ESA kosmose uudised
Josef Aschbacher and Simonetta di Pippo discuss space debris
On 20 April 2021, ESA will host the 8th European Conference on Space Debris from Darmstadt, in Germany. Scientists, engineers, industry experts and policy makers will spend the virtual four day conference discussing the latest issues surrounding space debris. They will exchange the latest research, try to come up with solutions for potential problems and define the future direction of any necessary action.
There are currently over 129 million objects larger than a millimetre in orbits around Earth. These range from inactive satellites to flakes of paint. But no matter how small the item of debris, anything travelling up to 56,000 km/h in an orbit is dangerous if it comes into contact with the many satellites that connect us around the world, be it for GPS, mobile phone data or internet connectivity. The solution is to take action before it’s too late. This is why ESA has commissioned ClearSpace-1 - the world’s first mission to remove space debris - for launch in 2025.
This film contains interviews with ESA Head of Space Debris Office Tim Flohrer; ESA Head of Clean Space Office Luisa Innocenti; and Xanthi Oikonomidou, ESA Space Debris Office.
Week in images: 05 - 09 April 2021
Discover our week through the lens
ESA-sponsored medical doctor Nick Smith snapped this photo of the storage containers at Concordia research station in Antarctica shortly before sunset, 8 April 2021. The dark blue line at the horizon is the shadow of the Earth.
The containers store food, recycling and the scientific samples of blood, saliva, and stool that Nick routinely takes. The units on the right are part of the summer camp, during which researchers sleep in tents.
Science for the benefit of space exploration does not only happen off planet. While some studies require the weightless isolation of the International Space Station, Antarctica also provides the right conditions for investigating the consequences of spaceflight, and it is a little easier to access than space.
Part of the 17th crew to spend an entire year at one of the most remote bases in the world, Nick and 11 other crew members have taken up the adventurous challenge in the backdrop of a pandemic to continue important research that is furthering space exploration.
Located at the mountain plateau called Dome C, Concordia is a collaboration between the French Polar Institute and the Italian Antarctic programme, and is one of only three bases that is inhabited all year long.
As well as offering around nine months of complete isolation, Concordia’s location at 3233 m altitude means the crew experience chronic hypobaric hypoxia – lack of oxygen in the brain.
During the Antarctic winter, the crew of up to 15 people also endure four months of complete darkness: the sun disappears from May and is not seen again until late August.
Temperatures can drop to –80°C in the winter, with a yearly average of –50°C. The temperature at the time of this image was -65°C, with wind chill at about -80°C. To put this cold into perspective, it was so cold that the camera battery died within ten minutes.
As a station set in Earth’s harshest space, Concordia is an ideal stand-in for studying the human psychological and physiological effects of extreme cold, isolation and darkness. For the rest of the year, Nick is poking and prodding the crew for samples to study changes in mood, immune systems, blood cells, and gut health.
Follow his adventures on the Chronicles from Concordia blog.
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Bucharest – the capital and largest city of Romania.
Italy’s Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, has recently been on explosive form, with 17 eruptions in less than three months. Instruments onboard three different satellites orbiting Earth have acquired imagery of the eruptions – revealing the intensity of the lava-fountaining eruptive episodes, known as paroxysms.
Flight passengers will be able to connect securely to their families and colleagues on Earth via sophisticated laser systems.
ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher spoke to journalists on 7 April 2021 to introduce ESA Agenda 2025, setting out ESA's strategic priorities and goals.
ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher has worked with our Member States to define new priorities and goals for ESA for the coming years.
Ariane 6 early combined tests at Latesys in Fos-sur-Mer, in France, have simulated the moment of liftoff when the umbilicals separate from the launch vehicle.
Today is 406 Day – the annual campaigning day to spread awareness of the importance of emergency beacons, and the satellites that pick up their signals, including Europe’s Galileo constellation. As well as letting people across the world find their way, Galileo also serves to detect SOS messages and relay them to authorities, contributing to saving many lives.
Week in images: 29 March - 02 April 2021
Discover our week through the lens
With Easter right around the corner, we take a look at four egg-shaped buildings visible from space as captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.
ESA is seeking to open the way to a new era of in-space activities such as refuelling, refurbishment, assembly, manufacturing, and recycling. The Agency is now soliciting ideas for In-Orbit Servicing activities from European industry and academia.
The quarterly ESA Impact is out now!
Applications are open for ESA’s first astronaut selection in over a decade, and all qualified candidates are encouraged to put themselves forward.