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European Space Agency (ESA) articles

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ExoMars rover science laboratory fitted

The ExoMars rover’s Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD) was integrated into the rover at Airbus, Stevenage, UK in May 2019. The video is shown at 18 times real speed; in reality the sequence of events took around 11.5 minutes.
29th May 2019

Preserving data for our future

Satellites provide vast quantities of data. While these data are processed and used by scientists and analysts to understand and monitor Earth, they are also carefully archived.
4th April 2019

World Water Day: what's space got to do with it?

For World Water Day ESA take a look at ways that space can help this global challenge.
21st March 2019

ExoMars Rover: from concept to reality

The second part of the ExoMars programme is ongoing. In Stevenage, UK, a rover is being built that will carry a drill and a suite of instruments dedicated to exobiology and geochemistry research.
7th February 2019

European Student Earth Orbiter ready for launch

The European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) is an educational micro-satellite, which involved European university students during the whole project life cycle.
19th November 2018

Horizons mission - preparing for a spacewalk

Known to the crew as an EVA (extravehicular activity), each spacewalk provides a valuable opportunity to carry out repairs, test new equipment and even perform science experiments beyond the confines of a spacecraft.
7th August 2018

The mission that brought an asteroid down to Earth

Some of the rarest, most precious materials on Earth originated very, very far away, and are only available to us now because of the Hayabusa mission of JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
1st August 2018

What is a near-Earth asteroid?

We often hear from astronomers and other scientists about 'near-earth asteroids' - lumps of rock and metal that orbit through our Solar System, and pass close enough to our planet to pose an impact risk.
27th June 2018

Scenes from a ESA spacewalk

As part of ESA’s Expose-R2 project, 46 species of bacteria, fungi and arthropods were delivered by a Progress supply ship to the International Space Station in July 2014. Spacewalking cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev attached the package to the outside of the Zvezda module on 18th August 2014, where it stayed until it was retrieved 18 months later.
19th June 2018

Earth from space: special edition

Discover more about our planet with the Earth from Space video programme.
8th March 2018

World-first firing of air-breathing electric thruster

World-first firing of air-breathing electric thruster
In a world-first, an ESA-led team has built and fired an electric thruster to ingest scarce air molecules from the top of the atmosphere for propellant, opening the way to satellites flying in very low orbits for years on end. ESA’s GOCE gravity-mapper flew as low as 250 km for more than five years thanks to an electric thruster that continuously compensated for air drag. However, its working life was limited by the 40 kg of xenon it carried as propellant – once that was exhausted, the mission was over.
7th March 2018

How do we take space debris out of orbit?

Don’t be scared of space debris. ESA’s Clean Space initiative is carrying out preparatory activities to build a test mission to take a single, large and heavy item of debris out of orbit.
12th January 2018

Space... clean and untouched?

The ESA’s Clean Space initiative works hard to keep space safe and clean for future generations. Its three main objectives are presented in this video.
11th January 2018

Cosmic opportunity for radiation research at ESA

Cosmic opportunity for radiation research at ESA
Cosmic radiation is considered the main health hazard to human spaceflight and space exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond, which is why ESA has made cosmic radiation a focus of its research programme. Radiation poses a risk to the human body in the form of cancer, central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular problems and tissue degeneration.
17th August 2017

Tracking the solar eruption through the solar system

Animation visualising the propagation of a coronal mass ejection leaving the Sun on 14th October 2014 and highlighting the speed at which it reached various spacecraft over the following days, weeks and months (not to scale).
16th August 2017

LISA gravitational wave mission scheduled for 2034

LISA gravitational wave mission scheduled for 2034
  The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission, aimed at detecting gravitational waves in space, has been approved by the European Space Agency at a meeting of its Science Programme Committee. After years of development and delays, the mission is now scheduled to go ahead in 2034.
28th June 2017

ESA's Jupiter mission will examine its turbulent atmosphere

ESA's Jupiter mission will examine its turbulent atmosphere
Demanding electric, magnetic and power requirements, harsh radiation, and strict planetary protection rules are some of the critical issues that had to be tackled in order to move ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer – Juice – from the drawing board and into construction. Scheduled for launch in 2022, with arrival in the Jovian system in 2029, Juice will spend three-and-a-half years examining the giant planet's turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, its set of tenuous dark rings and its satellites.
17th March 2017

Analytical software promises Big Bang in astrophysics

Analytical software promises Big Bang in astrophysics
Cutting-edge software has been developed to help astrophysicists see distant galaxies as never before. With the next generation of space missions set for launch, the project will enable European scientists to take full advantage of the latest data. Astronomers are really cosmic time travellers; distant galaxies are so far away that their light takes billions of years to reach us. Discovering these stellar systems means being able to look at the universe as it was close to the Big Bang.
2nd February 2017

The largest survey of celestial objects to date

The largest survey of celestial objects to date
The first catalogue of more than a billion stars from ESA’s Gaia satellite was published – the largest all-sky survey of celestial objects to date. On its way to assembling the most detailed 3D map ever made of our Milky Way galaxy, Gaia has pinned down the precise position on the sky and the brightness of 1142 million stars. As a taster of the richer catalogue to come in the near future, the release also features the distances and the motions across the sky for more than two million stars.
15th September 2016

Aeolus satellite launch secured

Aeolus satellite launch secured
ESA and Arianespace have signed a contract to secure the launch of the Aeolus satellite. With this milestone, a better understanding of Earth’s winds is another step closer. The contract, worth €32.57m, was signed at ESA headquarters in Paris, France, by ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, and CEO of Arianespace, Stéphane Israël.
8th September 2016

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