ESA kosmose uudised
School is also back in session for ESA astronaut Andrea Mogensen (right) and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins. Together with European Astronaut Centre engineer Robin Eccleston (far left), the trio are taking part in this year’s Pangaea field training campaign to become better field scientists.
With all eyes set on the Moon, the three-week campaign has increasingly focussed on lunar geology. Now in its fourth edition, the course kicked off this week with background lessons by top planetary scientists on identifying rock samples of interest for exploration.
In this image Andreas and his fellow students use a microscope to analyse samples.
Later, the class went on a field trip to the Bletterbach canyon in the Italian Dolomites. The eight-km long and 400-m deep gorge contains around 10 billion tonnes of rock transported to the valley since the end of the glacial age, around 18 000 years ago.
The gorge is the result of sedimentary processes quite similar to those found on Mars and is an ideal site to put classroom knowledge into practice.
In later sessions, the trainees will also visit the Ries Crater in Germany and the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote, Spain, to unravel not only lunar but also martian features on Earth. They will use more sophisticated tools that will allow them to explore their geography from the microscopic to the macroscopic level.
The participants will wear a virtual reality headset to immerse themselves in a real martian landscape. Together with images and dozens of 3D maps, the trainees will see a combination of ground truth information and satellite images with the PLANetary MAPping project (PLANMAP) running behind the scenes.
ESA, NASA and Arianespace have jointly defined 18 December 2021 as the target launch date for Ariane 5 flight VA256. This third Ariane 5 launch of 2021 will fly the James Webb Space Telescope to space from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer will soon be launched to the International Space Station for his first mission, ‘Cosmic Kiss’. Tune in to ESA Web TV from 9:00 CEST (8:00 BST) to 10:00 CEST (9:00 BST) Thursday 9 September to watch his pre-launch news conference and learn what awaits him in orbit.
Space is changing fast. ESA wants to open up space to start-ups, new companies, new actors – basically to everyone. Our aim today is to help European businesses to use space technology to innovate and grow services and products that ultimately will change all our lives. And, instead of doing everything ourselves, it means we at ESA can be customers too. Commercialisation marks a fundamental change to the traditional rules of the space game, with the market providing more of what we need, and competition slashing costs and sharpening efficiency. It’s already happening in everything from micro-launchers to Earth-Moon communication, and orbital research. By boosting the commecialisation of space, ESA is providing opportunities for new ventures, new markets and generating new jobs, while we focus on expanding horizons.
Thomas Pesquet took part in a discussion with the EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, and the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius. The inflight call took place during their visit to ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, where they were accompanied by ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.
The tenth annual ESA Open Day is confirmed for the weekend of 2-3 October. A combination of in-person and virtual events, this is your chance to meet Europe’s astronauts and space experts and see spacecraft, hardware and test equipment in close-up. On Saturday people with disabilities will have a special chance to tour ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands, while the following day’s virtual event will be open to all.
Finding and collecting the best lunar samples will be a major task for the next astronauts on the Moon. ESA’s Pangaea training campaign launches today to equip astronauts with a geologist’s eye on the Moon – humanity’s next space destination to help us understand more about our Solar System.
Week in images: 30 August - 3 September 2021
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The ExoMars team have performed important parachute drop tests as crucial preparation for a safe touchdown on Mars in 2023. The European Rosalind Franklin rover will search for signs of past life beneath the surface of Mars with its unique two metre drill and onboard laboratory. The Russian surface science platform Kazachok will study the environment at the landing site. Landing on Mars is always a challenging endeavour and all possible parameters are taken into account.
More information on ExoMars: http://www.esa.int/exomars
After many technical and programmatic challenges, the first satellite of the next generation of the Meteosat family has taken a major step towards its first flight, currently scheduled for launch in autumn 2022.
ESA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs are opening the second round of their HyperGES fellowship, part of the Access to Space For All Initiative, offering student teams around the globe the chance to perform hypergravity experiments using the Large Diameter Centrifuge at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands, with a particular focus on developing nations.
Quantum technology or stage at a music festival? Both would have one thing in common: students.
Oscar-Qube, short for Optical Sensors based on CARbon materials: QUantum Belgium, is an experiment developed by a group of students from the University of Hasselt, Belgium. Part of ESA Education Office’s Orbit Your Thesis! programme, the experiment arrived at the International Space Station on Space X Dragon CR23 resupply mission yesterday.
This week, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will install the experiment in the Ice Cubes Facility that offers commercial and educational access to the microgravity environment of the Space Station.
Oscar-Qube’s mission is to create a detailed map of Earth’s magnetic field. It makes use of a new type of magnetometer that exploits diamond-based quantum sensing, meaning that it is highly sensitive, offers measurements to the nano scale, and has a better than 100-nanosecond response time.
These features combine to create a powerful experiment that, once in position, will allow it to map the Earth’s magnetic field to an unrivalled level of precision.
Oscar-Qube is designed and built exclusively by the first student team to test a diamond-based quantum technology sensing device in space. They will go on to manage operations during its ten-month stay onboard the International Space Station.
Orbit Your Thesis! is a hands-on ESA educational programme that helps university students realise the dream of putting an experiment of their own design into space. The Oscar-Qube students have been assisted at every stage of their journey by ESA experts, helping not only to develop the experiment, but also investing in the students themselves, equipping them with the skills and mindsets needed for future careers in the space sector.
Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest assessment report laying out the accumulating evidence of the climate crisis. The report identifies Earth observing satellites as a critical tool to monitor the causes and effects of climate change and directly acknowledges the contribution of ESA’s Climate Change Initiative – a research programme that draws on observations from multiple satellite missions.
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet takes you on a tour of the International Space Station like no other. Filmed with a 360 camera, the Space Station 360 series lets you explore for yourself alongside Thomas’s explanation – this is the Node 2 module. Node 2 is a European-built connecting module also known as Harmony that acts as an internal passageway and utility hub. Its exterior also serves as a work platform for the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, and has docking ports for spacecraft.
In this video, Thomas shows the different modules that Node 2 connects: Europe’s Columbus Laboratory, the US lab Destiny and the Japanese Kibo Laboratory. He also shows workspaces and sleeping cabins where astronauts can have some personal space and sleep with their sleeping bags attached to the wall. Click and drag with your mouse or move your smartphone around see different angles and feel like you are in space with Thomas.
The video is in French, to activate the English subtitles, click on the CC icon at the bottom right of the YouTube player.
Countdown to Webb launch with new merchandise collection
Week in images: 23 - 27 August 2021
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