ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
A paper originally presented by EADS Astrium at the 54th IAC in Bremen in September 2003.
On 28 January 2003, EADS Astrium officially signed the Venus Express contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) worth 82.4 million Euros for the design and development of the spacecraft. This will be the first European spacecraft to visit the planet Venus. Venus Express is scheduled for launch from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November 2005. It will be launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket and put immediately into its transfer orbit to Venus.
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.