ESA Space Engineering & Technology ESA Space Engineering & Technology
- Iodine thruster could slow space junk accumulationon January 22, 2021 at 9:29 am
For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up.
- Tests prove carbon-fibre fuel tank for Phoebus upper stageon January 20, 2021 at 9:00 am
Recent tests show that lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic is strong enough to replace metal used in upper-stage rocket structures. This is an important milestone in Europe for the development of a prototype of a highly-optimised ‘black’ upper stage, Phoebus, a joint initiative by MT Aerospace and ArianeGroup, funded by ESA.
- Seeing in a flashon January 20, 2021 at 8:15 am
Image: Seeing in a flash
- Asteroids vs. microbeson January 14, 2021 at 8:59 am
Image: Asteroids vs. microbes
- Greener polyurethanes for space and beyondon January 14, 2021 at 8:14 am
Have you heard of polyurethanes? As you read this, you’re undoubtedly close to some, or maybe sitting on them: this versatile class of chemicals is used for everything from padding your couch to insulating your windows, packaging food to carpet underlay, electronics casings to skateboard wheels. They also have vital uses in space, triggering a new ESA Clean Space project aiming to manufacture them in a greener way.