Posts Tagged ‘ESA’

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

January 20, 2014

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 by 6pm GMT today.

Rosetta, launched in 2004, is currently located some 500 million miles away from the Earth near Jupiter and heads toward a 2.4-mile in diameter comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Later this year, in an unprecedented manoeuvre, the spacecraft will not only sail by the comet, but will insert itself into its orbit and drop a lander to the comet’s surface.

E&T News covered this story in depth today, so read the full story of the adventures of the somnambulist spacecraft Rosetta.

Ace comet-prober Rosetta

Ace comet-prober Rosetta

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

October 17, 2013

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 been impossible. Is the third industrial revolution really coming?

You can also read our full article here:

Killer #asteroid threatening Planet Earth – an annotated graphic

February 25, 2013

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 the atmosphere and smacked Mother Earth upside the head. It can only be a matter of time etc.

E&T has covered this intergalactic terror before from a number of angles, including Nasa’s 1,000 most-wanted asteroid list, the ESA crowdsourcing asteroid watch and what exactly can we do about the asteroid threat anyway.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Giant asteroid to skim past Earth

Giant asteroid to skim past Earth

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

November 13, 2012

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.

New generation of super-telescopes

New generation of super-telescopes

Next-generation heavy-lift rockets

Next-generation heavy-lift rockets

Soyuz rocket launch – an annotated graphic

October 20, 2011

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.

Soyuz set for Guiana launch

Soyuz set for Guiana launch


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