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Posts Tagged "ESA"

Extinction Countdown

Trying to keep Rudolph, and his fellow reindeer, from going down in history

Reindeer, Caribou, Canada, IFAW

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But if we’re not careful, his reindeer could soon be nothing more than a myth. Climate change has put quite a toll on Santa’s herd over the last 40 years. Populations of one North American reindeer subspecies, the Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi), have dropped nearly 85 percent [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Summer Shorts: A Cometary Rubber Duck

Rosetta images of comet nucleus (ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team)

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet. Time for some brief stories.   ESA’s Rosetta mission, reported on in an earlier [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Sneaking up on a Sweaty Comet

(ESA)

Over the coming month the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission will fire its main engines no less than eight times to tweak its interplanetary intercept course with Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko; eventually sidling up to the 4 kilometer wide cometary nucleus at about 7.9 meters per second in early August. At that point, with some gentler [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Snow, a Slowing Planet, and a Last Dangerous Dance with Venus

20140516_Venus_Express_aerobraking_f537

                In about a month’s time, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express spacecraft will adjust its orbit and dip into the outer venusian atmosphere. This hypervelocity skimming will allow scientists to not only obtain a little more data on Venus’s atmosphere, but to also learn more about [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Do Humans Have An Off-World Future?

A pair of space habitats on a giant scale (NASA)

Optimistic visions of a human future in space seem to have given way to a confusing mix of possibilities, maybes, ifs, and buts. It’s not just the fault of governments and space agencies, basic physics is in part the culprit. Hoisting mass away from Earth is tremendously difficult, and thus far in fifty years we’ve [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Raw Footage From An Alien World

Swinging around, Enceladus against a backdrop of noise and what may be stars (Cassini raw image)

Have you ever wondered what it would really be like for a person to journey to a truly distant and alien place; another planet, even another planetary system? What kind of things would we first see through our windows, or our cameras? What would our sensory experience be in such a distant realm? Would we [...]

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Observations

The November 2012 Solar Eclipse, as Seen 3 Times by Satellite [Video]

Yesterday’s total solar eclipse, the last until 2015, was visible to precious few. The path of the total eclipse barely skimmed northern Australia and otherwise fell only on the South Pacific Ocean. A far greater number of sky-watchers were treated to a partial solar eclipse, in which the moon covers only a portion of the [...]

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Observations

NASA’s scrapped Ares 1 rocket could be resurrected for commercial spaceflight

Conception of the Liberty rocket

When President Obama proposed in 2010 that NASA abandon the line of Ares rockets it was developing to return astronauts to the moon, many feared that U.S. manned spaceflight was going back to square one. It now appears that some of the groundwork laid in planning and testing one of those canceled rockets may be [...]

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Observations

Crew of 520-day mock Mars mission nears mock landing

Mars500 experimental enclosure

After nearly eight months’ journey in a small, enclosed craft, the crew of the Mars500 mission is nearing the turning point of its voyage—arrival and disembarking at the Red Planet. They will spend 10 days there, exploring the surface in a series of excursions, before returning to their craft and beginning the lengthy trip home. [...]

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Observations

The U.K. finally gets its own space agency

UKSA

The United Kingdom has firmed up its position within the ranks of the space-faring, announcing on March 23 the creation of a new space center and an impending consolidated national space agency. The U.K. Space Agency (UKSA), which officially launches April 1, will take over from the British National Space Center, a hodgepodge organization operated [...]

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PsiVid

YouTube SpaceLab Video Contest for Teens

Youtube spacelab logo

Have you ever thought that you had a great idea for an experiment to be done in space? Maybe you’ve hoped your idea could have an audience with Stephen Hawking and astronauts and other luminaries! If you haven’t, you might start considering this today! If you are aged 14-18, the time is now to submit [...]

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