ESA and CNES experts ready for Galileo’s first orbits

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ESA and CNES experts ready for Galileo’s first orbits
20-08-2014 01:30 PM CEST

ESOC_control_room_small.jpg

Lift-off for Galileo satellites 5 and 6 is set for Thursday, 21 August, at 12:31 GMT (14:31 CEST) on a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana.

Just 9 minutes and 23 seconds later, the Fregat upper stage carrying the payload will separate from the Soyuz third stage, and conduct a pair of engine burns separated by an approximately three-hour ballistic coast phase.

Three hours and 47 minutes after launch, the Galileo satellites will separate into free-flight orbit, 23 522 km above Earth. On board each satellite, an automatic sequence will be triggered, switching the spacecraft on, booting up the onboard software, deploying a pair of solar arrays and orienting the spacecraft toward the Sun.

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European Space Agency YouTube Update

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19-08-2014 07:39 PM CEST

On 21 August, at 12:31 UTC/14:31 CEST, a Soyuz rocket will launch the fifth and six Galileo satellites from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

These are the first ‘Full Operational Capability’ satellites for the deployment phase of Galileo, following the so-called ‘In Orbit Validation’ (IOV) phase, which allowed the European Space Agency to make sure that the design of the Galileo system provided its expected performance both in space and on the ground.

Now it is time to build the full Galileo constellation, allowing full deployment to take place, the IOV satellites having paved the way for this European navigation programme, the first civilian system with worldwide services.

This phase of the Galileo programme is being managed and funded by the European Commission, with ESA acting as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

This video recalls the success of the In Orbit Validation phase and explains what will be the mission of these fifth and sixth Galileo satellites.

It includes an interview with Sylvain Loddo, Galileo Ground Segment Manager.

More about launching Galileo: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation/The_future_-_Galileo/Launching_Galileo

From: European Space Agency, ESA
Views: 905

62 ratings
Time: 03:50 More in Science & Technology


19-08-2014 05:12 PM CEST

Történelmi pillanatok tanúi lehetünk az űrkutatásban. A Rosetta űrszonda augusztus 6-án, szerdán megközelített egy üstököst, és a következő hónapokban vele együtt repül majd. Az Euronews az Európai Űrügynökség (ESA) csapatának segítségével mutatja be a példátlan missziót, az üstökösvadászok munkáját. Mérföldkő az űrkutatásban A Rosetta küldetését hatalmas érdeklődés övezi szerte a földkerekségen. Az Európai Űrügynökség műveleti központjában, a németországi Darmstadtban sok száz újságíró volt tanúja annak a lélegzetelállító pillanatnak, amikor az űrszonda elérte a 67P/Csurjumov-Geraszimenko névre keresztelt üstököst. – Ott vagyunk, létrejött a randevú. Hatalmas lépést tettünk, valódi mérföldkő ez az űrkutatásban. És most egy teljes éven keresztül ott is maradunk az üstökös nyakán – jelentette be diadalittasan Matt Taylor, a projektben résztvevő egyik tudós.

English version: http://youtu.be/k3qFYsDVZ5s

From: European Space Agency, ESA
Views: 50

6 ratings
Time: 08:34 More in Science & Technology

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European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Doing what ATV does best
19-08-2014 05:46 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Doing what ATV does best

Shortly before the docking of ATV Georges Lemaître on 12 August 2014, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst was pictured manually checking the approach speed of the massive cargo vessel. This failsafe method involves holding a simple plastic ruler against the screen and helps ensure a safe docking.

The ATV – Automated Transfer Vehicle – is designed to dock without human intervention. In the picture, ATV-5 is seen only a few short metres from the International Space Station. If ATV had approached too quickly, Alexander could have manually stopped the docking. The large red button seen on the docking control panel is the abort button. If used, it would send a signal to ATV to activate its thrusters, which would immediately push the vehicle away from the ISS. This is a critical moment during docking, and requires the human element to supervise the automated process.

ATV-5 made its docking at 15:30 CEST, with bull’s-eye precision and no need for any intervention.

