News archive

News archive

The 36th annual "John C. Lindsay Memorial Lecture" was delivered by ESA scientist Michael Perryman at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA. The lecture, on the "Three Dimensional Structure of our Galaxy", was based on theresults from ESA's Hipparcos mission.
Published: 18 June 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
Astronomy is a painstaking discipline, requiring time and patience. Yet once in while, a string of discoveries using different telescopes occur in the same domain, each following hot on the heels of one another. Now, XMM-Newton adds the latest chapter to the story of IC443, one of the most studied supernova remnants.
Published: 14 June 2001
Some 100 scientists and engineers gathered last week at the European Space Technology Research Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands for the 36th ClusterScience Working Team (SWT) meeting. They were greeted with the news that the four Cluster spacecraft - Rumba, Salsa, Samba and Tango - are now dancing in a new formation around the Earth.
Published: 11 June 2001
Phobos, the tiny innermost moon of Mars, is to come under unprecedented scrutiny after Europe's mission to Mars goes into orbit around the Red Planet late in 2003. Mars Express is due to pass within 3000 km of the 22 km diameter moon a few hundred times during its two-year nominal mission lifetime.
Published: 7 June 2001
With only four years to go before the Huygens probe arrives at Titan, plans are already being drawn up for possible follow-up missions to Saturn's largest moon.
Published: 6 June 2001
An extensive, multi-wavelength study with the Hubble Space Telescope has shown the many faces of the galaxy NGC 1512. Hubble's unique vantage point high above the atmosphere allows scientists to see objects over a broad range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared.
Published: 31 May 2001
Three important lines of discovery have been fuelling the growing belief that we are not, after all, alone in the universe. Many organic molecules have been discovered in space, suggesting that the building blocks of life are widespread; planets have been found orbiting other stars, raising the possibility that some may harbour life; and living organisms have been found alive and well in habitats on Earth so hostile that survival on Mars, or even other Solar System bodies, seems quite feasible.
Published: 28 May 2001
Is our planet an oasis of life in an otherwise dead universe? Twenty years ago, the scientific consensus was "yes, probably". Now it has shifted to "probably not" and the field of astro- (or exo-) biology is burgeoning.
Published: 23 May 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
Updated: A list of submitted proposals for the re-use of the Mars Express platform has been added.27-Mar-2001 A briefing to interested parties on the Call for Ideas for the re-use of the Mars Express platform took place at ESA Headquarters, Paris, on 23 March 2001.
Published: 22 May 2001
Radio galaxies and quasars look different and have been traditionally classified as different objects. But for quite some time now, many astronomers have suspected that those differences are not real but are only apparent, a 'visual illusion' which arises because of our special observation point from the Earth.
Published: 22 May 2001
Moving time has arrived for the four Cluster spacecraft. During the next few weeks, the satellites will carry out a series of manoeuvres that will increase their separation distances. Eventually, each spacecraft will havedrifted to a distance of 2000 km from its partners, compared to the current figure of 600 km.
Published: 21 May 2001
When Spain's Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias reported on 28 July 2000 that an ordinary-looking comet was breaking up, some of the world's top telescopes watched its subsequent disintegration till nothing was left. The French-Finnish SWAN instrument on the SOHO spacecraft had already been observing Comet LINEAR by ultraviolet light for two months, and continued to watch it till the remnants faded from view in mid-August. Today the SWAN team reports, in the journal Science, that their observations showed four major outbursts in June and July.
Published: 18 May 2001
From 21 to 23 May, the first European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology will be taking place at ESA/ESRIN, the European Space Agency establishment in Italy (Frascati, near Rome).The workshop is being organised jointly by the European Exobiology Network and the European Space Agency.
Published: 16 May 2001
Scientists expect to have a much clearer vision of the surface of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, when the Huygens probe touches down on its surface in 2004. In the meantime, both ground-based telescopes and space observatories are contributing to the growing body of information on the nature of Titan's surface.
Published: 15 May 2001
Dozens of young scientists from all over Europe have gathered this week at Les Houches in Savoie, France, for intensive briefings on ESA's next star-mapping satellite, Gaia. As the successor to the very successful Hipparcos space astrometry project, Gaia was approved lastyear as an ESA Cornerstone mission to be launched around 2012. Engaging the interest and participation of the next generation of astronomers will be vital for the project's success.
Published: 14 May 2001
Two pioneering ESA spacecraft, Mars Express and Rosetta, are currently being assembled and tested in preparation for launch in 2003. Now, for the first time, the painstaking progress towards the completion of these technological marvels can be observed daily on computer screens around theworld.
Published: 8 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
Dear Colleagues,On my last day at ESA, I want to address you this farewell message after 18 years spent here as Director of the Science Programme.
Published: 30 April 2001
1-Aug-2021 16:05 UT

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