ESA kosmose uudised
Week in images: 19 - 23 July 2021
Discover our week through the lens
The Paris Agreement adopted a target for global warming not to exceed 1.5°C. This sets a limit on the additional carbon we can add to the atmosphere – the carbon budget. Only around 17% of the carbon budget is now left. That is about 10 years at current emission rates.
Each country reports its annual greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations. Scientists then set these emissions against estimates of the carbon absorbed by Earth’s natural carbon sinks. This is known as the bottom-up approach to calculating the carbon budget.
Another way to track carbon sources and sinks is to measure the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from space – the top-down approach. As well as tracking atmospheric carbon, ESA’s Climate Change Initiative is using satellite observations to track other carbon stocks on land and sea.
How we use the land accounts for about a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions. Forests are the largest store of carbon on the land. Fire acts as a conduit for carbon to pass from the land to the atmosphere. And phytoplankton in the ocean are an important carbon sink.
ESA’s Regional Carbon Cycle Analysis and Processes project is using this information to reconcile the differences between the bottom-up and top-down approaches. Observations are combined with atmospheric and biophysical computer models to deduce carbon fluxes at the surface. This will improve the precision of each greenhouse gas budget and help separate natural fluxes from agricultural and fossil fuel emissions. This work will help us gauge whether we can stay within the 1.5°C carbon budget, or if more warming is in store.
Long-term studies of ozone and water vapour in the atmosphere of Mars could lead to better understanding of atmospheric chemistry for the Earth. A new analysis of data from ESA's Mars Express mission has revealed that our knowledge of the way these atmospheric gases interact with each other is incomplete.
The Tarso Toussidé volcanic massif is featured in this false-colour composite image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.
The European Robotic Arm (ERA) is on its way to the International Space Station after being launched on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, at 16:58 CEST on 21 July 2021.
The 11-m-long robot is travelling folded and attached to what will be its home base – the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, also called ‘Nauka’. The Proton-M booster placed Nauka and ERA into orbit around 10 minutes after liftoff, nearly 200 km above Earth.
The International Space Station already has two robotic arms; Canadian and Japanese robots play a crucial role in berthing spacecraft and transferring payloads and astronauts. However, neither arm can reach the Russian segment.
ERA is the first robot capable of ‘walking’ around the Russian parts of the orbital complex. It can handle components up to 8000 kg with 5 mm precision, and it will transport astronauts from one working site to another.
ESA will further increase the competitiveness and environmental sustainability of Europe’s Vega launch system beyond 2025 through a contract signed with Avio in Italy.
The European Robotic Arm (ERA) is on its way to the International Space Station after being launched on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, at 16:58 CEST today.
A sophisticated telecommunications satellite capable of being completely repurposed in orbit has been fuelled ready for its launch on 30 July.
A vehicle that remains continuously connected even when in remote areas is being road tested in Cornwall in the south west of the UK.
Companies with small satellites are set to benefit from a new end-to-end space transportation service offering additional in-orbit flexibility proposed by D-Orbit and supported through ESA’s Boost! programme.
TheESA-Roscosmos Trace Gas Orbiter has set new upper limits on how much methane, ethane, ethylene and phosphine is in the martian atmosphere – four so-called ‘biomarker’ gases that are potential signs of life.
ESA Highlights 2020: interactive format now available!
The European Robotic Arm (ERA) is set for launch on a Proton rocket to the International Space Station on 21 July at 16:58 CEST. The first robot that can ‘walk’ around the Russian part of the orbital complex will be launched with the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
A year ago tomorrow, a failure on the Integral spacecraft meant it fired its thrusters for likely the last time. In the days since, the spacecraft in Earth orbit has continued to shed light on the violent gamma ray Universe, and it should soon be working even more efficiently than before, as mission control teams implement an ingenious new way to control the 18-year-old spacecraft.
ESA’s first Earth observation mission dedicated to understanding our planet, the European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-1), was launched into orbit on 17 July 1991 – almost 30 years ago today. At the time of its launch, the ERS satellite was one of the most sophisticated spacecraft ever developed and launched by Europe, paving the way for satellite technology in the areas of atmosphere, land, ocean and ice monitoring. Today, we look back at some of the mission’s key accomplishments.
Week in images: 12 - 16 July 2021
Discover our week through the lens
Lima, the capital and largest city of Peru, is featured in this Copernicus Sentinel-2 image.
The European Space Agency is currently looking for a new Director of Navigation to join its Executive Board and support the Director General, with responsibility for relevant ESA activities and overall objectives.
ESA’s first Earth observation mission dedicated to understanding our planet, the European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-1), was launched into orbit on 17 July 1991. At the time, it was the most sophisticated Earth observation spacecraft developed and launched by Europe.
Thirty years ago, as the team went through the launch and early-orbit phase, the first synthetic aperture radar images were awaited in Kiruna and Fucino. Featuring video footage taken in 1991, the team involved tells the story of the anxious moments and important breakthroughs they made as the first images arrived. Get an insider view into the problem-solving moments from inside one of ESA's processing rooms.
Features interviews with:
Stephen Coulson, Former Earth Observation Applications Engineer
Mark Doherty, Former Head of ERS Product Control Service
Henri Laur Former Head of Processing of ERS-1 SAR data