News archive

News archive

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
The Mars Express lander, Beagle 2, is technically ready to go to the nextstage. That is the conclusion of two reviews held in Stevenage, UK lastweek. The reviews' recommendations will go before ESA's Science ProgrammeCommittee (SPC) for endorsement on 10 November.
Published: 26 October 1999
Mars Express is the outcome of more than ten years of planning by ESA and the European space science community, Agustin Chicarro, Mars Express Project Scientist told the 30th Symposium on Comparative Planetology in Moscow last week.
Published: 20 October 1999
The object shown in these ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope images is a remarkable example of a star going through death throes just as it dramatically transforms itself from a normal red giant star into a planetary nebula. This process happens so quickly that it is quite rare to observe such objects, even though astronomers believe that most stars like the Sun will eventually go through such a phase.
Published: 19 October 1999
ESA's Director of Science has invited proposals for the next flexi-missions of the ESA Science Programme. The briefing for the F2/F3 proposers takes place on 28 October 1999 at ESTEC, in the Copernicus conference room, from 10:00 to 13:00 hours.Each proposer can beaccompanied by a maximum of two co-proposers.
Published: 18 October 1999
It is exactly two years since ESA's Huygens Probe set off on its remarkable journey towards Saturn's mysterious moon Titan, aboard NASA's Cassini Orbiter. Since its launch on 15 October 1997, Cassini/Huygens has now travelled 1.863 billion kilometres, and is en route for the final gravity-assist manoeuvre around Jupiter in December 2000.
Published: 15 October 1999
The contract for the Proton Launcher Adaptation for Integral was signed today at the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow. This followed the successful completion of a lengthy approval process for the Arrangement between ESA and Russia on Cooperation on the Integral Project.
Published: 14 October 1999
Thousands of scientists, students, industrialists and representatives ofspace agencies flocked to the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam this week to attend the 50th International Astronautical Congress. As ever, one of themain areas of interest for the visitors was an update on global unmannedspace exploration.
Published: 8 October 1999
7-Aug-2020 16:55 UT

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