News archive

News archive

Amongst the assembled guests watching the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia this morning (11:22 UT) was one lucky Norwegian student. 17-year-old Arnt Ove Fordal won a trip to experience the earth-shaking launch of the Space Shuttle marking the beginning of Hubble Servicing Mission 3B.
Published: 28 February 2002
Astronomers from ESA's Member States are preparing to take part in a French-led mission to be the first to search for rocky planets around other stars. The mission, COROT, is an important stepping stone in the European effort to find habitable, Earth-like planets around other stars.
Published: 27 February 2002
Chase a fast-moving comet, land on it and 'ride' it while it speeds up towards the Sun: not the script of a science-fiction movie, but the very real task of ESA's Rosetta spacecraft. New observations with the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) provide vital information about Comet Wirtanen - Rosetta's target - to help ESA reduce uncertainties in the mission, one of the most difficult ever to be performed.
Published: 25 February 2002
With less than 11 months to launch, the most advanced spacecraft ever to visit a comet is about to begin a critical series of thermal tests at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. These tests will play a vital role in ensuring the success of ESA's Rosetta mission to unravel the mysteries of Comet Wirtanen.
Published: 20 February 2002
Markus Landgraf of the European Space Agency and colleagues (*) have found the first direct evidence that a bright disc of dust surrounds our Solar System, starting beyond the orbit of Saturn. Remarkably, their discovery gives astronomers a way to determine which other stars in the Galaxy are most likely to harbour planets and allows mission planners to draw up a 'short-list' of stars to be observed by ESA's future planet-search missions, Eddington and Darwin.
Published: 14 February 2002
After nearly 12 years of incredible scientific discoveries, the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth is about to have another service visit. The purpose is to upgrade Hubble's systems and to install newer and more powerful instruments that will astoundingly increase Hubbles discovery capabilities and extend the longevity of the observatory.
Published: 14 February 2002
Combining Hubble Space Telescope images with radio observations has revealed a highly unusual system consisting of a fast spinning pulsar and a bloated red companion star. The existence of the system is something of a mystery - the best explanation so far is thatwe have our first view of a millisecond pulsar just after it has been 'spun up' by its red companion star.
Published: 12 February 2002
Following the disappointing outcome, for science funding, of the recent ESA Council of Ministers, the ESA Executive is exploring all avenues of increasing the science throughput of the ESA Science Programme against a continually declining budget.
Published: 6 February 2002
The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA are collaborating on the 'International Living with a Star' (ILWS) programme that will study the behaviour of the Sun and its effect on our planet. European involvement is now solicited, in particular at payload level, for the first NASA contribution to the LWS programme: the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Notice of Intent is due by 20 February 2002, with proposals due by 24 April 2002.
Published: 27 January 2002
Planet-like bodies with liquid water formed very early in the history of the Solar System, or so scientists used to think. That scenario may now be due for revision after a finding with ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO.
Published: 16 January 2002
Space scientists meeting in Berlin this week will compare their hopes for the European Space Agency's first lunar project, SMART-1, with other forthcoming missions to the Moon.
Published: 13 January 2002
Dear Colleagues,The year 2001 has been a transition year in the real meaning of the word. There were no launches this year. However four missions (INTEGRAL, Rosetta, SMART-1, Mars Express) are currently being prepared and will be launched within the next 18 months. The industrial contract for Herschel-Planck was signed. At the same time we started preparatory work on several missions selected in late 2000, Gaia, Solar Orbiter, BepiColombo, NGST, LISA and Eddington, as well as a crash exercise to look at a re-use of the Mars Express bus, (Venus Express).
Published: 9 January 2002
Scientists at the European Space Agency have developed a new camera that is poised to revolutionise the way astronomers observe the Universe. Called S-Cam, the new device's capabilities read like an astronomer's wish list. From now on, astronomers will know almost everything about starlight from one simple observation.
Published: 9 January 2002
From 10-12 January, the Inter-Agency Consultative Group for Space Science (IACG) will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Padua, Italy. Founded in September 1981 with the aim of coordinating research activities for the four main space science programmes - those of Europe (ESA), the United States of America (NASA), Russia (Rosaviakosmos) and Japan (ISAS) - this 21st IACG meeting will discuss the coordination of projects related to Solar System exploration.
Published: 9 January 2002
You could see it easily with your unaided eye (but don't try!) if only Comet Machholz 1 were not so very close to the Sun. This unusual comet, reputed to flare up a lot, is today sweltering only 18 million kilometres from the Sun. This is its closest approach on an orbit that brings it back to the solar vicinity every 63 months. The best and perhaps the only view of it at this time comes from the ESA-NASA sunwatching spacecraft SOHO.
Published: 7 January 2002
The New Year got off to a striking start for scientists at SOHO's operations centre who were treated to a dazzling display from the Sun on 4 January. Images of an unusually beautiful ejection of solar material were captured by several instruments on the ESA-NASA spacecraft.
Published: 6 January 2002
In two year's time, the planet Mars will receive a Christmas present from planet Earth - a flotilla of spacecraft. Gifts from different nations, the spacecraft will share communications channels to solve a problem which will intensify as Mars exploration gathers pace: how to relay the data gathered by so many missions back to Earth.
Published: 20 December 2001
The European Space Agency (ESA) and the French space agency, CNES, solicit proposals from European scientists to participate in the MICROSCOPE mission. Responses to the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for science contributions to this collaborative CNES/ESA mission to test the Equivalence Principle are due by 22 February 2002.
Published: 20 December 2001
After a lonely nine months, Ulysses has a new partner in gamma-ray burst detection. On 21 November, the ESA/NASA spacecraft in orbit high above the Sun's poles, and Mars Odyssey, NASA's spacecraft recently arrived at the Red Planet, detected their first gamma-ray burst together.
Published: 17 December 2001
The "ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercise Series", published today, allows students to gain exciting hands-on experience in astronomy by making realistic calculations with data obtained by the world's best telescopes. The students measure and calculate the distances and ages of astronomical objects, among the most basic problems in modern astrophysics, using observations made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope.
Published: 13 December 2001
7-May-2021 19:33 UT

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