European Space Agency Flickr Update

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LISA Pathfinder control team
29-06-2017 05:02 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

LISA Pathfinder control team

Operations image of the week:

The LISA Pathfinder control team conducting flight operations at ESA’s ESOC mission control centre, Darmstadt, Germany, on 27 June 2017.

After two years in orbit, LISA Pathfinder has already achieved much more than originally planned: to test in flight instruments that are enormously precise and to demonstrate that the technology will be capable of detecting gravity waves when used in the future full-scale LISA mission.

With its prime technology demonstration mission complete, the satellite’s final days will be dedicated to testing a number of operational procedures that could not be accommodated during its active mission.

The team are now preparing the satellite for its final disposal manoeuvres and shut down, set for 18 July.

Read more about LISA Pathfinder’s last days.

Credit: ESA

That’s a wrap
29-06-2017 03:13 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

That's a wrap

Human spaceflight image of the week:

The latest 10-day NASA aquanaut expedition wrapped up this week off the coast of Florida. Dubbed NEEMO, the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations project simulates space exploration conditions on the sea floor to test technology and train astronauts for off-planet expeditions.

ESA astronaut Pedro Duque joined this year’s six-man crew, NEEMO-22 (the 22nd NEEMO expedition), in the Aquarius underwater habitat, which included NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren as commander, planetary scientist Trevor Gradd, research scientist Dom D’Agostino and two support technicians.

Objectives this year included testing technology to track equipment and studying body composition and sleep.

The team also assessed new ESA hardware to help evacuate astronauts when on a lunar spacewalk. The Lunar Evacuation System Assembly (LESA) concept was developed and tested at ESA’s astronaut centre in Cologne, Germany.

When on a sortie in space, astronauts always head outside in pairs for safety. LESA will allow one astronaut to transport a colleague in need back to base and rescue. The system was tested in ESA’s neutral buoyancy facility and was put through an operational test during NEEMO-22.

Return to the surface involves decompression and took roughly 17 hours, compared to the five to six hours it normally takes to return to Earth from space.

Credit: NASA

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