News archive

News archive

On 23 August 1999 ESA's new gamma-ray observatory, Integral, has passed a most important milestone in its development. The Engineering Model tests, which lasted more than a year and which were to verify that all satellite subsystems and instruments interface well and function as a system, were successfully completed.
Published: 27 August 1999
This remarkable observation of the Cassini/Huygens spacecraft was made from Australia while it was on its way out towards Jupiter a few hours after it had successfully completed its Earth flyby on 18 August at 3:38 UTC. The swingby was performed to give the NASA/ESA Cassini/Huygens space probe a 5.5 km/s boostin speed, propelling it towards Saturn, more than 1 billion kilometres away.
Published: 24 August 1999
From Spain to Finland, from Great Britain to Austria, 14 countries were represented at ESTEC on the 19th August when the XMM sub-contractors came to see Europe's X-ray space observatory before it is shipped to its Kourou launchsite.
Published: 24 August 1999
Students at the annual Alpbach Summer School on Space Research and Technology proposed the use of a Zeppelin as a highly versatile vehicle to explore Mars. Space scientists so far had concentrated their efforts on rovers, balloons or planes - i.e. systems that are bound to the surface, free-flying but not steerable or too fast for detailed local investigations.
Published: 19 August 1999
The European Space Agencys XMM X-ray space telescope will be launched in early December by Arianespace - the European commercial launch services company. XMM is truly tailored to the new Ariane 5's heavy-lift launch capabilities.
Published: 19 August 1999
Europe's most diverse Museum of Transport and Communication in Lucerne, Switzerland opened a new space travel exhibition. In the Cosmorama visitors can experience life in space, but they also learn more about future science missions like Integral, the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory to be launched by the European Space Agency in 2001.
Published: 18 August 1999
The NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens spacecraft bid goodbye to Earth as it completed a highly accurate pass by our planet and swung away towards its encounter with Saturn in 2004. The Earth flyby occurred at 03:28 UT on 18 August and gave the space probe a 5.5 km per second boost in speed, propelling it towards the ringed planet, more than 1 billion kilometres away.
Published: 18 August 1999
It may not seem much of a journey compared with a multi-million kilometre space trek, but ESA's Rosetta spacecraft today completed its first small step along the road to a rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen in 2011. After a 2000 km hike across Europe, the Structural and Thermal Model (STM) platform structure of the Rosetta orbiter was safely delivered this morning to Alenia Aerospazio's Turin plant.
Published: 18 August 1999
After a successful second System Validation Test between 20 and 30 July - during which all aspects of the XMM spacecraft including its science instruments were controlled in real-time from the XMM Mission Control Centre at ESOC in Darmstadt as if the satellite was already in orbit - XMM has deployed its solar arrays, another important milestone before the spacecraft is packed for shipping to the Kourou launchsite.
Published: 18 August 1999
Galaxies are known to have much more matter than telescopes can currentlysee. Up to 90% of the total mass of the galaxies is simply missing: ithas to be there, astronomers know, but it remains undetected. Is thisso-called 'dark matter' made up of exotic, virtually undetectableparticles, or is it merely ordinary matter hidden to instruments for somereason? A new result obtained by a Dutch team with the European SpaceAgency's infrared space telescope, ISO, favours the last idea.
Published: 17 August 1999
The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft today successfully performed a final adjustment to its trajectory and is on course for a flyby of Earth that will take place on Wedneday, 18 August at 5:28 CEST (03:28 Universal Time).
Published: 12 August 1999
We promised to bring you the exciting adventure of ESA's astronomer Leo Metcalfe, who planned to chase the eclipse by plane. Well, he made it.. And here's the story and his personal account!
Published: 12 August 1999
Controlling XMM from a distance as though it were in space: that wasone of the main objectives of the System Validation Test (SVT) whichtook place at the end of July. The spacecraft, which was located inESTEC Noordwijk, the Netherlands was actively controlled by the XMM Mission Operations Centre (MOC) at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany.
Published: 10 August 1999
We are all familiar with normal gravity which holds us to the ground andpulls us backto Earth when we try to jump or fly. However, as images of space missionsshow,people and objects become 'weightless' once they enter orbit. Over theyears,spacecraft engineers have been obliged to develop various ways of copyingsuchunusual conditions.
Published: 6 August 1999
During the total eclipse of the Sun on 11 August, the sky will be darkand some bright stars should be easy to see. Avert your eyes for amoment from the glories of the solar atmosphere, and you can glimpse theplanet Mercury, a newly fashionable target for space exploration.
Published: 5 August 1999
The announcement of an extra #5 million of UK government money for the Mars Express lander, Beagle 2, puts the project firmly on track to secure full funding from a mixture of public and private sources. When announcing the extra finance at the Science Museum in London yesterday morning, the UK science minister, Lord Sainsbury, described Beagle 2 as "world class science". "It will demonstrate a remarkable public/private partnership and will bring scientists and industrialists into a closer relationship," he said.
Published: 4 August 1999
The media and the web-surfing public, including teachers, now have instant access to the newest images of the Sun from the ESA-NASA SOHOspacecraft. In addition to still pictures from selected instruments, movies compiled from images of the previous 48 hours are available on-line. Although its introduction is timely, with a total eclipse of the Sun due on 11 August, this service of "The very latest SOHO images" will be used by solar physicists and space weather forecasters for years to come.
Published: 4 August 1999
What if it's cloudy on the morning of August 11? That is the question.Thousands, maybe millions of eclipse-lovers must now be worrying overthis dark thought. Well, here's something to make them feel envious.Irish ESA astronomer Leo Metcalfe will chase the eclipse whilst flying high through acloud-free sky, on board a plane that is likely to be one of thefirst meeting the lunar shadow. The plane will take off from Dublin andwill try to stretch the duration of the millennium's last eclipse by halfa minute, from 2 to 2.5 minutes. Not much, but enough to boost theemotion of a bunch of lucky adventurous scientists.
Published: 3 August 1999
What happens to a spacecraft when it has been assembled and tested, and its launch date is still almost a year away? For Cluster II engineers and technicians, pushing the spacecraft into a dusty cupboard and forgetting about it is not an option.The satellite has to be continually monitored and looked after with tender, loving care.
Published: 2 August 1999
The most important eclipse in the history of science occurred on 29 May1919. Just six months after the end of World War I, British astronomersused it to test a crazy idea that emanated from Germany in 1915.Theproposition was that gravity affected light, space and time itself, andas a result the Sun would deflect starlight passing by it. Changes inthe apparent direction of stars in the sky, seen close to the Sun duringa total eclipse, could confirm the idea.
Published: 29 July 1999
5-Jun-2020 13:53 UT

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