News archive

News archive

After a successfull launch on 17 October 2002, experts say that ESA's Integral spacecraft is in very good health, orbiting Earth.
Published: 24 October 2002
The European Space Agency has today launched a new observatory set to revolutionise the branch of astrophysics that seeks to unravel the secrets of the highest-energy - and therefore the most violent - phenomena in the Universe. This comes 20 years after the end of ESA's COS-B mission, which produced a complete map of the sky in the high-energy gamma-ray waveband.
Published: 17 October 2002
Follow the launch from one of the ESA establishmentsESA's Integral (International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) satellite, will be launched by a Proton launcher from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on 17 October at 06:41 CEST (Central European Summer Time).
Published: 7 October 2002
Integral is the International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory of the European Space Agency. It is a cooperative mission with Russia and is scheduled for launch on 17 October 2002 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on a Russian Proton rocket, the Russian contribution to the programme. It is the world's most advanced gamma-ray telescope and will provide first-hand observations of the celestial objects that release some of the most energetic radiation of the Universe. In particular, scientists have designed Integral to simultaneously capture gamma rays, X-rays, and visible light from these objects, allowing astronomers on Earth to fully analyse them.
Published: 2 October 2002
For centuries, alchemists searched for the Philosopher's Stone - said to turn base metals into gold and hold the secret of eternal life. However, alchemists did not have much success in their quest. Creating an element like gold is an amazing achievement that requires enormous amounts of energy and extreme conditions - like those provided by massive exploding stars in supernovae explosions.
Published: 11 July 2002
Conditions in space are unlike anything we experience on Earth. Incredible extremes of temperature that can switch in an instant, startling vacuum conditions, not to mention radiation - it's a tough life for a spacecraft. So it is essential to make sure they are prepared to withstand these conditions before they are launched into this wholly unfriendly environment.
Published: 7 May 2002
While ESA's INTEGRAL spacecraft prepares for launch in October 2002, the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre at Versoix (Switzerland) is getting ready for operations. On 11 April 2002, the doors of the centre - which will prepare and distribute the INTEGRAL data to the worldwide astronomical community - will be open to the European scientific community and to the press.
Published: 27 March 2002
After six years of sometimes painfully difficult development, the construction of the world's largest and most sensitive gamma-ray imaging camera has finished. Following calibration tests in Milan, the fully assembled IBIS telescope has now been transported from Italy to ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands to be integrated on the INTEGRAL spacecraft.
Published: 20 November 2001
Once in orbit, space telescopes can produce heavenly pictures. ESA's new gamma-ray observatory INTEGRAL - just a year away from launch - will be focusing on some of the highest energy celestial sources. Before seeing the stars, one of INTEGRAL's four instruments has been taking some down-to-Earth but surprising pictures - a famous discus thrower and a bottle of champagne.
Published: 26 October 2001
The Dutch morning mist enveloped the Danish flag on 25 September when the country's Minister for Information Technology and Research, Mrs Birte Weiss, arrived at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC). The Minister was accompanied by a party of Danish Parliamentarians led by Mrs Lise Haekkerup, Vice Chairperson of the Danish Parliamentary Research Committee. The visit coincided with the formal delivery of the Danish JEM-X instrument to fly on ESA's INTEGRAL mission.
Published: 27 September 2001
The status of INTEGRAL - the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory of the European Space Agency (ESA) - and the Irish involvement in the mission are being presented at a press conference organised in Dublin on 4 October by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Enterprise Ireland and ESA.
Published: 26 September 2001
Spacecraft are built to be as sturdy and as light as possible but their ride into space can be a bit rough. To ensure they will survive the launch and function as planned in orbit, all satellites are submitted tostrenuous vibration tests before launch.
Published: 19 September 2001
After being assembled by prime contractor Alenia Spazio, INTEGRAL has now been delivered to ESA's ESTEC facility in the Netherlands. Environmental and system tests are now to take place on the gamma-ray observatory in view of a launch in October 2002.
Published: 30 July 2001
Summer migrations in Europe tend to be southwards. But one caravan, composed of some thirty lorries, has started off in the other direction, from Italy to the Netherlands: ESA's INTEGRAL spacecraft is moving house.
Published: 11 July 2001
Like many of Copenhagen's inhabitants, Dr Niels Lund cycles to work everyday, a 5 km distance from his home to the Danish Space Research Institute. For the past six years, his thoughts whilst peddling have been set on the successful completion of JEM-X, one of the four science instruments aboard ESA's gamma-ray observatory INTEGRAL.
Published: 3 July 2001
ESA's International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory INTEGRAL is giving itself more time to be ready for launch. Lift-off on a Russian Proton launcher was previously envisaged in April 2002.
Published: 14 June 2001
Given the exceptionally high over-subscription to the first INTEGRAL call for observation proposals, the mission's Time Allocation Committee (TAC) faced a daunting task when it met between 14-18 May to start the selection process.
Published: 23 May 2001
Calibration is a key moment in the life of a space telescope before launch. Those who have designed and built the instrument and the future users must precisely measure its performance before it starts to examine the Universe. Such calibrations can require considerable effort, and the use of unique installations. That has been the case for INTEGRAL's gamma-ray spectrometer SPI, which has just completed its calibration at a test centre belonging to France's Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
Published: 7 May 2001
The centre of attention was not a fashion model. But, as in a haute-couture fashion house, it was being dressed for the big day. Nimble fingers cut and trimmed, and dazzling gold-coloured material was delicately pinned and attached.
Published: 14 March 2001
The Call for Proposals to use guest observer time on ESA's forthcoming gamma-ray observatory has resulted in 291 individual proposals. These represent approximately 323 million seconds - more than 10 years - of observing time! This is 19 times greater than all the open time available during the first half of the nominal two-year mission.
Published: 28 February 2001
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