European Space Agency Flickr Update


Sentinel-3B on track
23-04-2018 02:41 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Sentinel-3B on track

The Rockot upper stage holding the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite on its way from the Plesetsk cleanroom facilities to the launch pad. Sentinel-3B is scheduled for liftoff on 25 April 2018. Its identical twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016. The two-satellite constellation offers optimum global coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus environment programme.

Credits: ESA–S. Corvaja

Into the tower
23-04-2018 02:41 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Into the tower

The Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite’s rocket upper stage being hoisted into the launch tower at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. The Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite is scheduled for liftoff on 25 April 2018. Its identical twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016. The two-satellite constellation offers optimum global coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus environment programme.

Credits: ESA–S. Corvaja

BepiColombo plasma simulation
23-04-2018 10:24 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

BepiColombo plasma simulation

When the Mercury Transfer Module of the BepiColombo mission fires its electric propulsion thrusters an ion beam is extracted. This is created through the ionization of xenon propellant, generating the charged particles that can be accelerated further using an electric field.

Together with gravity assist flybys at Earth, Venus and Mercury, the thrust from the ion beam provides the means to travel to the innermost planet.

After escaping the pull of Earth’s gravity with the Ariane 5 launcher, the spacecraft is on an orbit around the Sun. The transfer module then has to use its thrusters to brake against the mighty pull of the Sun’s gravity. It also has to tune the shape of its orbit in order to make a series of nine gravity assist flybys at the planets before finally delivering the mission’s two science spacecraft into Mercury orbit.

This image is an excerpt from a supercomputer simulation that models the flow of plasma around the spacecraft just after the high energy ion beam is switched on. An outline of the composite spacecraft with its extended solar arrays is included for reference.

The simulation tracks the particles in the beam as well as those that diffuse around the spacecraft, which are created by the interaction of the high energy beam ions with the neutral xenon atoms that also flow out of the thruster. It shows the density of the plasma flowing around the spacecraft and its evolution: red represents high density, blue is low density (see animation for detailed scale).

Although the animation is several seconds long it has been slowed down, representing a mere eight milliseconds of real time – the time necessary for the plasma to reach a steady state.

The simulation was performed to demonstrate that the plasma produced by the thruster is not damaging to the spacecraft: its materials, including solar arrays or instruments, for example, or to the electric propulsion system itself. The simulations also confirmed there are no spurious or dangerous charging events.

Inflight measurements will verify the simulation results and help improve ways in which the generated plasma, spacecraft and space environment interactions can be better modelled.

BepiColombo is a joint endeavour between ESA and JAXA. After their seven-year interplanetary journey, the two science orbiters – the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter – will start their main mission to provide the most in-depth study of mysterious Mercury to date.

The spacecraft begin transferring to Europe’s spaceport in Kourou this week, where an intensive period of preparations will ready the mission for launch later this year.

The simulations were performed by Félicien Filleul as part of ESA’s Young Graduate Trainee programme.

Credits: ESA/Félicien Filleul


European Space Agency YouTube Update


23-04-2018 07:25 PM CEST

Meet our new space explorers, the spacecraft of the BepiColombo mission, as they begin their adventure to planet Mercury. But first, they have to navigate through Amsterdam Schiphol airport to reach Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The spacecraft really do depart from Schiphol; along with essential ground-support equipment they are scheduled to fly in a series of Antonov aircraft during the last week of April and first week of May. Upon arrival at Kourou, an intensive six-months of preparations will prepare the mission for launch. The launch window opens 5 October until 29 November 2018.

Find out more about the BepiColombo mission on

Credits: ESA

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Fuel tanks and wings for Orion module


Fuel tanks and wings for Orion module
23-04-2018 05:30 PM CEST


The European service module that will provide power, water, air and electricity to NASA’s Orion Moon module has taken a large step closer to completion with the installation of its fuel tanks and testing of its solar wings.

Orion will eventually fly beyond the Moon with astronauts. The first mission – without astronauts – is getting ready for launch in 2019.

Surfen für die Wissenschaft


Surfen für die Wissenschaft
23-04-2018 02:54 PM CEST


Diese Folge von Space hat viel mit Wasser zu tun. Hier in Nordfrankreich besuchen wir Forscher, die sich mit schädlichen Algen beschäftigen und in Südengland treffen wir einen surfenden Wissenschaftler. Alle verwenden Sentinel-Satellitendaten, um den Überblick zu behalten. Die „Augen im Weltall“ verändern unser Verständnis für die Ozeane.

European Space Agency YouTube Update


20-04-2018 07:29 PM CEST

On 25 April 2018, ESA’s Gaia mission will publish its much awaited second data release, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars in our Galaxy.

Scientists who have been working on creating and validating the data contained in the catalogue tell us why they are waiting for this extraordinary release.

Featured in the video: Antonella Vallenari (INAF, Astronomical Observatory of Padua), Anthony Brown (Leiden University), Timo Prusti (European Space Agency), Annie Robin (Institut UTINAM, OSU THETA Franche-Comté-Bourgogne), Laurent Eyer (University of Geneva) and Federica Spoto (IMCCE, Observatory of Paris).

A media briefing on the second Gaia data release will be held at the ILA Berlin Air and Space Show in Germany on 25 April 11:00-12:15 CEST. Watch the webstream at

Learn more about Gaia:

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20-04-2018 07:24 PM CEST

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios. Ahead of Earth Day, this edition features a Sentinel-2 image showing a remote South Pacific island, which may look untouched by humans but is littered with tonnes of plastic.

See also to download the image.

