esa

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…


Straight from Sentinel

You can follow the Sentinel satellites with the ESA app here. The Sentinel-3A satellite takes us over the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East on 15 February, where clouds blend with the ice…


Sentinel Set for Space

The Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over Kourou in French Guiana, with the main town of the same name visible in the lower right. The Sentinel-2B satellite is currently poised on top of a Vega…


PowerPulsar ahead

ESA’s XMM-Newton has found a pulsar – the spinning remains of a once-massive star – that is a thousand times brighter than previously thought possible. The pulsar is also the most distant of its kind…