News archive

News archive

The European Space Agency has today launched a new observatory set to revolutionise the branch of astrophysics that seeks to unravel the secrets of the highest-energy - and therefore the most violent - phenomena in the Universe. This comes 20 years after the end of ESA's COS-B mission, which produced a complete map of the sky in the high-energy gamma-ray waveband.
Published: 17 October 2002
Our bodies contain proteins that are made of smaller molecules that can be either left- or right-handed, depending upon their structure. Regardless of which hand we use to write, however, all human beings are 'left-handed' at the molecular level. Life on Earth uses the left-handed variety and no one knows how this preference crept into living systems. In 2012, ESA's Rosetta lander will land on a comet to investigate, among other things, if the origin of this preference lies in the stars.
Published: 16 October 2002
The hardware inside a Chinese space satellite is currently undergoing its final tests in London to make sure that it can 'talk' with the European science instruments it will be carrying, in advance of its mission launch in 2003.
Published: 11 October 2002
A partially exploding star, known as a nova, has recovered more quickly than expected, say scientists who have analysed new data from the ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray satellite. Nova explosions are not completely destructive phenomena. In fact, after an explosion occurs, the star recovers and starts shining again. Until now, astronomers have not known how long this process takes. In this case, however, the exploding star recovered in less than three years. This is surprising, given the fact that the original explosion released about 100 000 times the energy given out by our Sun in a single year.
Published: 11 October 2002
Three ESA missions are due to send down robotic 'spaceprobes' when they arrive at their alien destinations. Since these craft will be going where no one has gone before, how can scientists be sure what it will be like down there? How do you ensure that your spaceprobe is prepared for anything?
Published: 10 October 2002
The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), the largest division of the American Astronomical Society, has announced that its prestigious Gerard P. Kuiper Prize has been awarded to Rosetta Interdisciplinary Scientist, Dr Eberhard Grün.
Published: 8 October 2002
Follow the launch from one of the ESA establishmentsESA's Integral (International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) satellite, will be launched by a Proton launcher from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on 17 October at 06:41 CEST (Central European Summer Time).
Published: 7 October 2002
Integral is the International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory of the European Space Agency. It is a cooperative mission with Russia and is scheduled for launch on 17 October 2002 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on a Russian Proton rocket, the Russian contribution to the programme. It is the world's most advanced gamma-ray telescope and will provide first-hand observations of the celestial objects that release some of the most energetic radiation of the Universe. In particular, scientists have designed Integral to simultaneously capture gamma rays, X-rays, and visible light from these objects, allowing astronomers on Earth to fully analyse them.
Published: 2 October 2002
A powerful solar eruption occurred on 29 March 2001, which then released a coronal mass ejection toward the Earth. Early on 31 March 2001, since it is taking about 2 days for the CME to reach the Earth, a strong interplanetary shock struck the Earth, initiating one of the largest geomagnetic storms of this solar cycle.
Published: 1 October 2002
From 28 September to 13 October, the European Space Agency (ESA) makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show (Porte de Versailles, Hall 2/2, stand 515). Its presence might seem surprising but on closer analysis is fully justified; over 40 years of breakthroughs and advances have left the space sector ready to play a full role in the car industry.
Published: 26 September 2002
This week, astrobiologists are discussing what ESA's Huygens spaceprobe might discover when it parachutes to the surface of Saturn's mysterious moon, Titan, in 2005. Titan possesses a rich atmosphere of organic molecules, which Huygens will analyse. Recently some scientists have begun to think that, by redefining life, in broader terms, what we may find on Titan may be life. If this is the case, it certainly will not be life as we know it...
Published: 19 September 2002
The symbol of Ferrari's extraordinary success, its red paint 'Rosso Corsa', has been given the green light to go into space, as it was declared officially 'space qualified' at a formal ceremony held today at INTESPACE in Toulouse, France. A specially constructed glass globe, known as FRED, containing the sample of paint was then integrated on to the Mars Express spacecraft, in readiness for the fastest journey Ferrari has ever made.
Published: 18 September 2002
The final leg of Rosetta's four-year race to the launch pad has now begun. After a 6500 km trip across the Atlantic Ocean, ESA's comet chaser arrived safely yesterday evening at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The feverish activity to prepare the unique spacecraft for its January launch has now transferred from the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to the tropical jungle of South America.
Published: 13 September 2002
Resembling a delicate rose floating in space, the nebula N11A is seen in a new light in a true-colour image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Fierce radiation from massive stars embedded at the centre of N11A illuminates the surrounding gas with a soft fluorescent glow.
Published: 12 September 2002
ESA to look for the missing link in gravity
Published: 11 September 2002
Although you can never be certain of predicting future developments in science, there is a good chance of a fundamental breakthrough in physics soon. With a series of unique experiments and missions designed to test our understanding of gravity, the European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to get to the very bottom of it.
Published: 11 September 2002
Mars Express, to be launched in May-June 2003 on its six-month journey to Mars, is presently being put through a test campaign at INTESPACE, Toulouse, France. The spacecraft, which will be undertaking Europe's first mission to the Red Planet, is to be presented at a special press event being held in Toulouse on 18 September.
Published: 5 September 2002
There will be greater tension than usual among engineers and scientists at Europe's spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, in January 2003, as they gather to see ESA's comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta departing on its long journey. If it is to keep its rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen in 2012, Rosetta must lift off on its Ariane-5 launcher no sooner than 03:40 CET on 13 January 2003 and no later than the end of that month.
Published: 5 September 2002
Of all missions sent to Mars only one, the Viking 26 years ago, has dared to search for life. Its only conclusive result was that finding proof of extraterrestrial life proved to be much harder than expected. Second attempts never followed. Until now. ESA's Mars Express, the next mission to the Red Planet and the first European one, has an ambitious goal. To be launched in 2003, Mars Express will be the first spacecraft after Viking to search for direct and indirect evidence for past or present life on Mars. This time, scientists are equipped with more knowledge and insight in how to detect Martian life. The chances of success look very good.
Published: 3 September 2002
After an adventurous 7-year long tour among the planets, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft will arrive at Saturn in July 2004. Once there, Cassini will parachute the Huygens probe to Saturn's biggest satellite, Titan. Titan is thought to have an atmosphere similar to the primitive Earth. However, both the probe and the Cassini-Huygens team are not in idle state until 2004. They have plenty of things to keep them busy.
Published: 28 August 2002
6-Mar-2021 11:15 UT

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