ATV-5 is the last ATV to be sent to the International Space Station. It will remain docked for about five months, providing supplies, fuel, air and scientific equipment and periodically reboosting the Station.

Credit: Roscosmos/O. Artemiev

Comet 67P on 18 August 2014 – NAVCAM
19-08-2014 04:09 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Comet 67P on 18 August 2014 - NAVCAM

Rosetta navigation camera image taken on 18 August 2014 at about 84 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet nucleus is about 4 km across.

Soyuz is raised to vertical at the launch zone
19-08-2014 11:57 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Soyuz is raised to vertical at the launch zone

A three-stage Soyuz is raised into a vertical position in the launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The mobile gantry – which provides protection during the ‘upper composite’s’ integration – is moved into position. Set for liftoff on 21 August, at 12:31 UTC/14:31 CEST this Soyuz will place the first two ‘Full Operational Capability’ Galileo satellites in orbit.

Read more about launching Galileo: www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation/The_future_-_Galile…

Credit: ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique Vidéo du CSG – P.Baudon

Soyuz is transferred to the launch zone
19-08-2014 11:57 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Soyuz is transferred to the launch zone

A three-stage Soyuz is transferred by rail in a horizontal position from the MIK assembly facility to the launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for the launch of the first two ‘Full Operational Capability’ Galileo satellites. The launch is scheduled for 21 August, at 12:31 UTC/14:31 CEST.

Read more about launching Galileo:
www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation/The_future_-_Galile…

Credit: ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique Vidéo du CSG – P.Baudon

Soyuz upper composite holding the two Galileo FOC satellites
19-08-2014 11:57 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Soyuz upper composite holding the two Galileo FOC satellites

At Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the Galileo mission logos have been applied to the payload fairing – which encapsulates this mission’s two-satellite payload and their dispenser system. These are the first ‘Full Operational Capability’ satellites for the deployment phase of Galileo. The launch is scheduled for 21 August, at 12:31 UTC/14:31 CEST.

Read more about launching Galileo: www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation/The_future_-_Galile…

Credit: ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique Vidéo du CSG – P.Baudon

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NASA’s RXTE Satellite Decodes the Rhythm of an Unusual Black Hole

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NASA’s RXTE Satellite Decodes the Rhythm of an Unusual Black Hole
08/18/2014 12:00 PM EDT

Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

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European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Comet 67P on 17 August 2014 – NAVCAM
18-08-2014 03:15 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Comet 67P on 17 August 2014 - NAVCAM

Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 17 August 2014 from a distance of about 102 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

A silver needle in the sky
18-08-2014 02:07 PM CEST

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A silver needle in the sky

This stunning new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows part of the sky in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). Although this region of the sky is not home to any stellar heavyweights, being mostly filled with stars of average brightness, it does contain five Messier objects and numerous intriguing galaxies — including NGC 5195, a small barred spiral galaxy considered to be one of the most beautiful galaxies visible, and its nearby interacting partner the Whirlpool Galaxy (heic0506a). The quirky Sunflower Galaxy is another notable galaxy in this constellation, and is one of the largest and brightest edge-on galaxies in our skies. Joining this host of characters is spiral galaxy NGC 4244, nicknamed the Silver Needle Galaxy, shown here in a new image from Hubble. This galaxy spans some 65 000 light-years and lies around 13.5 million light-years away. It appears as a wafer-thin streak across the sky, with its loosely wound spiral arms hidden from view as we observe the galaxy side on. It is part of a group of galaxies known as the M94 Group [1]. Numerous bright clumps of gas can be seen scattered across its length, along with dark dust lanes surrounding the galaxy’s core. NGC 4244 also has a bright star cluster at its centre. Although we can make out the galaxy’s bright central region and star-spattered arms, we cannot see any more intricate structure due to the galaxy’s position; from Earth, we see it stretched out as a flattened streak across the sky. A number of different observations were pieced together to form this mosaic, and gaps in Hubble’s coverage have been filled in using ground-based data. The Hubble observations were taken as part of the GHOSTS survey, which is scanning nearby galaxies to explore how they and their stars formed to get a more complete view of the history of the Universe. Notes [1] Our home group, containing the Milky Way and many others, is known as the Local Group. M94 is relatively close to the Local Group.

