ESA Science & Technology - Solar System
Two studies based on ESA's Mars Express observations of Jezero crater, the future landing site for NASA's 2020 Mars Perseverance rover, have shed light on how and when this intriguing area formed – and identified the regions most likely to reveal signs of ancient life.
ESA's Sun-exploring mission Solar Orbiter has made its first close approach to the Sun on 15 June, getting as close as 77 million km to the star's surface, about half the distance between the Sun and Earth.
ESA's Solar Orbiter will cross through the tails of Comet ATLAS during the next few days. Although the recently launched spacecraft was not due to be taking science data at this time, mission experts have worked to ensure that the four most relevant instruments will be switched on during the unique encounter.
The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission completed its first flyby on 10 April, as the spacecraft came less than 12 700 km from Earth's surface at 06:25 CEST, steering its trajectory towards the final destination, Mercury.
Using over 18 years of data from ESA's Cluster mission, scientists have mapped the heavy metals in the space surrounding Earth, finding an unexpected distribution and prevalence of iron and shedding light on the composition of our cosmic environment.
Watch the replay of the live streamed conversation with BepiColombo experts sharing their first results from the spacecraft's 10 April 2020 Earth flyby.
Watch a replay of the live coverage of the launch of Solar Orbiter, ESA's new Sun-exploring spacecraft, which will look at our parent star from a completely new perspective. The spacecraft was launched by the US Atlas V 411 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 10 February 2020.
The assembly of the flight model of ESA's JUICE spacecraft began in September, with the delivery of the spacecraft's primary structure, followed by integration of the propulsion system that will enable the mission to reach and study Jupiter and its moons.
An important stage in the development of ESA's Solar Orbiter mission was completed between May and June, when a series of tests to validate the electromagnetic compatibility and magnetic properties was carried out on the spacecraft's flight model.