Space Exploration

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ESA approves the design of the PLATO satellite

ESA approves the design of the PLATO satellite
The European Space Agency (ESA) has approved the design of the PLATO satellite. Researchers and engineers at KU Leuven and the University of Liège (ULg) will be closely involved in the development. Plato is a space mission dedicated to hunting tens of thousands of Earth-like exoplanets revolving around nearby stars similar to our Sun. The launch is scheduled for 2026. PLATO will consist of 26 identical telescopes – each with its own camera – that will be fitted to the spacecraft platform.
23rd June 2017

Exploration telepresence improves communication in space

Exploration telepresence improves communication in space
When Apollo astronauts on the Moon spoke with Mission Control on Earth, there was a noticeable time gap between a statement from Tranquility Base and its immediate acknowledgment from Houston. The gap lasted almost three seconds, or ten times longer than human reaction times would account for. What was happening? The answer is simple: space. The Moon orbits far enough from Earth that light (and radio) take 1.3 seconds each way to travel the distance.
23rd June 2017

Laser technique identifies the makeup of space debris

Laser technique identifies the makeup of space debris
Aerospace engineers from MIT have developed a laser sensing technique that can decipher not only where but what kind of space junk may be passing overhead. For example, the technique, called laser polarimetry, may be used to discern whether a piece of debris is bare metal or covered with paint. The difference, the engineers say, could help determine an object’s mass, momentum, and potential for destruction.
21st June 2017


Developing an electrodeless spacecraft propulsion engine

Developing an electrodeless spacecraft propulsion engine
Researchers from Tohoku University have been trying to find out how the plasma flow is influenced by its environment via laboratory experiments. And in doing so, have made headway on research towards creating an electrodeless plasma thruster used to propel spacecraft. The universe is made up of plasma - a gas so hot that its particles are electrically charged. This makes it easily influenced by magnetic fields and forces, which can lead to complex behaviour.
21st June 2017

Measuring the magnetic fields on the hottest planets

Measuring the magnetic fields on the hottest planets
It is now possible to measure the magnetic field strengths of the hottest planets in the galaxy, new research has shown. Studying a class of planets known as 'hot Jupiters', experts from Newcastle University, UK, have shown the planets' magnetic field is responsible for the unusual behaviour of the atmospheric winds which move around it. Instead of moving in an eastward direction as has always been assumed, new observations have shown the winds varied from eastward to westward on the hot planet HAT-P-7b.
19th June 2017

Supersize IR detector for space observation programmes

Supersize IR detector for space observation programmes
  Sofradir has announced it is developing its first very large format (2048x2048) 15µm-pitch infrared detector. The supersize IR detector is designed for future scientific space observation equipment and Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT) for ground observation aimed at tackling major scientific challenges. 
19th June 2017

Altair supports Spanish start-up company

Altair supports Spanish start-up company
  Altair is supporting PLD Space (#NewSpace), via its local Spanish 'HyperWorks Start-up Programme' with HyperWorks software licences and engineering expertise. PLD Space is a European rocket company developing a family of reusable micro launchers to provide suborbital and orbital launch services for small satellites and payloads.
15th June 2017

NASA simulates space radiation on Earth

NASA simulates space radiation on Earth
In each life a little rain must fall, but in space, one of the biggest risks to astronauts’ health is radiation 'rain'. NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) is simulating space radiation on Earth following upgrades to the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. These upgrades help researchers on Earth learn more about the effects of ionising space radiation, to help keep astronauts safe on a journey to Mars.
14th June 2017

Window improves the view on orbiting laboratory

Window improves the view on orbiting laboratory
One of the busiest work stations on the International Space Station got a major upgrade recently, and it already has saved dozens of hours on a variety of experiments for crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory. The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is a sealed and enclosed work area installed in the U.S. Destiny lab on the space station, and is about the size of a 70-gallon fish tank.
14th June 2017

Magnetic 3D Cell Culturing handles cultures in the space station

Magnetic 3D Cell Culturing handles cultures in the space station
A wide variety of research relies on growing cells in culture on Earth, but handling these cells is challenging. With better techniques, scientists hope to reduce loss of cells from culture media, create cultures in specific shapes, and improve retrieval of cells for analysis – all of which would improve experiment results. Handling cells in microgravity poses even greater challenges, and with ongoing cell investigations aboard the International Space Station, optimising handling techniques is critical.
12th June 2017


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DSEI 2017
12th September 2017
United Kingdom ExCeL, London