News archive

News archive

The Shuttle launch of NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory on 23 July heralds a golden age of space astronomy. Because next December the European Space Agency's XMM satellite will follow the US telescope into space. Many of the world's astronomers are directly involved and have observing time on both missions. In six months' time, the scientific community will have not one but two amazing discovery machines to probe the hot spots of the sky producing X-rays, to which one must add the forthcoming Japanese spacecraft, Astro-E.
Published: 23 July 1999
The Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first man in orbit, the American Neil Armstrong the first man on the Moon, on 21 July 1969. Is there a chance that the first human being to set foot on Mars will be a European? Attendants at the 1999 Alpbach Summer School will be putting their minds to this challenging question.
Published: 22 July 1999
Deep in the Finnish countryside, the Structural and Thermal Model (STM) ofthe Rosetta orbiter is nearing completion. At the Finavitec factory in thevillage of Halli, some 250 km north of Helsinki, engineers are addingequipment panels to the spacecraft's main structure before shipment toItaly next month.
Published: 21 July 1999
What is bigger than ESA's largest science satellite? Answer: the spacecraft transport container in which XMM will leave for French Guiana in two months' time. On Monday 19 July, after a four-day trip down the Rhine on a barge, this Swiss-made very large container arrived at Katwijk, a few kilometres from ESTEC.
Published: 20 July 1999
30 years after the Apollo lunar landing, the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) is enthusiastic about the future of lunar exploration and human expansion into the solar system. Bernard H. Foing, ILEWG president (1998-2000), announced today that the next ILEWG conference will take place in Europe at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk near The Hague, on 10-14 July 2000, in exactly one year.
Published: 20 July 1999
The European Space Agency and the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) have agreed to open up their Mars missions to each other's scientists. European principal investigators on ESA's Mars Express mission are due to travel to Japan later this year to learn about the science on ISAS' Nozomi mission. Their Japanese equivalents will visit Europe to learn about Mars Express next year. "We are setting up a joint programme of Mars exploration between ESA and ISAS which links the two agencies as equal partners," says Agustin Chicarro, project scientist for Mars Express at ESTEC, ESA's technical centre in The Netherlands.
Published: 16 July 1999
Following an invitation to ESA by the Institute of Space and AstronauticalScience (ISAS),the First European Announcement of Opportunity (EAO-1B) for participation in theAstro-E observing programme opened on 15 July 1999.This EAO covers a nine-month period commencing aroundAugust 2000. The proposal deadline is 17 September 1999.Approximately 5.5% of the total observing time will be allocated to proposalswith Principal Investigators from ESA Member States for collaborativeinvestigations with Japanese astronomers.
Published: 15 July 1999
Astounding new images of more than a dozen very distant colliding galaxies have been obtained by a European-led team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. These colliding objects are part of a large concentration of galaxies, a galaxy cluster. Though collisions have been observed in other clusters this particular cluster displays by far the largest number ever seen. To astronomers, the finding indicates that, at least in some cases, the big, massive galaxies form through collisions between smaller ones, in a "generation after generation" never-ending story.
Published: 15 July 1999
The real countdown to the total solar eclipse begins today, one solar rotation (27 days) before the 11 August. Near-real time images of the solar corona from the SOHO spacecraft can be used to prepare for your observations on the day. This, the last total solar eclipse of the millenium, is an opportunity to address questions about the Sun, the Sun-Earth interaction, the Solar System and astronomy in general.
Published: 15 July 1999
A new design for the Mars Express lander, Beagle 2, was revealed to the public last month at the Le Bourget airshow in Paris and at the Royal Society and Tomorrow's World exhibitions in London. The pyramid of the previous model is out: something resembling a clam shell or a large pill box is in.
Published: 9 July 1999
Solar scientists believe they may have solved yet another long-standing enigma about the Sun. Working on data first gathered from the ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and then by NASA's Spartan 201 spacecraft, researchers have found that the solar wind streams out of the Sun by "surfing" waves in the Sun's atmosphere.
Published: 8 July 1999
How might it feel to stand but a few metres behind a 747 Jumbo jet with its reactors at full thrust for takeoff ? A human being would probably not survive - at the very least his eardrums would be shattered !This is the kind of ordeal that XMM has just experienced. On the 6th July, ESA's X-ray space observatory successfully passed its last major and crucial environmental test before launch. The fully assembled spacecraft standing 10 metres tall, now bearing its solar arrays and telescope sunshield, was submitted to a barrage of sound, simulating the conditions it will encounter during the first 60 seconds after liftoff.
Published: 8 July 1999
To gather the most energetic radiation that comes from space will be the task of Integral, ESA's International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch inSeptember 2001 and will help to solve some of the biggest mysteries in astronomy. A new overview of the mission is today published on this web page.
Published: 5 July 1999
Some of the clearest pictures of Mars ever were captured by the HubbleSpace Telescope during the planet's recent closest approach to Earth. NASA made them public to commemorate thesecond anniversary of the landing of its Mars Pathfinder mission.
Published: 2 July 1999
More than 100 scientists and engineers from all over Europe and the UnitedStates came together at the Royal Society in London 1-2 July to shareprogress reports on the Rosetta mission to Comet Wirtanen.The overall picture presented by the project management team and thePrincipal Scientific Investigators (PIs) was that the mission is now wellon the way towards meeting its strict launch deadline of January 2003.
Published: 2 July 1999
The final design of the European Space Agency's Rosetta comet chaser wasrevealed today at the Royal Society in London when a 1:4 scale (7.1mdiameter) model of the giant spacecraft was unveiled by ESA's ScienceDirector, Professor Roger Bonnet.
Published: 1 July 1999
In 2011, after an eight-year trek through the inner Solar System, the Rosetta spacecraft will rendezvous with periodic comet Wirtanen before releasing a lander onto its tiny nucleus.In order to ensure the success of this ambitious mission, a joint team from ESA's Space Science Department and the European Southern Observatory (ESO)has agreed to make a series of ground-based observations of the comet. The first fruits of this collaboration are a series of remarkable images of thecomet's nucleus which have been released today by ESO to coincide with theESA Rosetta press conference in London.
Published: 1 July 1999
ESA's deactivated Giotto spacecraft will perform its second Earth flyby in the early hours of 1 July 1999, 14 years since its launch on 2 July 1985 and five years after its previous return to Earth's vicinity on 2 July 1990. Scientists estimate that it will sweep past approximately 220,000 km (just over half the Earth-Moon distance). The flyby coincides with a press briefing in London, on ESA's next cometary mission, Rosetta, which will be held later the same day.
Published: 30 June 1999
Well over 200 scientists around the world are looking forward to receivingthe vast flow of data that will start streaming back next year from ESA'sfour Cluster II spacecraft. Apart from the ESA member states, they includeCo-Investigators from the United States, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary,India, Israel and Japan.Since 44 instruments on the four Cluster II spacecraft will return about330 Gigabytes (330,000,000,000 bytes) of data over two years - equivalentto 165 million pages of printed text - the efficient worldwide distributionof this vast amount of information is of major concern to the sciencecommunity.
Published: 29 June 1999
Cassini-Huygens successfully completed its second flyby of the planet Venus late last night.As planned, Cassini-Huygens flew by Venus at about 600 km altitude above the surface at 22:30 CET on 24 June, with Venus' gravity giving the spacecraft a boost in speed to help it reach Saturn more than 1 billion kilometres away.
Published: 25 June 1999
5-Jun-2020 09:48 UT

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