Quantcast
Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Latest European Space Operations Centre Stories

c6c220b5c03e8bed1a9e85a9bb2535171
2008-08-04 10:40:00

Heading toward its first target-asteroid, (2867) Steins, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has started using its cameras to visually track the asteroid and eventually determine its orbit with more accuracy. Rosetta started the optical navigation campaign on 4 August 2008, at a distance of about 24 million km from Steins; the campaign will continue until 4 September, when the spacecraft will be approximately 950 000 km from the asteroid. "The orbit of Steins, with which Rosetta will rendezvous on 5...

2008-07-03 08:58:41

The Ulysses spacecraft, whose mission was expected to end on July 1, 2008, is hanging on valiantly as spacecraft controllers wait for a sign of the fuel freeze that would end the mission. This could happen any time now. Controllers will know that the fuel needed to keep the antenna pointing towards Earth has started to freeze when Earth-pointing manoeuvres become less efficient and the radio signals from the spacecraft grow weaker.  In the meantime, Ulysses is still providing...

d8cc55a40cac6ba82d49c72d38a604431
2008-04-29 10:40:00

Artificial intelligence (AI) being used at the European Space Operations Center is giving a powerful boost to ESA's Mars Express as it searches for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet.Since January 2005, Mars Express has been using its sophisticated instruments to study the atmosphere, surface and subsurface of Mars, confirming the presence of water and looking for other signatures of life on and below the Red Planet's rocky terrain.The spacecraft generates huge volumes of...

cf0f8a56ca749f53399f4dba933d93f01
2006-10-11 14:27:23

On 15 September, flight controllers at ESA's Space Operations Centre watched tensely as 'Rumba', No. 1 in the four-spacecraft Cluster fleet, was switched into a low-power, deep hibernation mode. The aim was to survive a challenging eclipse. Each year, in autumn, the Cluster fleet must pass several times through the Earth's shadow with respect to the Sun. During these eclipses, which last about three hours, sunlight is blocked by the Earth and the spacecraft solar panels cannot generate...

5cc826d013f8369245f3ac28f5d81c091
2006-02-08 07:36:03

ESA -- In December 2005, ESA's highly successful XMM-Newton mission was formally given a four-year extension. The longer life necessitated a first-ever in-flight upgrade to the spacecraft's mission control software. Last year, ESA's Science Programme Committee extended operation of ESA's hugely valuable X-ray observation mission, XMM-Newton, for four years, until 31 March 2010. The decision was easy given the incredible science results that XMM has provided since launch in 1999, with over...

2005-10-24 07:09:20

DARMSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - The launch of the European Space Agency's "Venus Express" spacecraft has been delayed after technicians discovered contamination in the Russian-made launcher, an ESA official said on Monday. Europe's first mission to Venus was scheduled for Wednesday but will be delayed for several days while tests are carried out on the Soyuz-Fregat launcher, a spokesman at the agency's European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt said. The tests on the covering of...

2005-10-24 07:05:00

DARMSTADT, Germany -- The launch of the European Space Agency's "Venus Express" spacecraft has been delayed after technicians discovered contamination in the Russian-made launcher, an ESA official said on Monday. Europe's first mission to Venus was scheduled for Wednesday but will be delayed for several days while tests are carried out on the Soyuz-Fregat launcher, a spokesman at the agency's European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt said. The tests on the covering of the carrier rockets...

17987d0041befd75214169bf5c98024d1
2005-09-15 13:13:12

ESA -- ESA's new deep space radio antenna in Cebreros (Ávila, Spain) will be officially inaugurated on 28 September. The new 35-metre antenna is ESA's second facility devoted to communications with spacecraft on interplanetary missions or placed in very distant orbits. Cebreros' first task will be that of tracking ESA's Venus Express spacecraft, due for launch in October. Up until three years ago, for missions requiring such a facility, ESA had to rely on NASA's...

cd1b449cfc8778ead45f8e91f0dd120b1
2005-07-14 09:10:07

ESA -- The four spacecraft of ESA's Cluster fleet have reached their greatest distance from each other in the course of their mission to study Earth's magnetosphere in three dimensions. This operation, marking the fifth anniversary of Cluster in space, transforms Cluster in the first "Ëœmulti-scale' mission ever. In one of the most complex manoeuvres ever conducted by ESA spacecraft, three of the spacecraft were separated to 10 000 kilometres from each other, with the fourth...

5a6e469e5e438467f7aac0645ba646551
2005-05-09 07:42:02

ESA -- The deployment of the second antenna boom of the Mars Express Sub-Surface Sounding Radar Altimeter (MARSIS) science experiment has been delayed pending investigation of an anomaly found during deployment of the first antenna boom. The anomaly was discovered on 7 May towards the end of the first deployment operations. Deployment of the first boom started on Wednesday 4 May. The problem with the boom was confirmed by flight control engineers working at ESA's European Space...