ESA has long-established plans to create a commercial lunar satellite network and now seeks expressions of interest from companies prepared to build and operate it.
On 16 July at 10:00 BST / 11.00 CEST, join the third online Global Space Economic Workshop (GSEW) to find out how ESA and the European Investment bank group can facilitate access to financial tools for the European space industrial community to overcome the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
Discover our new exoplanets collection
Ever wondered about the planets outside our Solar System? ESA missions such as Cheops will further our understanding of exoplanets! Discover this new collection featuring these other worlds and the missions that study them.
Week in images: 6-10 July 2020
Discover our week through the lens
The colossus iceberg that split from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf on 12 July 2017 is now in the open waters of the South Atlantic near the South Orkney Islands, about 1050 km from its birthplace. Having lost two chunks of ice, this record berg is a little less huge than it once was – and now that it is in rougher waters, it may break up further.
Are you a non-space business, then ESA is looking for your help! Take a 10-minute survey about the potential use of space-related technology in your business, and help us understand how best to serve your needs and aspirations.
Replay Day 2 of the online Global Space Economic Workshop - 'Space and the COVID-19 crisis: The value of Earth observation data during and after the crisis', recorded on 9 July 2020.
During this workshop Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes presented the value of Earth observation data during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
The round table moderated by Charlotte Mathieu, Head of Industrial Policy and Economic Analysis Section discussed how space data can help with monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and how this will assist the recovery in the post-COVID world. Yves Louis Desnos, Head of the Data Applications Division and Anca Anghelea, Earth Observation Open Data Scientist and Nicolaus Hanowski, Head of the Mission Management and Ground Segment Department took part in the panel discussion.
Every summer, the wind carries large amounts of desert dust particles from the hot and dry Sahara Desert in northern Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and ESA’s Aeolus satellite show the extent of this year’s summer dust plume, dubbed ‘Godzilla,’ on its journey across the Atlantic.
ESA’s Euclid mission has reached another milestone on its journey towards launch. Its two instruments are now built and fully tested. These have been delivered to Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, where they are now being integrated with the telescope to form the mission’s payload module.
Press Release N° 13–2020First images from ESA’s Solar Orbiter to be revealed:
The first images from ESA’s new Sun-observing spacecraft Solar Orbiter will be released to the public on 16 July 2020. Media representatives are invited to watch an online press briefing, which will take place at 14:00 CEST (13:00 BST), and talk to the scientists behind the mission.
After a successful launch aboard the Japanese HTV9 cargo vehicle, a new experiment facility was recently installed in the European laboratory Columbus as part of a comprehensive upgrade of Europe’s International Space Station module.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (imaged above) manoeuvred the fridge-sized European Drawer Rack Mark 2(EDR2) to its new position. EDR2 is designed to run in parallel with the original European Drawer Rack, providing even greater opportunities for science in space.
A feat that would be much more difficult on Earth, installing EDR-2 in weightlessness was not exactly physically taxing, but required careful manoeuvring in the limited space. Watch a video of the installation.
EDR2 is a flexible experiment facility, able to support a wide range of experiments and technology demonstrators. It supports experiments by providing power, data communication, cooling and nitrogen, and venting waste gasses. The rack is designed to accommodate many types of instruments with different dimensions and masses. EDR2 can even support experiments nearby but not inside the experiment rack, so long as these are hosted inside the Columbus cabin.
The first three experiments planned for installation in EDR-2 include a metal 3D printer, an instrument investigating granular materials (VIP-GRAN) and a facility looking into heat transfer.
ESA intends to use the 3D printer to produce metal parts through additive manufacturing – a process considered the next important step in building structures and parts in space.
The VIP-GRAN experiment will investigate how particles behave in microgravity to understand the underlying physics in detail. This involves looking at how particles jam together as they flow through small openings.
The Heat Transfer Host experiment will continue ESA’s investigations into convection – how heat is transferred through air and liquids.
EDR-2 arrived to the International Space Station on 20 May on a Japanese HTV-9 cargo vehicle and took the place of the European Transport Carrier (ETC); having served its time as a workbench and stowage facility, ETC was transferred to the HTV 9 spacecraft and will now be trashed.
The EDR-2 and most of its experiments and technology demonstrators will be operated from CADMOS, the French User Support Operations Centre located in Toulouse, France.
On 9 July at 9:30 BST / 10.30 CEST, join the second online Global Space Economic Workshop (GSEW) to discuss the value of Earth observation data during and after the COVID-19 crisis, how space data can help with monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and how this will assist the recovery in the post-COVID world.
The four winners of ESA’s Startup competition are using space to solve problems on Earth. Each startup company presented their business proposals to delegates online at ESA’s Industrial Policy Committee meeting on 29 June.
Following the financial commitment from ESA Member States at last November’s Council at Ministerial Level Space19+, ESA’s industrial policy committee has approved contracts totalling €2.55 billion to forward the development of six new Copernicus satellite missions, each mission comprising two satellites, a development and a recurrent unit.
Week in images: 29 June - 3 July 2020
Discover our week through the lens