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The water that we drink and which fills the world's oceans had its origin among the stars. Astronomers are enthralled by results from the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, which reveal the chemistry of our Galaxy in unprecedented detail. Surprisingly conspicuous in the neighbourhood of stars at the end of their lives is water vapour made by the combination of primordial hydrogen with oxygen atoms newly manufactured by the stars themselves. Water then reappears during the formation of new stars and planets from the interstellar medium. This happened at the origin of tbe Solar System, and incidentally supplied the water which accounts for more than half of a human being's body weight.
Published: 12 June 1996
The turmoil when two vast assemblies of stars crash together is revealed by the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO. This is among the early results announced by astronomers today at ESA's satellite tracking station at Villafranca near Madrid, which commands ISO in its examination of the Universe. Since the satellite's launch on 17 November 1995, teams of astronomers have received invisible light from many cosmic sources while checking their instruments.
Published: 14 February 1996
ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was successfully launched by Ariane during the night of 17 November. The cover closing the cryostat was ejected on 27 November thereby enabling astronomical use of the ISO telescope. All systems on-board the technologically-innovative satellite are working very well, better than specifications and all the ISO instruments have now received first light.
Published: 6 December 1995
The cover closing the cryostat of ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was successfully ejected at 10:27 UT on Monday 27 November during the 10th orbit of ISO's lifetime.
Published: 27 November 1995
The hydrazine thrusters on ESA's Infrared Space Observatory have successfully raised the perigee Of ISO's orbit from 518 km to the operational altitude of 1030 km above the Earth. Commands to he spacecraft's thrusters were sent from ESA's Control Center ESOC in Darmstadt Germany at 13: 10 UT on 19 November. The thrusters were used for a total of 111 minutes and the burn finished at 15:01 UT.
Published: 20 November 1995
ISO, ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, was successfully launched by an Ariane 44P launcher from Europe's spaceport in Kourou at 01:20 UT on 17 November 1995.
Published: 17 November 1995
The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) has a rendezvous with the unknown on 2 November 1995. The 2.5 tonnes satellite will be launched by an Ariane 44P from Kourou, French Guiana on 11 November 1995 at 01:42 UT. Its task will be long-duration observation of celestial radiation sources in the invisible and cool light of infrared radiation, as yet largely unexplored.
Published: 3 November 1995
That mission is now set to start on 8 November. Rising into the Kourou sky, launched by Ariane, will be a satellite keenly awaited by astronomers wound the world: ISO, the first real infrared space observatory, built and launched under the responsibility of ESA. its task will be long-duration observation of celestial radiation sources, studying them with unparalleled sensitivity and precision. It will view them in the invisible and cool light of infrared radiation, as yet very largely unexplored. ISO will provide an entirely fresh perspective on the universe. This should provide a major and significant boost to scientists working in many areas of astrophysics, from nearby planets to the most distant quasars, taking in star formation, the dark matter of the universe and superluminous galaxies.
Published: 7 October 1995
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