ESA Top News 27 May 2009, 11:50 UTC ESA PR 13-2009. ESA astronaut Frank De Winne is heading to the International Space Station at the start of his six-month OasISS mission. Together with Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, De Winne launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 12:34 CEST (10:34 UT) today.
NASA's Ames Research Center News and Features 27 May 2009, 04:00 UTC NASA scientists modeled freezing conditions on Mars to test whether liquid water could have been present to form the surface features of the martian landscape.
ESA Top News 26 May 2009, 08:07 UTC ESA's gravity mission GOCE has achieved a first in the history of satellite technology. The sophisticated electric propulsion system has shown that it is able to keep the satellite completely free from drag as it cuts through the remnants of Earth's atmosphere – paving the way for the best gravity data ever.
ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 25 May 2009, 17:20 UTC On 28 April, the final qualification test firing of the third stage solid propellant motor for Europe’s new small launch vehicle took place at the Salto di Quirra Interforce Test Range in Sardinia, Italy. At 15:30, the peace and quiet of the Sardinian coast was suddenly interrupted by a powerful, deep roar as a Zefiro 9A motor ignited for its final qualification-firing test. The motor took almost two minutes to completely burn its propellant load, during which time engineers and technicians, representatives of Avio, ELV and ESA/IPT held their breath, waiting for the outcome of this important test. The main objectives of the test were to verify the behaviour of the Zefiro 9A motor in a fully flight-representative configuration, to confirm the design performance and to collect information for system studies at stage level. As soon as the test was over, the project team met in order to verify the preliminary results for ballistic performance (pressure and thrust curves) and the thrust vector control behaviour. This first analysis confirmed the overall success of the test. After the first qualification test, completed in October 2008, Tuesday’s firing was the final step in the complete qualification test programme for the Zefiro 9A. ...
ESO Top News 25 May 2009, 12:00 UTC ESO 20/09 - Organisational Release:ESO's Very Large Telescope - Europe's flagship facility for ground-based astronomy - has been equipped with the first of its second generation instruments: X-shooter. It can record the entire spectrum of a celestial object in one shot - from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared - with high sensitivity. This unique new instrument will be particularly useful for the study of distant exploding objects called gamma-ray bursts.
Hubble Space Telescope News 24 May 2009, 18:00 UTC The historic and successful Hubble Servicing Mission 4 concluded with a trouble-free Space Shuttle landing on Sunday. During a series of unprecedented spacewalks, astronauts replaced and repaired a to...
ESA Top News 24 May 2009, 09:11 UTC The historic and successful Hubble Servicing Mission 4 concluded with a trouble-free Space Shuttle landing today. During a series of unprecedented spacewalks, astronauts replaced and repaired a total of four instruments. The Wide Field Camera 3 and Cosmic Origins Spectrograph were installed and the Advanced Camera for Surveys and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph were successfully repaired.