European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Vita mission in numbers: infographic
13-12-2017 05:19 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Vita mission in numbers: infographic

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli’s Vita mission in numbers.

Vita stands for Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Ability and was chosen by Italy’s ASI space agency, which is providing the mission through a barter agreement with NASA.

In Italian, “vita” means “life”, reflecting the experiments that Paolo ran and the philosophical notion of living in outer space – one of the most inhospitable places for humans.

Returning to Earth: the landing
13-12-2017 05:10 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Returning to Earth: the landing

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli is returning to Earth in the early hours of 14 December. Learn more about the ride back home in this infographic.

Watch the landing live here.

Credit: ESA

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
13-12-2017 02:27 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
13-12-2017 02:27 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
13-12-2017 02:27 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

3D-printed satellite imager design
13-12-2017 01:28 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

3D-printed satellite imager design

Weirdly organic in appearance, this prototype is the first outcome of an ESA project to develop, manufacture and demonstrate an optical instrument for space with 3D printing.

A two-mirror telescope derived from the European-made Ozone Monitoring Instrument now flying on NASA’s Aura satellite, it was not so much designed as grown, with the instrument’s design requirements put through ‘topology optimisation’ software to come up with the best possible shape.

This prototype was developed for ESA by a consortium led by OHB System in Germany, with TNO in the Netherlands – original designer of Aura’s version – Fraunhofer IFAM, IABG and Materialise in Germany and SRON, the Netherlands Institute for Space Research.

This first ‘breadboard’ prototype has been printed in liquid photopolymer plastic, then spray-painted. The final version would be printed in metal instead. The project is intended to culminate in testing a working instrument in a simulated space environment.

The project is being backed through ESA’s General Support Technology Programme, to hone promising technologies to be ready for space and global markets.

Credit: TNO

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
13-12-2017 10:25 AM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
13-12-2017 10:25 AM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
13-12-2017 10:25 AM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 liftoff
12-12-2017 10:38 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 liftoff

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 launch
12-12-2017 09:59 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 launch

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 launch
12-12-2017 09:59 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 launch

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Galileo 19-22 launch
12-12-2017 09:59 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galileo 19-22 launch

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) on Tuesday 12 December 2017, carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

Credit: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

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Galileo-Konstellation mit Start am 12. Dezember fast vollständig

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Galileo-Konstellation mit Start am 12. Dezember fast vollständig
12-12-2017 11:22 PM CET

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Europa hat mit dem heutigen Ariane-5-Start vier weitere Galileo-Navigationssatelliten auf ihre Umlaufbahnen gebracht. Mit dieser erfolgreichen Etappe ist nur noch ein weiterer Start notwendig, um die Galileo-Konstellation vervollständigen und somit die Galileo-Signale überall auf der Erde zur Verfügung stellen zu können.

European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Space elves
12-12-2017 04:17 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Space elves

Human Spaceflight image of the week:

The Christmas elves worked hard to have the chassis of the Orion service module ready before the end of the year. Engineers at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, have spent recent months assembling elements of the second European Service Module for NASA’s Orion vehicle – which will carry up to four astronauts on a voyage beyond the Moon.

As with building toys, the structure requires carefully piecing together panels, brackets and joints. But this is not toy: lives will depend on it and utmost accuracy is key in Orion’s choreographed assembly across borders.

In Europe, the assembly started with the module’s primary structure. The dark panels are lightweight composite material known as carbon-fibre reinforced-plastic. The honeycomb structure provides rigidity and will absorb the forces of launch.

Inside the four panels, two helium tanks will push propellant to Orion’s engines. The large holes keep the weight down but also allow engineers to reach the mass of meticulously laid cables – more than 11 km in total.

The silver circles are mounting points for equipment and cables. Most of these will be installed in Bremen, Germany, at the Airbus integration hall where the complete service module is assembled.

More on the Orion blog.

Credit: NASA–R. Sinyak

European Astro Pi Challenge – Mission Zero is ready for the ISS!

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European Astro Pi Challenge – Mission Zero is ready for the ISS!
12-12-2017 05:28 PM CET

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The ESA Astro Pi team are delighted to announce the launch of the final stage of Mission Zero, during which over 1700 school student teams from 22 ESA Member and Associate States will have their code run on the International Space Station (ISS). Participating teams will shortly be contacted to explain whether or not their code will run on the ISS.

Together with Mission Space Lab, teams from every ESA Member and Associate state are participating in the 2017-2018 European Astro Pi Challenge. Congratulations!