.@ESA Ariane 6 rocket starts development – an annotated infographic

Airbus Safran Launchers – a joint venture between the aerospace giant Airbus and the aero and rocket manufacturer Safran – has finalised the architecture for its Ariane 6 launch vehicle. Ariane 6 will be a modular rocket that can be tailored to launch one or two large satellites at a time into low-altitude perches and geostationary orbits favoured by commercial telecoms spacecraft. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Advertisements Continue reading .@ESA Ariane 6 rocket starts development – an annotated infographic

Comet-chasing spacecraft #Rosetta woken up after three years asleep – an annotated graphic

The European Space Agency (ESA) is today performing a challenging operation, waking up the comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta after 957 days of hibernation. The waking-up manoeuvre has commenced today at 10am GMT with Rosetta’s internal clock turning on its internal computers. The spacecraft will require up to seven hours to warm up its star-tracking navigation system, fire its rocket thrusters in order to slow down its spin to be able to turn on a transmitter and beam a message to the Earth. Controllers at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, hope to confirm the spacecraft has been successfully resuscitated … Continue reading Comet-chasing spacecraft #Rosetta woken up after three years asleep – an annotated graphic

Video: 3D printing in the age of metal and the future of aerospace

Watch our video interview with David Jarvis from the European Space Agency who is coordinating the pan-European AMAZE project. At the end of the 5-year endeavour, Europe should have a proper metal 3D printing infrastructure to serve not only the aerospace industry but also, for example, nuclear fusion. We have talked about why is 3D printing of metal so complicated and what it would require to 3D print at the International Space Station. Everyone in the industry seems excited about the new technology promising creating bespoke alloys with unprecedented qualities and tuning designs in a way that has so far … Continue reading Video: 3D printing in the age of metal and the future of aerospace

Killer #asteroid threatening Planet Earth – an annotated graphic

While we puny humans go about our days, worrying about trivial matters like shoes, the Oscars and the efficacy or otherwise of coalition governments, an asteroid with – so we’re told – the destructive power of an H-bomb is hurtling towards our favorite green and blue planet, Earth. And not for the first time, either. These pesky asteroids keep setting themselves on an inexorable collision course with Planet Earth like stone kamikaze pilots at regular intervals across the ages of Man. So far, their aim hasn’t been too good, mostly missing us altogether, but a couple of doozies have snuck through … Continue reading Killer #asteroid threatening Planet Earth – an annotated graphic

Super telescopes and ESA heavy-lift rockets – two annotated graphics

Having already celebrated the Pacific total solar eclipse earlier today, now seems like as good a time as any to punt these two space-related graphics out there for all to enjoy. It’s all about looking up in to the sky and getting big stuff up there, eh? For your delectation and edification, we present the new generation of super-telescopes (begging the question as to why everything has to be super these days, whether it’s storms or telescopes) and the European Space Agency’s next-generation heavy-lift rockets. They don’t come cheap, you know. Click on the graphics for an expanded view. Continue reading Super telescopes and ESA heavy-lift rockets – two annotated graphics

Soyuz rocket launch – an annotated graphic

Ground control to Major Tomski. Preparations for Russia’s first space launch from French Guiana are fully underway. The Soyuz rocket, carrying a pair of satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system, will blast off from the brand new Sinnamary spaceport near ESA’s Ariane 5 launch site. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading Soyuz rocket launch – an annotated graphic