News archive

News archive

Last week marked the start of the integration campaign for ESA's SMART-1 mission. On 13 March, SMART-1 began to take shape as assembly of the structural model (STM) began at the APCO integration facility in Vevey, Switzerland.
Published: 18 March 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
Exactly 15 years after the intrepid Giotto spacecraft swept past the nucleus of Halley's Comet, ESA scientist Gerhard Schwehm shared his memories of past triumphs while looking forward to new revelations from the Rosetta mission.
Published: 13 March 2001
If youre travelling on Europe's roads this year, you may spot a very large vehicle (5m long and 3.5m wide), bearing the Mars Express logo. It will be making slow progress and will be accompanied by a police escort. Inside the clean, air-conditioned environment will be the Mars Express spacecraft in transit between industrial contractors in Switzerland, the UK, Italy or France.
Published: 13 March 2001
To be launched in 2005Note that the briefing for the Call for Ideas for the re-use of the Mars Express platform will take place on 23 March 2001, in Paris Headquarters, room Cinema, from 13h00 to 15h00.The search for more efficiency is a constant concern of the Science Directorate since the initiation of the Horizon 2000 programme. As shown to ESA's SSAC and SPC, a number of scientific missions have led to considerable savings achieved by adopting newmanagement procedures, exploiting cheaper industrial costs (especially the re-using platforms or subsystems developed for the other missions), and accessing cheaper launchers.
Published: 9 March 2001
Whilst XMM-Newton delves into the hottest places in the Universe, life down on planet Earth can sometimes also be too warm for comfort. Pictures have become available of a bush fire that recently threatened the X-ray observatory's tracking station near Perth. Science operations were unaffected.
Published: 8 March 2001
A new Flash application has just been published on the "Goodies" page in the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre.
Published: 7 March 2001
Beautiful, detailed Hubble images of the centre of the prototypical starburst galaxy M82 point to a violent past. An ancient burst of star formation that gave birth to more than 100 super star clusters is linked to a violent encounter with the galaxy's large neighbour, M81.
Published: 6 March 2001
Will the Moon be the ultimate travel destination? Can we harness energy from the Moon? How and when can we build a lunar base or a lunar village? Will it be possible to transform that barren landscape 384 000 kmaway into a thriving hub of scientific research and industrialization? These and other questions will be discussed during the first Convention of Lunar Explorers (LUNEX) in Paris, at the Palais de la Dicouvertefrom 8 to 10 March.
Published: 1 March 2001
Representatives of the European Space Agency's LISA Study team and the European LISA science community met today at the European Space Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands to discuss the project's current statusand future plans.
Published: 1 March 2001
An object that fell to Earth more than 136 years ago has revealed new clues about the origin of meteorites in space and new information about how life may have risen on the early Earth. The new study by astrobiologist Pascale Ehrenfreund and collaborators shows that the Orgueil meteorite, which fell in France in 1864, may be the first meteorite traced to a comet, rather than to an asteroid, the source widely believed to produce meteorites. The contents within Orgueil, the study says, may have been just the type of fundamental ingredients necessary to help generate life on Earth. Scientists have generally believed that a wide variety of amino acids were required for the origin of life on Earth. "Recent research suggests, however, that only a few types of simple amino acids may have been required, and that is exactly what was found to be present in Orgueil" .
Published: 1 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
One must admit that spectra, the many-varied curves that plot the number of photons and their energy, appear to be rather uninspiring to the layman; nothing worse than a graph. But like one's body temperature curve, they mean a lot.
Published: 27 February 2001
Astronomers have long suspected that the bar systems that dominate the appearance of some spiral galaxies provide an efficient mechanism for fuelling star births at their centres. New results from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provide evidence that this is indeed the case.
Published: 26 February 2001
International collaboration between Europe and Japan took a step forward last month when scientists building instruments for ESA's Mars Express mission travelled to Japan for a meeting with their counterparts on Nozomi, the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science's (ISAS) mission to Mars.
Published: 25 February 2001
After the recommendations of a first review last July of XMM-Newton science operations, ESA's Director of Science has congratulated all those involved for greatly improving the mission's efficiency, particularly the management of the X-ray observatory's observations.
Published: 22 February 2001
A comet that fell into the Sun on 7 February was tracked by twodifferent instruments on the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft, enablingscientists to characterize it quite precisely. This was just one ofnearly 300 comets discovered by SOHO since 1996, thanks mainly to theprivileged view of the sky around the Sun given by the visible-lightcoronagraph LASCO. On this occasion SOHO's ultraviolet coronagraph UVCSalso observed the comet repeatedly. It gave valuable additionalinformation, both about the comet and about the solar wind close to theSun.
Published: 22 February 2001
Although a space telescope will, and should, be remembered mainly for its discoveries, its technology and the way it was operated also provide invaluable information for the future. Last week, scientists met to discuss and analyse in detail this other less obvious legacy left by ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, a pioneer in infrared space astronomy. Future missions will certainly learn from both the successes and the 'could-have-done-better' aspects, said the representatives from the next ESA, NASA and Japanese infrared space telescopes at a workshop in Spain. Thanks to ISO, there are now more than a hundred new well-understood infrared sources for calibration, including asteroids and planets.
Published: 19 February 2001
Studies of near-Earth space will never be the same again, following the successful commissioning of the European Space Agency's Cluster mission.
Published: 15 February 2001
An extra facility has been added to the network of ground stations used to control XMM-Newton. In addition to Perth and Kourou, flight controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt are now also using a station in Santiago, Chile, to communicate with the spacecraft and receive its science data.
Published: 15 February 2001
18-Apr-2021 00:39 UT

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