News archive

News archive

The XMM launch campaign has been proceeding smoothly, since the spacecraft arrived in French Guiana on 23 September. A continuous account of the campaign, direct from the XMM team in Kourou, can be found on this website.
Published: 22 November 1999
"From here the peak was around 2200 meteors at 02:13", reported an excited Michael Schmidhuber, ESA's man aboard the international plane at 03:08 UT, calling in from somewhere over Greece to the waiting scientists gathered at ESTEC. First pictures from the two ESA science teams in Spain began to arrive at 02:39 UT. At 02:00 UT Jo Zender reported from Calar Alto: "We are now seeing more than 250 meteors per hour, more than one every half minute."
Published: 17 November 1999
For updates throughout the night see Leonids 99 including new video interviews and the sound of the meteors. You can also put your questions direct to ESA's experts in a live chat forum this evening!Will the night sky be illuminated with thousands of shooting stars - known to scientists as the Leonid meteors - on the night of 17/18 November? No-one knows for sure, but some experts are predicting a dramatic display over Western Europe which will rival any millennium celebrations.
Published: 16 November 1999
Just 24 days before its third Servicing Mission, the Hubble Space telescope has been placed into a safe mode, triggered by a failure in one of Hubble's last three working gyroscopes.
Published: 15 November 1999
Visitors to the test and integration facilities at IABG near Munich, Germany, on 24 November may be excused for thinking they are suffering from multiple vision. On display there, in a giant clean room, will be not one but four identical cylindrical spacecraft. This is the only occasion on which all four of ESA's Cluster II spacecraft will be on display together in Europe.
Published: 14 November 1999
All lights are green to launch ESA's X-ray Space Observatory on 10 December with a launch window starting at 14:32 GMT.
Published: 11 November 1999
A highly innovative and budget-priced mission to explore the moon has formally been approved by the European Space Agency. Meeting in Paris 9 and 10 November the Agency's Science Programme Committee has finalised all aspects of the SMART-1 project. This small lunar orbiter is the first in a new line of Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology to demonstrate new key technologies for future deep space missions.
Published: 10 November 1999
The Earth will have another close encounter with Comet Tempel-Tuttle's dust trail in the early hours of 18 November, and the resulting meteor storm, called the Leonids, could be spectacular.But the storm so eagerly awaited by astronomers is also making spacecraft controllers take precautions. Like a ship caught in a tempest, ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) will try to stay as safe as possible during the meteor storm.
Published: 10 November 1999
The Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency at its meeting on 9-10 November 1999 re-confirmed the payload of the Mars Express mission as approved in May 1998, with two important additions:
Published: 10 November 1999
The celestial encounter between Mercury and the Sun on 15 November could help scientists gather more accurate information on the solar atmosphere than ever before. This type of planetary transit is a rather uncommon event that happens at intervals of 7, 13, or 33 years.
Published: 9 November 1999
On Wednesday 24 November, the four satellites of the Cluster II mission will be on display - for the last time together in Europe - at the IABG Space Test Centre in Ottobrunn, near Munich, Germany. Media representatives are also invited to attend a press conference with specialists from the European Space Agency, Dornier Satellite Systems - the prime contractor for the spacecraft - and scientists involved in the mission.
Published: 9 November 1999
Thursday 14th October, day four of SVT-3. The object of the third and final XMM Systems Verification Test before launch is to command the spacecraft at a distance, as if it were in orbit, and particularly to control the reception of information from its science payload. It is the first time that the six cameras and radiation monitor installed on the spacecraft provide their data to the XMM Science Operations Centre (SOC).
Published: 9 November 1999
Following completion of its ground qualification test programme in August, the new Fregat upper stage for the Russian Soyuz launch vehicle last week passed an ESA Design Review.
Published: 8 November 1999
A dozen ancient stars, scattered all over the sky, are survivors from asmall galaxy that invaded the Milky Way like a shipload of Vikings. TheEuropean Space Agency's Hipparcos satellite, which measured the motionsof many thousands of stars, enabled astronomers from Leiden in the Netherlands and Garching in Germany to make this astonishing discovery.It provides clear evidence in favour of the theory that great assembliesof stars, like the Milky Way Galaxy where we live, grew by theamalgamation of smaller galaxies.
Published: 4 November 1999
The Milky Way is a fairly quiet galaxy now, but some thousands of millions years ago it was quite a different story. ESA's infrared space observatory, ISO, has taken pictures of the 'golden age' of galaxy formation, the epoch when galaxies were taking the shape we see now, and has unveiled more than a thousand very active young galaxies in which non-stop star-formation machines are at work. The results, being presented at a workshop at Ringberg Castle in Germany (8-12 November 1999), show that the ancestors of today's galaxies were much more active than hitherto thought, with many more stars being born.
Published: 4 November 1999
A new computer screen saver made available by the European Space Agencynow allows computer users to watch spectacular, almost real-time imagesof our Sun.
Published: 4 November 1999
A new computer screen saver made available by the European Space Agencynow allows computer users to watch spectacular, almost real-time imagesof our Sun.
Published: 4 November 1999
In recent weeks ESA has been actively promoting a series of activities addressing the younger generation, in a concerted effort to stimulate their interest in space and involve as many young Europeans as possible in the Agency's activities. To celebrate the launch of ESA's XMM X-ray telescope in December, for instance, two competitions for European schools were announced in September: "Draw me a Telescope" and "What's new, Mr Galileo ?"
Published: 29 October 1999
A special session dedicated to the planet Mercury and its scientific exploration will be held at the European Geophysical Society General Assembly, 25-29 April 2000, Nice, France.
Published: 29 October 1999
For the last four decades, thousands of rockets have taken off from thelaunch pads atBaikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but few Westerners have had theopportunityto see the facilities at close quarters. During a recent visit to the oncesecretcosmodrome, members of the Cluster II project management team andrepresentativesof industry were given a VIP tour of the Soyuz launch complex. (*) Nextsummer, thissite will be a scene of frenetic activity as the four Cluster II satellitesare carried intoorbit in dual Soyuz launches.
Published: 27 October 1999
1-Jun-2020 14:09 UT

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