News archive

News archive

A very successful "Open Session on Lunar Exploration" took place at The Hagueon 22 April, as part of 1999 Assembly of the European Geophysics Society . Itwas convened by B.H. Foing (ESA) and co-convened by H. Hoffmann (DLR, Berlin).
Published: 4 May 1999
At the close of a century, and after 35 years of our scientific missions, the Science Programme Directorate of the European Space Agency decided to show how well the science programme has used the resources made availableby the Member States, on behalf of the space scientific community. Looking back, we can say with pride that these resources allowed us to produce true discovery machines.
Published: 3 May 1999
The road towards final acceptance for a Cluster II spacecraft can be ratherrough. Having completed its assembly at the Friedrichshafen plant ofDornier Satellitensysteme, the first Cluster II flight model (FM6) is nowundergoing a rigorous series of systems and environmental tests at IABG (Industrie Anlagen Betriebsgezellschafte) near Munich. For the next few months, the drum-shaped spacecraft willundergo all sorts of indignities - vibrations, temperature changes, rapidrotation and magnetic monitoring.
Published: 28 April 1999
On a clear night over the coming week, you should be able to spot the planet Mars shining brightly with a reddish glow in the direction of the constellation Virgo in the south of the northern sky. Only the Moon and Venus will outshine it. Mars is making its closest approach to Earth for nine years, so viewing conditions will be good - but not as good as they can be.
Published: 27 April 1999
Most chemical elements in the Universe are produced in the stars, and thus the stars' environments act as huge chemical factories. The European Space Agency's infrared space telescope, ISO, has detected, in the dust surrounding a star, the chemical signature of a mysterious compound made of carbon, whose nature is being actively debated by astronomers all over the world. While some say it could be a very tiny diamond, others think it is the famous football-shaped molecule called "fullerene" or "buckyball". If either of these hypotheses is confirmed it will be interesting news for industry as well.
Published: 23 April 1999
The seventh ESA Council meeting at ministerial level will take place on 11 and 12 May at the Palais d'Egmont, Brussels.
Published: 22 April 1999
The Optical Monitor instrument arrived back at ESTEC today, Tuesday 20April, after two weeks ofhectic work at MSSL (UK) and CSL (B) to repair and restest it following an electronic anomaly observed during thermal vacuum tests.
Published: 20 April 1999
More than 50 scientists met at the European Space Research and TechnologyCentre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, on 14, 15 and 16 April to discuss the latest scientific results to come from the Ulysses out-of-eclipticmission.
Published: 20 April 1999
Members of the Cluster II project team had front row seats for the launchof a Soyuz rocket during a recent visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome inKazakhstan. The team of visitors included Cluster II project manager JohnEllwood, project controller Looc Bourillet, Gerard Melchior from ESA'sLaunchers Department, doctor Albert Koopman and Tatyana Suslovarepresenting ESA's Moscow Office. The aim of the visit was to check out thelocal facilities and logistics in preparation for the Cluster II launchcampaign during March - July 2000.
Published: 19 April 1999
Scientists from around the world are meeting next week (April 14) to discuss the latest results and science operations issues connected with the Ulysses mission.
Published: 9 April 1999
The Huygens Science Working Team meets regularly in order to review theProbe biannual checkout results and also to prepare for the Huygens Probe mission phase that will take place in November 2004.This time, the Huygens SWT meeting was hosted by the DISR team, at theLunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona. Each team reported on the detailed analysis of their respective instrument performances during the last checkout that took place on 22 Dec 1998. All instruments are in good health and performed nominally.
Published: 6 April 1999
ESA's X-ray space observatory XMM, currently being assembled in view of a launch from Kourou next January, has been fitted with its three X-ray telescopes - the extremely high-precision Mirror Modules, each with its 58 wafer-thin gold-covered mirror shells which will give the mission its unprecedented vision of the X-ray universe.
Published: 1 April 1999
The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract on Tuesday 30 March with Matra Marconi Space (MMS), that pioneers a more flexible way of building space science missions and is, in this way, the first trial as an element of a new and ambitious implementation concept which is currently under development for ESA's Scientific Programme. The contract, worth about 60 million Euro, is to design and build the Mars Express spacecraft in time for launch in June 2003. Mars Express will allow European space scientists to investigate whether there is, or ever was, life on the red planet.
Published: 30 March 1999
On Tuesday 30 March, the Director General of ESA, Antonio Rodota, and the President and CEO of Matra-Marconi Space, Armand Carlier, will sign a contract that entrusts MMS with the task of building the Mars Express spacecraft for launch in June 2003.
Published: 29 March 1999
Following a series of payload reviews in January 1999, and subsequent mission analysis by ESA's operations centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, the Integral launch is now planned for 11 September 2001.
Published: 25 March 1999
The first system validation test of XMM took place last week between the spacecraft located in ESTEC (The Netherlands) and the control centre in ESOC (Germany). During this week of tests the spacecraft was controlled from ESOC as if it was already in orbit.
Published: 21 March 1999
Over the past few months, a major relocation exercise has been taking place in preparation for the Cluster II launches next year. The result is the creation of a new structure on the site of an elderly 15 metre dish antenna (VIL-1) at the European Space Agency's Villafranca del Castillo Satellite Tracking Station (VILSPA) in Spain.
Published: 18 March 1999
The first validation tests of the XMM ground segment have started today, 15 March, bringing together the teams at the ESTEC Technical Centre in the Netherlands where ESA's X-ray space observatory is being assembled, and the XMM mission operations staff in Germany. Everyone will be checking the ground system's ability to "speak to and listen to" the spacecraft as if it were already in orbit. XMM is due for launch in January next year.
Published: 14 March 1999
European Space Agency astronauts Claude Nicollier and Jean-FrancoisClervoy will be part of a team of experienced astronauts that will belaunched on the Space Shuttle in October of this year on an earlier thanplanned mission to service the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. AlthoughHubble is operating normally and continuing to conduct its scientificobservations, its pointing system has begun to fail.
Published: 14 March 1999
The two instruments on board ESA's spacecraft Planck were definitivelyselected on 17February by ESA's Science Programme Committee. Planck is due to belaunched in 2007. The instruments consist of two arrays of highlysensitive detectors to study what can be called the 'echo' of the BigBang, a radiation that fills the whole Universe and was emitted when theUniverse was very young. They will be designed, built and operated bymore than 40 European institutes.
Published: 10 March 1999
31-Oct-2020 08:08 UT

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