of the secrets of the Sun.

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NASA and ESA will reveal first images from Solar Orbiter this week

NASA and ESA will reveal first images from Solar Orbiter this week

NASA is planning to hold an event this week that will reveal the first images and data from Solar Orbiter, the relatively new joint mission between it and the European Space Agency (ESA). The mission is carrying 10 instruments to study our Sun, including the magnetic fields and particles that result from it. The spacecraft made its first pass of our star last month after launching in early February.

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ESA Solar Orbiter makes its first close approach to the Sun

ESA Solar Orbiter makes its first close approach to the Sun

The ESA has announced that the solar Orbiter has made its first close approach to the Sun. The event happened on June 15 with the solar Orbiter approaching as close as 77 million km to the Sun's surface. That is about half the distance between the Sun and Earth. The point that is closest to the Sun is known as the perihelion.

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ESA’s new online map tool shows pollution levels around the world

ESA’s new online map tool shows pollution levels around the world

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a new online mapping tool that shows the level of nitrogen dioxide pollution around the world. The data comes from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P (S5P) satellite, which was launched in 2017 to measure air pollutants globally using its Tropomi instrument. This online portal is released as part of the wider S5P Product Algorithm (S5P-PAL) project.

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ESA Prometheus low-cost reusable rocket engine moves forward

ESA Prometheus low-cost reusable rocket engine moves forward

The European Space Agency or ESA is working on a precursor to an ultra-low-cost rocket called the Prometheus. The space agency says that the rocket is flexible enough to be used on a fleet of new launch vehicles for any mission. The rocket could also potentially be reusable, saving costs making launches cheaper.

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ESA’s reusable Prometheus rocket engine will be ground tested in 2021

ESA’s reusable Prometheus rocket engine will be ground tested in 2021

In 2017, the European Space Agency tapped ArianeGroup to develop Prometheus, a full-sized and liquid-fueled rocket engine demonstrator intended to pave the way for reusable rocket engines. At the time, the agency had said that its demonstrator would be ground tested in November 2020; this week, the ESA returned with an update on the project, including some new dates.

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Peering deep into the early Universe, Hubble sought stars but found a mystery

Peering deep into the early Universe, Hubble sought stars but found a mystery

The first stars in the early universe could've formed far earlier than scientists first believed, new findings from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest, opening new questions about the evolution of galaxies shortly after the Big Bang. Researchers had expected to find so-called Population III stars in the latest Hubble observations, but turned up empty-handed.

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ESA Solar Orbiter will fly through the tails of Comet Atlas

ESA Solar Orbiter will fly through the tails of Comet Atlas

The ESA has announced that over the next few days, the Solar Orbiter will pass through the tails of comet Atlas. The Solar Orbiter only recently launched and wasn't due to begin taking science data at this time. Mission controllers have worked to ensure that the four most relevant instruments will be switched on during the unique encounter.

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ESA moon rover could explore dark craters using laser power

ESA moon rover could explore dark craters using laser power

An ESA program called the Discovery & Preparation program funded the design of a laser system that could keep a rover supplied with power up to 15 km away from a lander spacecraft. The ESA believes that the rover powered by laser light could be used to explore the permanently darkened craters on the poles of the Moon. These permanently dark craters are believed to be rich in water ice and other valuable materials.

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3D printed Moon base could use astronaut urine as a key ingredient

3D printed Moon base could use astronaut urine as a key ingredient

The European Space Agency is exploring how astronaut urine could be repurposed as a valuable building material, potentially enabling stronger 3D printed Moon bases and more. The research, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, focused on using what would normally be a waste byproduct requiring disposal, and making it much more useful.

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Hubble Space Telescope captures images of Comet C/2019 Y4 breakup

Hubble Space Telescope captures images of Comet C/2019 Y4 breakup

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers the sharpest view yet of the breakup of a comet called Comet C/2019 Y4 (Atlas). Hubble was able to resolve approximately 30 fragments of the comet on April 20 and 25 pieces on April 23. The comet was first discovered in December 2019 by the ATLAS robotic astronomical survey system in Hawai'i.

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