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The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,200
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.
What do you call three or more space fanatics? Interns. Imagine landing your dream internship at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), and then being unable to go into work. A group of excellent young professionals found themselves in this situation during the pandemic. This week, however, 23 of these interns finally got their opportunity to visit the home of Europe’s Astronaut corps. The interns had been working on a range of projects developing tools to support astronaut training for missions to the Moon and beyond. Upon visiting, they were immediately immersed in the centre’s activities. The group, imaged here logging data into the Electronic Field Book (EFB), experienced some of the geological training activities the centre provides. In dedicated sessions, armed with spectrometers, drawing booklets, microscopes and the appropriate clothing, the interns had to exercise rock recognition through the EFB, characterise samples, and provide feedback. This geological experience was modelled off of ESA’s Pangea training course, a balanced mix of theory and field trips designed to hone astronauts’ geology skills. This year’s course with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson began earlier this month in the Italian Dolomites with lessons on fundamental geology knowledge and skills, and will continue in the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote next month. However, it wasn’t all work for the interns, who hail from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, the UK and Poland. They also managed to meet three ESA astronauts, Thomas Pesquet, Luca Parmitano and Frank de Winne, and visit various EAC facilities being used for training, development and operations supporting the International Space Station (ISS). From visiting locations such as the Eurocom console, to taking a trip to the Moon and the International Space Station in virtual reality, they got a feel for the broad range of work conducted at the centre. During their internships, the students contributed to updates of a planetary mineralogical database, improved machine learning algorithms for recognition of minerals, and worked on the development and future applications of the Electronic Field Book – all of which contribute to the bigger picture of ESA’s role in space. Read their first-hand account of a memorable two days on the ESA Caves blog.
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The first of Europe’s Meteosat Third Generation satellites is now safely aboard a ship and making its way across the Atlantic to French Guiana where it will be readied for liftoff in December. Once launched into geostationary orbit, 36 000 km above Earth, this new satellite, which carries two new extremely sensitive instruments, will take weather forecasting to the next level.
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During spring and summer, as the air warms up and the sun beats down on the Greenland Ice Sheet, melt ponds pop up. Melt ponds are vast pools of open water that form on both sea ice and ice sheets and are visible as turquoise-blue pools of water in this Copernicus Sentinel-2 image.
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The final pre-launch preparations for the first Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellite are underway. The first satellite, called MTG-I1, built by a European industrial consortium led by Thales Alenia Space carries two imagers: an advanced Flexible Combined Imager and, in a first for Europe, a Lightning Imager that will allow the earlier detection of storms and extreme weather events, as well as improve aviation safety. Building on the long-standing partnership between ESA and Eumetsat, the MTG-I1 will be one of six satellites operating in a fleet, of three at a time, to ensure the continuity of data from the previous Meteosat satellites over the next 20 years. The first Meteosat was launched in 1977 and this third generation of spacecraft will be the most advanced yet, with improved image resolution and providing close to real time data for users, or ‘nowcasting’ of fast-developing, high-impact weather. The launch is currently scheduled for the end of 2022. The film includes soundbites from ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes: Simonetta Cheli, ESA Meteosat Programme Manager: Paul Blythe, ESA Meteosat Third Generation Payload Manager: Donny Aminou and EUMETSAT, Meteosat Third Generation Programme Manager: Alexander Schmid.
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On Sept. 26, 2022, at 7:14 pm EDT, DART intentionally crashed into Dimorphos, the asteroid moonlet in the double-asteroid system of Didymos. It was the world’s first test of the kinetic impact mitigation technique, using a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid that poses no threat to Earth, and modifying the object’s orbit. DART is a test for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards. See the final moments of the spacecraft's existence. NASA's DART spacecraft slams into 'moonlet' in asteroid system. NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft beamed back its final moments before colliding with the asteroid Dimorphos in an attempt to change its orbit. The dramatic impact expelled a cloud of dust and turned the asteroid into a type of comet. First Images from Italian Space Agency’s LICIACube Satellite mage captured by the Italian Space Agency’s LICIACube a few minutes after the intentional collision of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission with its target asteroid, Dimorphos. NASA's Hubble and James Webb space telescopes captured imagery of the aftermath from impact. Amazing that NASA is able to crash a small spacecraft into a "space rock" which is just only 170 meters (560 ft) in diameter and 10.6 million km (6.6 million miles) from Earth as a test for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards or... a test for defending Earth against potential alien spaceships that may approach Earth in the near future?View the full article