ESA kosmose uudised
Today, ESA’s ground stations are helping fetch rocks from the lunar surface; tomorrow, they will enable new missions that will make the Moon a routine destination.
What resembles a donut or the iris of an eye is actually a liquid cell illuminated from below.
Part of the Chemo-Hydrodynamic Patterns and Instabilities (CHYPI) experiment that recently flew on the 73rd ESA parabolic flight campaign, this cell has a lot to offer the chemical solutions industry.
Researchers behind CHYPI are seeking to validate a theoretical model, developed by Anne De Wit and her team at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, to control the formation of new chemical products.
To do this, they needed to understand the flow reactions of chemical liquids in gravity and microgravity conditions, so they took to the skies for an extraordinary parabolic flight campaign that was adjusted to covid-19 safety measures.
The science team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and TU Dresden mixed two reactant solutions in a liquid cell, creating a red-brown ferric thiocyanate solution. They found, that under gravity, the new product exhibits the patterned stripes imaged above, due to the flow of liquid. When gravity was ‘switched off’ for roughly 20 seconds as the Air Zero G airplane flew the curve of its parabola, the stripes were not present.
“We now understand better how the patterns in the product zone form: The dark stripes appear and disappear by switching on and off gravity during the parabolas,” explains principal investigator Karin Schwarzenberger.
Improving the manufacturing of reactant solutions is of interest to the chemical solutions industry, which collaborates with this investigation. Soil remediation efforts would benefit from solutions that enable contaminated soil to be sealed off from surrounding ground water, for instance.
ESA’s parabolic flight campaign was the first step for the project, allowing researchers to validate their experiment set up ahead of a longer duration study on the TEXUS-57 sounding rocket in April 2021.
Overall, the parabolic flight campaign was a success for all involved, despite the adjustments required to enable it to take place, such as changing location from France to Germany. Participants needed to show a negative Covid-19 PCR prior to coming to Germany, and once there had to take their temperatures regularly, observe strict social distancing in the large preparation hangar, and wear a mask at all times. This year’s campaign also featured a limited number of experimenters on the aircraft and adaptations to the aircraft seating arrangement.
The larger science team behind CHYPI also includes researchers from the University of Szeged, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse and University of Sassari.
Watch the launch of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-monitoring satellite on ESA Web TV on Saturday 21 November from 17:45 CET (08:45 PST).
The parachute system that will help deliver the Rosalind Franklin ExoMars rover to Mars has completed the first full-scale high altitude drop test with redesigned elements following two unsuccessful tests last year. Parachute extraction and deceleration proceeded as expected, the test vehicle landed safely and the test parachutes were recovered. However, some canopy damage occurred, pointing to the early inflation process for the focus of further improvements.
Press Release N° 23–2020
On Tuesday 17 November, Arianespace announced the loss of the Vega VV17 mission, carrying two payloads: SEOSAT-Ingenio for ESA and TARANIS for the French space agency, CNES.
Innovative solutions to tackle urban air pollution will be explored at an online seminar to be held on Thursday 19 November.
Renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, originator of many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, has been working on an even more challenging design: a habitat for a future Moon Village. Their proposal has undergone rigorous examination by ESA experts at the Agency’s mission-evaluating Concurrent Design Facility.
Lunar exploration relies on the extensive expertise that is on hand across ESA. As a new lunar economy emerges, it will create new opportunities involving robots, habitats and transportation. Missions to the Moon share similar communication and navigation needs that could be satisfied using a constellation of lunar satellites.
Under the agency’s "Moonlight" initiative, ESA is exploring with industry the necessary technical solutions along with delivery models for the provision of lunar telecommunication and navigation services.
Watch the launch of SEOSAT-Ingenio, the Spanish high-resolution land imaging mission, on ESA Web TV on Tuesday 17 November from 02:30 CET (16 November 22:30 local time in Kourou).
Since time immemorial, people have gazed in wonder at the Moon. Its gentle light suggests romance, its strong embrace powers the tides and it is even sometimes blamed for madness.
New Hubble collection celebrates stunning space images
We chose our favourite Hubble images to star in ESA’s new merchandise collection. Plus a one-day-only free worldwide shipping!
The next round of internship opportunities at ESA is now published and opportunities will remain open until 10 December 2020. Internships last from three to six months and opportunities are available in engineering, science, IT, natural/social sciences, business and administration services.
Today, ESA signed contracts with Thales Alenia Space in France and in Italy, and Airbus in Spain to build three of the new high-priority Copernicus satellite missions: CHIME, CIMR and LSTM, respectively. Each mission is set to help address different major environmental challenges such as sustainable agriculture management, food security, the monitoring of polar ice supporting the EU Integrated Policy for the Arctic, and all will be used to understand climate change.
Week in images: 09-13 November 2020
Discover our week through the lens
Teams at ESA's mission control centre are getting ready to ensure a new Earth observation mission safely begins its life in space. The SEOSAT-Ingenio mission will provide high-resolution images of Earth’s surface, providing crucial data to better understand our environment and for land, water and risk management and security.
Ahead of its liftoff, scheduled on Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 02:52 CET (16 November 22:52 local time in Kourou), the SEOSAT-Ingenio satellite sealed in the rocket fairing has been hoisted into the Vega launch tower at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.