Tag Archives | esa

Vega light launcher completes ninth launch

The SENTINEL-2B Earth-observation spacecraft was carried to low-Earth Orbit (LEO) by a Vega light launcher at 0149GMT on 7 March. The mission was conducted by Arianespace, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), in service to the European …

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ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter enters correct orbit but Schiaparelli lander is lost in crash landing

The main Russian-launched Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) research element of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ExoMars mission was successfully injected into its planned orbit around Mars. But the “exciting” part of the mission, ESA’s Schiaparelli lander, crashed into oblivion. Entry …

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Rosetta probe ends mission by joining Philae lander on comet’s surface

On 30 September 2016, at 1119 GMT the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, announced that the Rosseta probe had completed its de-orbit manoeuvre to land/crash on to the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, sending its last telemetry packet at …

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As UK votes to leave EU what does this Brexit vote mean for space?

The historic and slightly shocking result of the UK referendum, in favour of withdrawal from the European Union (EU), caught the opinion pollsters, bookmakers and financial institutions off guard.

The fall-out could be seen in equity and currency markets; Prime …

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Analysis and comment: Brexit might be best in longer term, but voters are scared by its likely turbulence

With just weeks to go to the referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Union (EU), the bookmakers have now put the odds of leaving – the so called “Brexit” option – at around 3-1 (in from …

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Interview: European Space Agency head Jan Woerner aims for faster innovation and wishes UK will stay in EU as well as ESA

Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Woerner has been Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 1 July 2015. After eight years heading German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the German delegation at ESA, he succeeded Jean-Jacques Dordain in the leading ESA executive …

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Opinion and Analysis: Brexit? Maybe – but UK should definitely stay in European Space Agency

While the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP gained not-so-friendly headlines by cutting benefits for the disabled while reducing capital gains tax for the rich in his budget, which in turn, caused a Ministerial resignation …

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European Commission investigates Airbus-Safran Launchers’ merger with Arianespace

While the European Space Agency is in favour, and the French and German Space industries are in favour, the plan to merge Arianespace into Airbus-Safran launchers has been halted. The European Commission, which is the executive and enforcement arm of …

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Brexit would not mean UK leaving European Space Agency says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson, MP, Mayor of London, and de facto leader of the “Brexit” referendum campaign to make the United Kingdom leave the European Union (EU), has stated that while he wants the UK to leave the EU, he also wants …

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Brave little Philae lander has bitten the cometary dust as it goes to sleep forever

The little German-designed Philae minilab lander, which stole the headlines in November 2014 when it made a bouncing landing onto the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is thought to have died of “hypothermia”. The lander, which originally cadged a lift to

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British astronaut Tim Peake makes it into orbit on Soyuz

Major Tim Peake, the United Kingdom’s first “official” UK Space Agency/ESA astronaut has flown into orbit as part of the crew aboard the Soyuz TMA-019M rocket, which successfully lifted off from its Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan at 1103 GMT …

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UK Space Agency loses chief to ESA

As part of the reorganisation of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) directorates, Dr David Parker, the Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, has been recruited to head up the new Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration Directorate. There is no …

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UK Space Conference 2015: No government ministers turn up but new head of ESA wows

It is a sign that the UK space industry remains in very good health that the third UK Space Conference had attendance up for the third time, this time to 1,100 delegates.  As a further indication of the UK’s growing …

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New leader of ESA moots small village on Moon but NASA will be difficult to convince

As he awaited the start of his tenure as Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) on 1 July 2015, replacing the admired Jean-Jacques Dordain in the role, Dr Jan (Johann Dietrich) Woerner noted his enthusiasm for a planned …

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On a sadder note: ESA launcher guru Antonio Fabrizi passes away

The former head of the European Space Agency (ESA) rocket programme, Antonio Fabrizi, has died after a long illness at the early age of 67. Under Fabrizi’s tenure as ESA Director of launchers, ESA built the Vega small launch vehicle, …

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CNES announces work with Germany on LOx/Methane reusable first stages

Noting the progress that SpaceX is making with its Falcon 9 reusable first stage technology (its first landing attempt is to take place in January), and that India is planning tests of a winged reusable first stage, Europe is, at …

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Venus Express bites the dust while old-stager Inmarsat IIF-2 finally retires after 23 years

The European Space Agency finally called time on its Venus Express mission.  Normal contact with the spacecraft has been lost since late November.   While some telemetry data has been recovered, the spacecraft is in a spin after its fuel ran …

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DLR Head Woerner to get the ESA top job

Johann-Dietrich Woerner, who is currently chairman of the German Aerospace Centre  (DLR) will replace Jean-Jacques Dordain as the Director General of the European Space Agency.  Dordain leaves the post at the end of June.

Woerner was appointed after winning a …

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ESA Ministerial meeting has UK increasing its interest in ISS while Germany is now a Vega fan

While the agreement to drop Ariane 5 ME in favour of Ariane 6 stole the headlines, the ministerial meeting of the European Space Agency showed some more subtle changes in the national funding strategies as well.   Having avoided the huge …

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Soyuz Fregat launch failure dooms two Galileo satellites to useless orbit in embarrassing case of premature congratulation

The Arianespace-operated flight of a Russian-built Soyuz ST-B (Fregat MT) launch vehicle ended in embarrassing failure on 22 August 2014 after the launch vehicle deposited two EU/ESA Galileo navigation satellites into the wrong orbit.  The lift off at 1227 GMT …

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