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20-04-2018 07:12 PM CEST

ESA will soon launch the Sentinel-3B Earth observation satellite to join its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit. The Sentinel-3 mission is part of Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. The Sentinel missions are central to Copernicus, which offers a set of key information services for a wide range of practical applications. Data from the Sentinels are also free of charge and open to users worldwide. This video highlights a few examples of how Sentinel-3 is used for research into our oceans.

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20-04-2018 07:12 PM CEST

We meet a surfing scientist and toxic algae hunters to see how Sentinel-3 satellite data is used to study the coastline of the English Channel in this month’s episode of Space.

Bob Brewin is pioneering a new technique in satellite oceanography – by going surfing. The Plymouth Marine Laboratory scientist uses his board to take sea surface temperature measurements, and then use them to better interpret data from European satellite Sentinel-3.

This video is also available in the following languages: German: French: Italian: Spanish: Portuguese: Greek: Hungarian:

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20-04-2018 06:43 PM CEST

Space vous emmène à Plymouth au sud de l’Angleterre et en Normandie, pour voir comme les satellites sont utilisés de manière novatrices et nous aide à mieux comprendre les régions côtières.

Bob Brewin est l’inventeur d’une nouvelle technique en océanographie par satellite, en surfant. Son idée est simple : mesurer la température de l’eau grâce à un appareil fixé sur son surf et comparer ses données avec les données du satellite européen Sentinel-3. Et cela peut être très utile.

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20-04-2018 06:41 PM CEST

El científico Bob Brewin, es pionero con una nueva técnica oceanográfica de uso de satélites: surfeando. Utilizando la tabla de surf, se puede medir la temperatura de la superficie del mar, y cruzar esos datos con los de los satélites Sentinel-3. El último satélite de Copernicus, Sentinel-3B, controlará los efectos del cambio climático en el mar y los océanos.

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20-04-2018 03:09 PM CEST

Diese Folge von Space hat viel mit Wasser zu tun. Hier in Nordfrankreich besuchen wir Forscher, die sich mit schädlichen Algen beschäftigen und in Südengland treffen wir einen surfenden Wissenschaftler. Alle verwenden Sentinel-Satellitendaten, um den Überblick zu behalten. Die „Augen im Weltall“ verändern unser Verständnis für die Ozeane.

Bob Brewin ist der Erfinder einer neuen Technik in der Satelliten-Ozeanographie – er arbeitet auf dem Surfbrett.

Er hatte die Idee, mit seinem Board die Temperatur der Meeresoberfläche zu messen, um damit die Daten des europäischen Satelliten Sentinel-3 besser interpretieren zu können. Und es gibt einen Grund für diese Messungen erklärt Bob Brewin, Wissenschaftler am Plymouth Marine Labor.

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20-04-2018 02:36 PM CEST

Μια ξεχωριστή μέθοδος που αλλάχει τα δεδομένα. Αυτόν τον μήνα το Space βρίσκεται στο Πλύμουθ της Νότιας Αγγλίας και στη Νορμανδία της Βόρειας Γαλλίας για να εξετάσει πώς οι δορυφόροι χρησιμοποιούνται σε καινοτόμες νέες μεθόδους ώστε να αντιληφθούμε καλύτερα την θάλασσα γύρω από την ακτογραμμή.

Ο Μπομο Μπρούιν ίναι πρωτοπόρος σε μια νέα τεχνική στη δορυφορική ωκεανογραφία – κάνοντας σέρφινγκ. Η ιδέα του είναι να χρησιμοποιήσει την σανίδα του για να μετρήσει τη θερμοκρασία της θάλασσας και στη συνέχεια να χρησιμοποιήσει τα στοιχεία αυτά για να ερμηνεύσει καλύτερα τα δεδομένα του ευρωπαϊκού δορυφόρου Sentinel-3.

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20-04-2018 02:35 PM CEST

Egy új eszközzel sportolás közben mérhetik a tenger felszínének hőmérsékletét. A dél-angliai Plymouthba és az észak-franciaországi Normandiába látogatunk el, hogy bemutassuk, miként használják a műholdakat innovatív módokon, hogy jobban megismerjük a tengert partjaink mentén. Egy szörfölő tudóssal kezdjük.

Bob Brewin úttörő technikát próbál ki a műholdas óceanográfiában – úgy, hogy szörfözni megy.

Arra használja a deszkáját, hogy megmérje a tenger felszínének hőmérsékletét, és értelmezze az adatokat,amelyeket az európai Sentinel-3 műhold küldött.

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20-04-2018 02:35 PM CEST

Com a tecnologia SmartFin, os surfistas podem ajudar a conhecer melhor o estado dos oceanos.

Bob Brewin é cientista utiliza uma técnica pioneira na recolha de imagens em oceanografia, uma técnica que passa pelo surf. O aparelho que equipa as pranchas chama-se SmartFin. Usa a prancha para medir a superfície das águas, recolhendo dados que conjuga com as informações do satélite Sentinel 3. Um método muito inovador.

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20-04-2018 02:35 PM CEST

Dal nord della Francia al sud dell’Inghilterra: i dati raccolti dal Sentinella, servono a migliorare la ricerca in modi diversi, anche facendo surf.

Jeremy Wilks, in questa puntata di Space si occupa di oceani e della ricerca che riguarda la superficie dei mari. Dal Nord della Francia per osservare le alghe fino al sud dell’Inghilterra dove anche i surfisti possono contribuire alla ricerca, tutto questo grazie all’utilizzo dei satelliti.

Bob Brewin sta testando una nuova tecnica nell’oceanografia mediante l’uso dei satelliti, grazie al surf.

La sua idea è di utilizzare la tavola per misurare la temperatura superficiale del mare, per poi sfruttare queste misurazioni per capire meglio i dati che arrivano dal satellite europeo Sentinella-3.

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