News archive

News archive

In the same way as you had the great explorers of the past, ESA's pioneering activities in space make it today's new pioneer. To celebrate this European spirit of adventure, which goes back centuries, ESA is there at this year's international philatelic fair, AMPHILEX 2002. Its large stand will carry the banner 'Discovering The New Frontier'.
Published: 26 August 2002
Meteorologists can no longer view the Earth as an isolated system. Both long-term climate changes and day-to-day weather show links with the Sun's activity. Scientists therefore study the nature of those links intensely. With data from ESA's spaceprobes SOHO, Cluster, and Ulysses, we now have the information we need to solve the mystery of how the Sun's activity affects the climate here on Earth. This study is the first step in setting up a new type of weather forecast - the space-weather bulletin.
Published: 23 August 2002
Ferrari has recently faced some tough challenges on the racetrack, but achieving the qualifications that will allow its famous red paint 'Rosso Corsa' to go into space is another story altogether.
Published: 20 August 2002
Landings on other worlds are remarkably difficult to achieve. During the last 40 years, the only objects in the Solar System on which robotic spacecraft have soft-landed have been the Moon, Venus, Mars and near-Earth asteroid Eros. A decade from now, it will be the turn of ESA's pioneering Rosetta spacecraft to land on a comet.
Published: 20 August 2002
On Monday 12 August 2002, about 16:05 UT, ESA's SOHO spacecraft spotted its 500th comet as the comet passed close to the Sun.It seems a little strange that SOHO, designed to examine the Sun, should turn out to be the most productive comet finder in the history of astronomy, and by a very wide margin. We interviewed ESA's project scientist for SOHO, Bernhard Fleck, about that.
Published: 15 August 2002
Looking into the interior of the Earth or the Sun is a bit similar to examining a baby in its mother's womb using an ultrasound scan. Light cannot penetrate the area, so we make pictures in these cases using sound waves, which human ears cannot hear. With SOHO, ESA has probed deeply into the Sun using the sound-waves principle, and with great success. The future missions, Solar Orbiter and Eddington, will look inside our Sun and other stars, respectively, in a similar way.
Published: 14 August 2002
A fantastic, free light show is coming your way very early on Tuesday morning (13 August 2002) in the form of the Perseid meteor shower. This impressive set of shooting stars appears in the skies every August. First recorded as long ago as 36 AD, it is also known as 'the tears of St. Lawrence' after the Roman martyr. This year represents one of your best opportunities to see this phenomenon with the naked eye, with a shooting star appearing every minute until about 03.00 CET on Tuesday morning. The Moon will be only partly visible on Monday night so a dark sky is assured. This makes viewing even easier as long as it is a clear night.
Published: 9 August 2002
Around the world, there is renewed interest in sending a manned mission to other planets in our Solar System. What conditions await future astronauts? Space science provides many clues. Before leaving Earth, scientists want to use robotic spacecraft to find out more about the conditions that human travellers will face once they reach some far-off destination. A flotilla of planetary exploration missions is already providing us with invaluable scientific data about other worlds.
Published: 8 August 2002
When packing for a trip towards another planet, there are some things, such as microorganisms, that you do not want to include in your 'luggage'. For example, what if extraterrestial life is finally detected on Mars, and scientists realise afterwards that such life is actually terrestrial?
Published: 30 July 2002
On Tuesday 23 July 2002 space scientists recorded the largest of four powerful solar flares, all occurring in the space of just eight days.
Published: 26 July 2002
What is the fastest Ferrari's distinctive red paint has ever travelled? Next year it will be 10800 km/h! Mars Express, to be launched in May/June 2003, the first European spacecraft to visit the Red Planet, will be speeding on its way accompanied by the very essence of Ferrari: a sample of its distinctive red paint.
Published: 21 July 2002
An image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows one of the most unusually long planetary nebulae found so far. Scientists think planetary nebulae hold the key to understanding how the Universe became enriched with heavier elements so they study them intensively. It is not well-understood how a perfectly round star can turn into such an unusual-looking nebula.
Published: 18 July 2002
Students approaching the conclusion of lengthy academic studies will have considerable sympathy with ESA's Rosetta spacecraft as the end-of-course examinations just keep on coming!
Published: 17 July 2002
On 11 July 2002, Europe took a step closer to Venus. The ESA Science Programme Committee agreed unanimously to start work on Venus Express. Venus Express will reuse the Mars Express spacecraft design and needs to be ready for launch in 2005.
Published: 15 July 2002
For centuries, alchemists searched for the Philosopher's Stone - said to turn base metals into gold and hold the secret of eternal life. However, alchemists did not have much success in their quest. Creating an element like gold is an amazing achievement that requires enormous amounts of energy and extreme conditions - like those provided by massive exploding stars in supernovae explosions.
Published: 11 July 2002
An analysis of 13.5 thousand million-year-old X-rays, captured by ESA's XMM-Newton satellite, has shown that either the Universe may be older than astronomers had thought or that mysterious, undiscovered 'iron factories' litter the early Universe.
Published: 9 July 2002
The Brazilian World Cup celebrations may have started to die down, but in space the never-ending football match between the Sun and Earth continues. And watching this match closely are Salsa, Samba, Rumba and Tango, the four satellites that make up the Cluster mission. They are performing their Brazilian dances 119 000 kilometres above our heads.
Published: 5 July 2002
Blinding dust storms can seriously ruin your plans for a landing on Mars. ESA is adapting the global climate models that we use to forecast our weather on Earth for the turbulent conditions that Mars offers its future visitors.
Published: 3 July 2002
The hectic schedule of ground tests on ESA's comet chaser has continued in recent weeks as engineers at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands put the Rosetta spacecraft through its paces.
Published: 3 July 2002
6-Mar-2021 11:55 UT

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