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Latest PROBA Stories

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2009-12-11 15:15:00

Bring together a small group of highly motivated researchers, grant them full access to laboratory and production facilities, remove all administrative distractions, and let them work intensively for four to six months. That's what "ËœStarTiger' is all about! It is a different approach to conducting research and development that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a new and promising technology within a very short time scale. Within this initiative, ESA is running a six-month...

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2009-11-19 09:30:00

The MIRAS instrument on ESA's SMOS satellite, launched earlier this month, has been switched on and is operating normally. MIRAS will map soil moisture and ocean salinity to improve our understanding of the role these two key variables play in regulating Earth's water cycle. "Following the switch-on, MIRAS is working beautifully well with all key subsystems, including all of the receivers, the optical fibers and the correlator unit, in perfect functioning condition," said ESA's Manuel...

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2009-11-11 10:06:08

Into its second week in orbit, Proba-2's spacecraft platform has proven to be in excellent health. This leaves the way clear for commissioning the many new technology payloads aboard the mini-satellite, among the smallest ever flown by ESA. As ESA's full-sized Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission soared skyward by Rockot launcher on 2 November, it had a smaller companion. Piggybacking along was Proba-2, which occupies less than a cubic meter in volume with only one fifth of SMOS's...

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2009-11-02 11:15:00

The European Space Agency launched two new satellites on Monday in an effort to gather more data on global climate change. The ESA on Monday launched the second satellite in its Earth Explorer series, known as the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. Additionally, ESA launched the Proba-2 satellite along with SMOS in order to demonstrate technology for ESA's future space probes. Both satellites were lifted into space from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia aboard a Rockot launch...

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2009-10-28 07:45:36

In readiness for launch on November 2, ESA's SMOS and Proba-2 satellites "“ encapsulated in the launcher fairing "“ have been transported from the cleanroom and installed in the launch tower at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. This morning, the "Ëœupper composite' of satellites joined to the Breeze-KM upper stage and sealed within the fairing was transported by rail from the cleanroom in the integration facilities to the launch pad. It took around four hours...

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2009-10-21 09:45:00

As preparations for the launch of SMOS and Proba-2 continue on schedule, the engineers and technicians at the Russian launch site say goodbye as both satellites are encapsulated within the half-shells of the Rockot fairing. Volker Liebig, ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programs, said, "Today, with the encapsulation of the SMOS satellite in the launcher fairing, we have made an important step towards the launch of this key environmental mission, which will investigate two parameters...

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2009-10-06 07:35:00

As the first snow of the winter arrives in Plesetsk, the team has reached a significant milestone in the launch campaign "“ the launch authorities have given the green light to fuel the satellite. This hazardous activity is being carried out today by members of the Thales Alenia Space team. Yesterday, preparations for fuelling were in full swing with the satellite being inspected and the equipment being set up for the procedure. In addition, the documentation needed to do the fuelling...

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2009-10-05 11:10:00

While the SMOS and Proba-2 launch campaigns are progressing well in Plesetsk, Russia, operations teams in France and Spain have also been getting ready for launch on November 2. Over the last couple of weeks, the operations teams have taken part in the final dress rehearsal for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) of the mission. This simulation campaign complements two earlier dry-runs that were carried out in January and March and which simulated normal operating conditions. This dress...

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2009-09-19 08:00:13

After leaving Thales Alenia Space in the south of France on September 15, ESA's SMOS Earth Explorer has arrived safely at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, where it will be prepared for launch on November 2. The Antonov aircraft carrying the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite, along with seven containers of support equipment, arrived at Arkhangelsk early in the morning of September 16. Once unloaded from the aircraft, the precious cargo was transported by truck to the...

2009-09-08 12:20:08

The European Space Agency says its Proba-2 satellite has reached the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia where it is being prepared for a November launch. Among the smallest satellites ever built by the ESA, Proba-2 builds on nearly eight years of operational experience gained with the space agency's Proba-1. The ESA said Proba-2 carries 17 new technology developments, and four scientific experiments focused on solar and space weather observations. Proba-2 will piggyback its way into...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'