ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
Since ten years ASTRIUM has developed sintered Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology for space applications. Its unique thermo-mechanical properties, associated with its polishing capability, make SiC an ideal material for building ultra-stable lightweight space based telescopes or mirrors. SiC is a cost effective alternative to Beryllium and the ultra-lighweighted ULE. In complement to the material manufacturing process, ASTRIUM has developed several assembly techniques (bolting, brazing, bonding) for manufacturing large and complex SiC assemblies. This technology is now perfectly mature and mastered. SiC is baselined for most of the telescopes that are developed by ASTRIUM. SiC has been identified as the most suitable material for manufacturing very large crygenic telescopes. In this paper we present the development of a 3.5m-diameter telescope for the Herschel Mission. Herschel's main goal is to study how the first stars and galaxies were formed and evolved. The Herschel Space telescope, using silicon carbide technology will be the largest space imagery telescope ever launched. The Herschel telescope will weight 300 kg rather than the 1.5 tons required with standard technology. The Herschel telescope is to be delivered in 2005 for a launch planned for 2007.
Table of contents:
- Rosetta: Europe's comet chaser
- Why 'Rosetta'
- Life and survival in deep space
- The cosmic billiard ball
- The long trek
- Rendezvous with a comet
- Debris of the Solar System: asteroids
- Debris of the Solar System: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
- The Rosetta orbiter
- Science from the orbiter
- The Rosetta lander
- Long-distance communication
- Rosetta overview
Note: a more recent Rosetta mission brochure (ESA BR-321) is available here.
Several important INTEGRAL events took place during the last two months.
We celebrated the first launch anniversary, on 17 October, with the spacecraft in excellent shape. Unfortunately, recent high solar activity substantially interrupted the observing programme, for the first time.
Geosail is a small, low cost, innovative mission designed to exploit the versatility of solar sail propulsion for the exploration of magnetic reconnection and electron dynamics in the earth's magnetotail. The GeoSail mission requires only a very low performance solar sail to precess the major axis of an otherwise inertially fixed orbit, thus maintaining payload alignment within the geomagnetic tail. This constant rotation enables a near continuous observation window with the opportunity to probe the rapid dynamic evolution of energetic particle distributions in this critical region of geospace. An end-to-end system design study has been concluded and the key performance requirements identified. The level of solar sail performance required for GeoSail is typical of that currently being discussed within Europe for a near-term technology demonstration mission. GeoSail is therefore capable of providing both technology validation within the cost restrictions of a SMART mission while also returning unique science data from a first solar sail mission.