esa

GAIA’s great circle

This may look like a brightly decorated Easter egg wrapping, but it actually represents how ESA’s Gaia satellite scanned the sky during its first 14 months of science operations, between July 2014 and September 2015….


Rings, Auroras and Uranus

This is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble — one for the ring and one for the auroras. Ever since Voyager 2 beamed home spectacular images…


Shield Spotted

On 30 March, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson ventured outside the International Space Station on a seven-hour spacewalk. The duo’s work included installing four thermal shields on the US Tranquility module, protecting a…


A busy comet

Images returned from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission indicate that during its most recent trip through the inner solar system, the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very active place – full of growing…


TGO slowing down

There’s news from the ExoMars/TGO mission control team at ESOC following the first ten days of the ‘walk-in’ to aerobraking, and it’s good; or, to paraphrase the ever-cautious and risk averse engineers who fly around…


Design for the Darkness

Designers of future Moon missions and bases have to contend with a chilling challenge: how might their creations endure the fortnight-long lunar night? ESA has arrived at a low-cost way of surviving. During prolonged night,…


High Tech History

In 2017, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre will celebrate its 50th anniversary, having been inaugurated on 8 September 1967 as part of the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO). Within months, the centre was controlling its…