News archive

News archive

On 16 December at 11:30 UT, the final orbit trim for XMM was performed on schedule, bringing the spacecraft into its operational orbit, from where it will be ready to start the instrument commissioning phase, due to commence in the new year. XMM Ground Segment Manager Howard Nye describes the atmosphere during this final manoeuvre...
Published: 17 December 1999
The force of sunlight is keeping part of our solar system dust free - at least free from a particular type of dust. Markus Landgraf, now working at ESA's operations centre ESOC in Germany and his international team of colleagues, made this discovery after poring over data collected by the dust detector on board the Ulysses spacecraft. In a paper published in Science today, they show how their findings lend support to the view that our solar system is moving through a cloud of dust and gas that is made of the same stuff as interstellar clouds observed elsewhere in our galaxy.
Published: 17 December 1999
The 15th Member State joins ESA and the Science Programme is proud to welcome Portugal to share our adventure. This is a country of great explorers who have made a huge contribution to the knowledge of our planet. Now Portugal joins us in our exploration of the Universe and we are sure that their contribution will be in line with this fine tradition.O 15: Estado Membro aderiu ` ESA e o Programa Cientifico orgulha-se de acolher Portugal a partilhar a nossa aventura. Este i um pams de grandes descobridores que contribumram imenso para o cenhecimento da nossa planeta. Agora que Portugal nos juntou na exploragco do Universo estamos certos que a sua contribuigco seguira em termos com esta boa tradigco.
Published: 16 December 1999
During the XMM early orbit phase manoeuvres, which have raised the orbit perigee to 7000 km, small micro-cameras on the outside of the spacecraft have been able to take exceptional views of XMM and of its thrusters in action.
Published: 16 December 1999
After its safe delivery to the European Space Research and TechnologyCentre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, the Structural Thermal Model (STM) ofthe Rosetta spacecraft is ready to start an exhaustive series ofenvironmental tests.
Published: 14 December 1999
With the Sun now entering its season of maximum sunspot counts, theworld's engineers have reason to be nervous. Blustery space weatherstirred up by the Sun can disrupt technological systems on the Earth andespecially in orbit, where 75 communications satellites worth about 15billion euros are at risk from solar storms. So the engineers will beglad to know that the world's chief watchdog for the Sun, the ESA-NASASOHO spacecraft, is now fully back on duty after a technicalinterruption from 28 November to 10 December that curtailed some of itsobservations.
Published: 14 December 1999
Astronomers have just realised that news of a planet orbiting a distant star came from ESA's Hipparcos satellite eight years ago, although noone noticed it until now. The first observation, on 17 April 1991, was made long before Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the Observatoire de Genève astounded the world in 1995 with their discovery of a planet around the star 51 Pegasi. Since then the search for alien planets has become a highly competitive theme in astronomy, and the present tally of stars known to possess planets is 28.
Published: 13 December 1999
Some very special "rocket fuel" was awaiting the B-team XMM flight controllers when they came off shift, midday on December 13. Swedish staff had organised a gathering to celebrate Santa Lucia, Sweden's traditional remembrance of the Sicilian saint.
Published: 12 December 1999
Over the weekend, the extreme tension of the launch itself disappeared. The XMM satellite is now in the safe hands of the ESOC control teams. In their Main Control Room, XMM has yet to be chalked up on the record board. It is the 42nd mission to be handled by ESOC since 1968.
Published: 12 December 1999
During the first hours after XMM's acquisition by the Perth groundstation, the spacecraft control teams at ESOC nursed their babythrough its initial in-orbit sequences. Triggered by the onboardtimer, the two wings of the solar array opened faultlessly, thetelescope sunshield equally well. The star trackers were switched onand the spacecraft's reaction wheels were spun up.
Published: 10 December 1999
The XMM spacecraft, launched on 10 December from Kourou, has sent back pictures of itself in space.The photographs were taken by two micro-cameras placed on the exterior of the spacecraft's focal plane assembly. Provided by Optronic Instruments and Products (OIP) - Delft Sensor Systems, and IMEC, Belgium, the two cameras (10 x 6 x 6cm) each weigh but 430 grams.
Published: 10 December 1999
The world's most powerful observatory for X-ray astronomy, the European Space Agency's XMM satellite, set off into space from Kourou, French Guiana, at 14:32 UTC on 10 December. The mighty Ariane 5 launcher, making its very first commercial launch, hurled the 3.9-tonne spacecraft into a far-ranging orbit. Within one hour of lift-off the European Space Operations Centre at Darmstadt, Germany, confirmed XMM was under control with electrical power available from the solar arrays.
Published: 10 December 1999
The Ariane-5 lifted off perfectly on time at 14:32 UT. Separation of the XMM satellite took place 29:18 minutes into the flight."I'm very proud today - we have given the world a remarkable image just now", said Roger Bonnet at the post-launch press conference.
Published: 9 December 1999
At a post-launch conference held between Kourou, Paris and ESOCDarmstadt, the Director General Of ESA Antonio Rodota said:"The launch of XMM represents a success for Europe. We are veryproud of our satellite, and of the Ariane-5 launcher. The flight hasfurther demonstrated the potential of the new vehicle and we expectmore successes of this kind.So you understand we really are proud tohave been on this first Ariane-5 commercial launch".
Published: 9 December 1999
Launch of STS-103 (Hubble Servicing Mission 3A) is currently set for 18 December 2:47 Central European Time.
Published: 9 December 1999
While the spaceworld has had its eyes on the successful launch of ESA's XMM telescope, SOHO recovery teams have been busy at GSFC. As of 10 December at 01:00 UT, the SOHO spacecraft is back in Normal Mode.
Published: 9 December 1999
Two of the European Space Agency's most experienced astronauts are preparing to board the Space Shuttle Discovery as part of the international crew to be launched on an end-of-the-year mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
Published: 8 December 1999
SOHO is performing maneuvres in preparation for a return toNormal Mode this evening. All instruments are in a safeconfiguration for the maneuvres.Yesterday, a momentum management was performed prior to aroll back to the nominal pointing position. The spacecraft was left inRoll Maneuvre Wheels mode for the night.
Published: 8 December 1999
The essential events during Hubble Servicing Mission 3A (SM3A),currently scheduled for launch Sunday 12 December, will be covered livefrom the ESA Science web pages. Hourly reports during the mostinteresting parts of the mission will appear in 'The Hubble ServicingMission ESA Monitoring Centre', as well as access to a chat forum wherethe progress of the mission will be among the hot topics.
Published: 7 December 1999
"Our hearts go out to our colleagues at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory over the probable loss of Mars Polar Lander," Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express project manager said today. "But risk will always be part of any space mission. We at Mars Express will forge ahead, taking on board all the lessons that we can from the polar lander failure."
Published: 7 December 1999
31-May-2020 07:38 UT

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