News archive

News archive

At its meeting on 25 and 26 June 1996, the ESA Council was informed in detail of the measures taken after the Ariane 501 failure and of the proposed approach to revive the scientific objectives of the Cluster mission. Council noted that following the Ariane 501 flight failure on 4 June, the ESA Director General, Jean-Marie Luton, and the CNES Chairman, Alain Bensoussan, set up an Enquiry Board to determine the causes, investigate whether the qualification and acceptance tests were appropriate and recommend corrective action to eliminate the causes of the anomaly and other possible weaknesses in the system(s) found to be at fault.
Published: 27 June 1996
Investigation of the flight 501 failure has been under way since 4 June. In particular, a large part of the equipment contained in the vehicle equipment bay has been recovered and inspected. This has revealed the existence of a malfunction relating to the inertial platforms in Ariane-5 operating mode. The relevant information has been conveyed to the Inquiry Board, which will take it into account in its further deliberations.
Published: 14 June 1996
The water that we drink and which fills the world's oceans had its origin among the stars. Astronomers are enthralled by results from the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, which reveal the chemistry of our Galaxy in unprecedented detail. Surprisingly conspicuous in the neighbourhood of stars at the end of their lives is water vapour made by the combination of primordial hydrogen with oxygen atoms newly manufactured by the stars themselves. Water then reappears during the formation of new stars and planets from the interstellar medium. This happened at the origin of tbe Solar System, and incidentally supplied the water which accounts for more than half of a human being's body weight.
Published: 12 June 1996
Following the failure of flight 501, Mr Jean-Marie Luton, the Director General of ESA and Mr Alain Bensoussan, Chairman of CNES have decided:
Published: 10 June 1996
The first Ariane-5 launch took place on Tuesday, 4 June 1996, from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's Spaceport, at Kourou in French Guiana. The launcher was carrying the European Space Agency's four Cluster satellites, a science mission to study Earth-Sun interactions.
Published: 6 June 1996
New observations with the Hubble Space Telescope have determined the age of the stars in the globular Cluster NGC 6752 with unprecedented accuracy. The age of the stars in globular clusters is significant because these stars are believed to have formed during the era of the formation of our galaxy, an event which probably occurred only 1 to 2 billion years after the birth of the Universe itself. An accurate age estimate for these cluster stars is thus regarded as an important means of gauging the age of the Universe.
Published: 28 May 1996
ESA, the European Space Agency, NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are today releasing today a set of unprecedented images representing a time lapse movie of the bright Comet Hyakutake making its close approach to the Sun. The observations were made from 29 April to 6 May 1996 with the NRL-built Large Angle Spectrometric Coronograph (LASCO) instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft.
Published: 24 May 1996
In an impressive show of confidence, Ariane-5 has been entrusted with a singularly prestigious mission for its maiden flight, now expected to be at the end of this month. The new heavy launch vehicle will have the task of placing a payload of exceptional scientific value in orbit: the Cluster* quartet built by ESA to make a detailed study of the fraught relations between the Sun and Earth.
Published: 3 May 1996
The Sun sparkles like a diamond in images from the new solar space observatory SOHO. Short, hair-like jets of strong emission decorate the Sun's atmosphere to an extent not clearly seen before. Recorded by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope EIT aboard SOHO, these "spicules" of various kinds tell of energetic upheavals that may be responsible for heating the outer atmosphere to more than two million degrees C. Also visible in the ultraviolet images are plumes like ropes, stretching far into space from the north and south poles of the Sun.
Published: 2 May 1996
Engineers in charge of the European Space Agency's Huygens mission have reviewed the success of the recent Jupiter Probe with their counterparts from NASA, at a meeting in Ottobrunn, Germany. Huygens is designed to parachute into the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of the planet Saturn. It shares important features with the Probe, released from NASA's Galileo spacecraft, which plunged into the atmosphere of Jupiter on 7 December 1995.
Published: 5 April 1996
Italian astrophysicists have pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to the limit of its powers in finding the distance of Geminga, a pointlike object 500 light-years from the Earth. It is the prototype of a novel kind of star, a radio-silent neutron star, which may be much more common in the Universe than previously supposed. Geminga is so weak in visible light that Hubble had to stare at the spot for more than an hour to register it adequately. The object is nevertheless one of the brightest sources of gamma-rays in the sky, and its output of this very energetic form of radiation can now be accurately gauged.
Published: 28 March 1996
The turmoil when two vast assemblies of stars crash together is revealed by the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO. This is among the early results announced by astronomers today at ESA's satellite tracking station at Villafranca near Madrid, which commands ISO in its examination of the Universe. Since the satellite's launch on 17 November 1995, teams of astronomers have received invisible light from many cosmic sources while checking their instruments.
Published: 14 February 1996
SOHO, the international mission led by the European Space Agency is the most comprehensive space observatory to study the Sun that has been flown to date. Thanks to a highly accurate launch it will start its scientific investigations earlier than planned and will be able to operate much longer than expected. SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) will probe the interior of the Sun and address many fundamental questions about our daylight star.
Published: 24 January 1996
ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was successfully launched by Ariane during the night of 17 November. The cover closing the cryostat was ejected on 27 November thereby enabling astronomical use of the ISO telescope. All systems on-board the technologically-innovative satellite are working very well, better than specifications and all the ISO instruments have now received first light.
Published: 6 December 1995
Scientists ability to study the Sun, the star that sustains life on Earth, took a massive leap forward today with the launch of SOHO, a sophisticated state-of-the-art spacecraft built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Published: 2 December 1995
The cover closing the cryostat of ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was successfully ejected at 10:27 UT on Monday 27 November during the 10th orbit of ISO's lifetime.
Published: 27 November 1995
The launch of Atlas Centaur 121 and the SOHO spacecraft was scrubbed just prior to tower rollback at approximately 03:45 UT 23 November due to a malfunction of an Atlas booster precision regulator, which will require removal, replacement and failure analysis of the probable cause. The regulator provides reference pressure to control booster engine thrust. No decision on rescheduling has been made at this time.
Published: 23 November 1995
The hydrazine thrusters on ESA's Infrared Space Observatory have successfully raised the perigee Of ISO's orbit from 518 km to the operational altitude of 1030 km above the Earth. Commands to he spacecraft's thrusters were sent from ESA's Control Center ESOC in Darmstadt Germany at 13: 10 UT on 19 November. The thrusters were used for a total of 111 minutes and the burn finished at 15:01 UT.
Published: 20 November 1995
ISO, ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, was successfully launched by an Ariane 44P launcher from Europe's spaceport in Kourou at 01:20 UT on 17 November 1995.
Published: 17 November 1995
The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) has a rendezvous with the unknown on 2 November 1995. The 2.5 tonnes satellite will be launched by an Ariane 44P from Kourou, French Guiana on 11 November 1995 at 01:42 UT. Its task will be long-duration observation of celestial radiation sources in the invisible and cool light of infrared radiation, as yet largely unexplored.
Published: 3 November 1995
20-Oct-2021 01:10 UT

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