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ESA Space Engineering & Technology ESA Space Engineering & Technology

  • Christmas reflection
    on December 11, 2019 at 5:44 am

    Image: The Christmas tree is up at ESA’s ESTEC technical heart in the Netherlands, seen here reflected in the main mirror of a tenth scale model of the NASA-ESA-CSA James Webb Space Telescope.The Christmas tree’s lights will have taken about 15 billionths of a second to travel to this multi-segment mirror, but the actual JWST’s 6.5 m mirror will observe cosmic sights from far further away.Scheduled for launch by Ariane 5 in 2021, JWST is designed to collect almost six times more light than the current Hubble Space Telescope, peering back in infrared to the era of the first galaxies in the Universe and hunting out planets around other stars.

  • ESA commissions world’s first space debris removal
    on December 9, 2019 at 6:42 am

    ClearSpace-1 will be the first space mission to remove an item of debris from orbit, planned for launch in 2025. The mission is being procured as a service contract with a startup-led commercial consortium, to help establish a new market for in-orbit servicing, as well as debris removal.

  • New reentry CubeSat in orbit
    on December 6, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Image: ESA’s latest space mission has reached orbit. The Qarman CubeSat flew to space aboard SpaceX’s Dragon launched from Florida, USA, on Thursday 5 December, ahead of a planned rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday 8 December. From there, Qarman – seen here during plasma wind tunnel testing – will be deployed into space in late January 2020.CubeSats are low-cost nanosatellites based around standard 10 cm units and typically end their spaceflights burning up in the atmosphere as their orbits gradually decay. But the three-unit Qarman (QubeSat for Aerothermodynamic Research and Measurements on Ablation) is designed with this fiery fate in mind.Designed for ESA by Belgium’s Von Karman Institute, Qarman will use internal temperature, pressure and brightness sensors to gather precious data on the extreme conditions of reentry as its leading edges are enveloped in scorching plasma.Qarman’s blunt-nosed front contains most of its sensors, protected by a cork-based heatshield. The CubeSat is expected to survive its reentry, although not its subsequent fall to Earth – making it imperative that its results make it back in the time in between, using the Iridium commercial satellite network.Other ESA cargo launched for the International Space Station includes radiation-resistant aquatic organisms to study their secrets and learn how they could protect astronauts and people on Earth from harmful radiation.ESA's General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) funded the Qarman CubeSat mission through its FLY element, which helps to test and prepare promising innovations for space through in-orbit demonstration.

  • Technology Master Plan
    on December 5, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Technology Master Plan Read the Space19+ edition of ESA's European Space Technology Master Plan, an authoritative overview of our continent's space R&D with roadmaps for future research

  • Astronaut Luca feeling the force, to advance rover control
    on November 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano has made robotics history, reaching out from the International Space Station in orbit around Earth at 8 km/s, to control an Earth-based rover, equipped with an advanced gripper possessing the equivalent mobility and dexterity of a human hand.

New NASA STI Today's Listing of New NASA STI in the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS).