ESA

ESA leverages spacecraft “housekeeping” data to learn more about cosmic rays

ESA leverages spacecraft “housekeeping” data to learn more about cosmic rays

The ESA has reported it is using data originally gathered for what it terms spacecraft "housekeeping" gathered aboard the Rosetta and Mars Express missions to learn more about cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are bursts of high-energy radiation, and the data gathered by the spacecraft helps scientists understand how cosmic rays behave at Mars and in the inner solar system. The housekeeping data gathered by the spacecraft and its components is typically used by engineering teams to monitor the health of the spacecraft and diagnose faults.

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ESA contributes to wooden WISA Woodsat mission

ESA contributes to wooden WISA Woodsat mission

Building and launching satellites is an expensive proposition, and there are companies around the world looking to make that cheaper. The ESA has announced it will put the first wooden satellite into orbit. The sunlight is called the WISA Woodsat, and it's a 10x10x10 cm CubeSat nanosatellite built from standardized boxes.

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ESA chooses Voyage 2050 mission themes

ESA chooses Voyage 2050 mission themes

The ESA has chosen its large-class science mission themes for the timeframe between 2035 and 2050. The missions fall under the Voyage 2050 umbrella and will focus in part on moons orbiting some of the massive planets in the solar system. The mission will also investigate temperate exoplanets and the early universe. ESA director of science Gunther Hasinger says that the selection of Voyage 2050 themes is pivotal for the ESA science program.

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ESA and NASA team on a third exciting Venus probe: Here’s why

ESA and NASA team on a third exciting Venus probe: Here’s why

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are collaborating on a new Venus probe, with EnVision headed to our distant Solar System neighbor as part of a trio of spacecraft set to unlock unprecedented insights. The ESA announced EnVision had been given the green-light today, with the new Venus orbiter to carry NASA's Synthetic Aperture Radar.

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The James Webb Space Telescope launch is delayed (again)

The James Webb Space Telescope launch is delayed (again)

NASA has pushed back the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, another delay for the Hubble successor, though the aim is still to have the huge and complex instrument heading to its new home in space before the end of the year. The team behind the telescope project - a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) - had previously intended to launch on October 31, 2021.

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NASA and other space agencies to host a hackathon in June

NASA and other space agencies to host a hackathon in June

NASA, ESA, and JAXA have announced they will be hosting a hackathon to study the environmental effects of COVID-19. The hackathon will run from June 23 through June 29 and is officially called the Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon. All around the world, many countries have taken similar steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including large-scale lockdowns and mass deployment of personal protective equipment such as masks.

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An iceberg measuring 4220 square kilometers has broken off the Ronne Ice Shelf

An iceberg measuring 4220 square kilometers has broken off the Ronne Ice Shelf

One of the Antarctic ice sheets is called the Ronne Ice Shelf and is located in the Weddell Sea. The European Space Agency (ESA) has reported that a gigantic iceberg has calved from the western side of the ice shelf. The iceberg has been dubbed A-76 and measures 4320 square kilometers in size, making it the largest iceberg in the world.

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ESA pushes ahead on Starlink-GPS style hybrid network for the Moon

ESA pushes ahead on Starlink-GPS style hybrid network for the Moon

An incredible network of lunar satellites, ringing the Moon and powering a telecoms and navigation system there, is another step closer to reality, the European Space Agency has announced today. The ESA's Moonlight plan would address one of the growing areas of concern as humanity plans a crewed return to the lunar surface, delivering stable communications between teams and back with mission control on Earth.

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Solar Orbiter scores an unexpected first sighting for NASA’s Sun imager

Solar Orbiter scores an unexpected first sighting for NASA’s Sun imager

NASA and the ESA's Solar Orbiter may not be fully operational yet, but that hasn't stopped the Sun probe from capturing one of its first gushes of magnetically-charged plasma from the corona of our nearest star. It's among the first data tidbits from the spacecraft after a long year of travel from Earth to the Sun, where scientists expect it to help answer lingering questions about the impact of solar activity on our planet.

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ESA wants to make astronauts’ shared spacesuit underwear more hygienic

ESA wants to make astronauts’ shared spacesuit underwear more hygienic

Yes, it's true -- astronauts share 'underwear' when they put on spacesuits to work outside of the International Space Station. This isn't quite the same type of underwear you're thinking of, as the astronauts first put on a disposable diaper, then the full-body underwear layer. Still, there are some downsides to this arrangement that the ESA is attempting to address with a new project.

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Scientists may power future Martian missions by flying a kite

Scientists may power future Martian missions by flying a kite

Currently, rovers that are exploring the surface of Mars are often powered by solar energy. Some rely on other sources of energy, but solar is common. The challenge is that solar panels can get covered by dust that proliferates on the surface of Mars, reducing power or potentially leaving the systems they power unable to operate. Researchers at the ESA have been working on a new potential way to power rovers on Mars in the future that involves flying a kite.

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New processing techniques make a Hubble image of the Veil Nebula more spectacular

New processing techniques make a Hubble image of the Veil Nebula more spectacular

Over the many years the Hubble Space Telescope has spent orbiting the Earth, it has had its share of issues. The space telescope has also taken some of the most spectacular images of the cosmos humans have ever seen. One of the most beautiful images Hubble has taken is of the Veil Nebula.

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