Craters within the Hellas Basin topography
18-08-2014 01:58 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Craters within the Hellas Basin topography

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Craters within the Hellas Basin in 3D
18-08-2014 01:58 PM CEST

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Craters within the Hellas Basin in 3D

Data from the nadir channel and one stereo channel of the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express have been combined to produce this anaglyph 3D image, which can be viewed using stereoscopic glasses with red–green or red–blue filters.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Craters within the Hellas Basin
18-08-2014 01:58 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Craters within the Hellas Basin

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System’s largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

Hellas is thought to have formed between 3.8 and 4.1 billion years ago, when a large asteroid hit the surface of Mars. Since its formation, Hellas has been subject to modification by the action of wind, ice, water and volcanic activity.

Impact craters have also since pock-marked this vast basin floor, two of which are the focus of this image, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 17 December 2013. The ground resolution is about 15 metres per pixel.

These craters lie in the deepest, western portion of Hellas, and such a clear view is unusual because dust clouds typically obscure the basin floor. Indeed, this region seems to be covered by a thick blanket of dust.

The larger of the two craters is about 25 km across. A flow of material appears to have been transported from the top left of the scene and into the crater. Zooming in to the smooth mound and the area immediately around it reveals interesting textures that likely resulted from this flow.

Flow features are also seen outside of the craters, and in particular, at the centre left of the image near the top of the frame. Material also seems to have cascaded from the larger crater’s rim and into a neighbouring smaller crater, at the far left of the image.

The morphology of many features in the Hellas Basin and its surroundings strongly suggests the presence of ice and glaciers.

For example, in the foreground and around the crater rim, polygons of patterned ground are visible which indicates the presence of water – this pattern occurs when fine grained and porous wet soil freezes.

Indeed, in the deepest parts of the basin, the atmospheric pressure is about 89% higher than at the surface, which may even offer conditions suitable for water. Radar images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that some craters in Hellas might contain water-ice glaciers several hundred metres thick, buried under layers of dust.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Craters within the Hellas Basin in context
18-08-2014 01:58 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Craters within the Hellas Basin in context

Credit: NASA MGS MOLA Science Team/Freie Universitaet Berlin

Perspective view of craters within the Hellas Basin
18-08-2014 01:58 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Perspective view of craters within the Hellas Basin

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System’s largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

Hellas is thought to have formed between 3.8 and 4.1 billion years ago, when a large asteroid hit the surface of Mars. Since its formation, Hellas has been subject to modification by the action of wind, ice, water and volcanic activity.

Impact craters have also since pock-marked this vast basin floor, two of which are the focus of this image, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 17 December 2013. The ground resolution is about 15 metres per pixel.

These craters lie in the deepest, western portion of Hellas, and such a clear view is unusual because dust clouds typically obscure the basin floor. Indeed, this region seems to be covered by a thick blanket of dust.

The larger of the two craters is about 25 km across. A flow of material appears to have been transported from the top left of the scene and into the crater. Zooming in to the smooth mound and the area immediately around it reveals interesting textures that likely resulted from this flow.

Flow features are also seen outside of the craters, and in particular, at the centre left of the image near the top of the frame. Material also seems to have cascaded from the larger crater’s rim and into a neighbouring smaller crater, at the far left of the image.

The morphology of many features in the Hellas Basin and its surroundings strongly suggests the presence of ice and glaciers.

For example, in the foreground and around the crater rim, polygons of patterned ground are visible which indicates the presence of water – this pattern occurs when fine grained and porous wet soil freezes.

Indeed, in the deepest parts of the basin, the atmospheric pressure is about 89% higher than at the surface, which may even offer conditions suitable for water. Radar images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that some craters in Hellas might contain water-ice glaciers several hundred metres thick, buried under layers of dust.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

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European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Comet 67P on 16 August 2014 – NAVCAM
17-08-2014 12:57 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Comet 67P on 16 August 2014 - NAVCAM

Rosetta navigation camera image taken on 16 August 2014 at about 93.5 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet nucleus is about 4 km across.

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

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