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Latest European Space Research and Technology Centre Stories

ESA's Next Pair Of Galileo Satellites Undergo Crucial Testing
2013-11-07 07:46:58

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online At a technical center in the Netherlands, the European Space Agency's (ESA) next pair of Galileo satellites have been the focus of a busy fall season. The satellites are undergoing a continuing, full-scale campaign to ensure their readiness for space. The first of the pair of satellites is halfway through a five-week immersion in vacuum and temperature extremes. This "thermal-vacuum" testing mimics the conditions the satellites will...

Thousands Meet Space Experts And Astronauts At ESA’s Technical Center
2013-10-08 13:04:02

ESA [ Watch The Video: From Space to Earth: Luca Greets ESTEC Open Day ] [ Watch The Video: ESTEC Open Day 2013 ] ESA The entrance line snaked back down the road long before the official start of the Open Day at ESA’s technical center on Sunday, marked with an all-star astronaut introduction and big-screen Ariane 5 rocket launch. More than 8500 visitors took the opportunity to tour ESA’s largest establishment, nestled beside the North Sea town of Noordwijk in the...

Exploring Mars On Earth
2013-07-04 11:14:06

ESA A little corner of ESA's technical heart that is forever Mars: this rubble-strewn model of the Red Planet is used to put prototype planetary rovers through their paces. Officially known as the Automation & Planetary Robotics Lab, its nickname is the 'Mars Yard'. Dutch students explore this alien environment in the photo shown here, part of a series taken by image gallery TechniekBeeldbank.nu. The site offers the media positive images of engineering to appeal to young people....

Europe’s Space Hub Open Its Doors To The Public October 6
2013-06-17 07:57:21

ESA From the latest space ferry to the very first Alphasat, Europe has never been more active in space, with a crowded manifest of ESA launches across the rest of the year. But where are all these varied missions born? See for yourself this October, as ESA´s ESTEC research and technology centre opens its doors to the public. No sooner has Luca Parmitano joined the International Space Station than ESA´s latest space truck is resupplying the orbital outpost. Meanwhile, the...

Join To Play The Ultimate Robot Game
2013-06-10 12:14:46

ESA Secondary-school students can play the ultimate robot game: the annual Zero Robotics tournament turns the International Space Station into a playing field for European students to control minisatellites with self-developed software. Controlling volleyball-sized satellites in space is not easy. Spheres – short for Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites — move around the International Space Station using 12 jets powered by compressed gas....

Developing A Way To Detect Early Signs Of Fatigue
2013-03-29 13:05:19

ESA Like astronauts, heavy-equipment operators in remote mines can benefit from long-distance monitoring using space technology. An ESA spin-off company has raised safety for dozens of drivers at the El Brocal mine in Peru by predicting their fatigue. In far-flung mining operations around the world, drivers typically work 12-hour shifts, driving trucks and loaders of 160—180 tonnes — the size of a small apartment block. Combine the grueling schedule with even a small...

Students Command Robots Aboard ISS
2013-01-14 20:18:32

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online European students were able to command mini-robots aboard the International Space Station (ISS) remotely, helping to win a competition. A competition gave over 130 high-school students across Europe the opportunity to operate droids in space by coding software. Teams from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal were able to utilize their computer codes to work in the space station, from the European Space Agency's ESTEC space...

Robot Spheres Compete In Zero Gravity
2013-01-10 07:47:16

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online On the International Space Station this Friday, January 11, a squadron of mini satellites will wake up to obey remote commands from students across Europe. Space enthusiasts can watch a live broadcast as teams make the droids compete in a space game called RetroSpheres. The students have been running their code in a virtual world until this point, but the high school finals will be held this Friday using the real thing: robotic...

André Welcomed Home By Large Crowd
2012-09-02 21:28:48

In July, ESA astronaut André Kuipers landed on Earth after a bumpy ride in a Soyuz capsule. Yesterday, he landed by helicopter on the beach near ESA´s technical center in the Netherlands to loud applause from the large crowd gathered to welcome him home. When André isn´t traveling the world for his training and scientific experiments or circling Earth on the International Space Station, he works from his office at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands....

Bee-Hive-6_H1
2012-07-10 08:43:29

Next year´s Hollywood film Gravity features George Clooney stranded in orbit by cascading space junk. The threat is genuine, with debris levels rising steadily. ESA´s new Clean Space initiative is developing methods of preserving near-Earth space — and the terrestrial environment, too. Responding to public environmental concerns, Clean Space aims to reduce the environmental effect of Europe´s space activities, cutting waste and pollution on Earth and in orbit....