Posts Tagged ‘ESA’

Martian Water

July 26, 2018

Martian Water

There’s a 12-mile-wide lake of liquid water a mile beneath the southern ice cap of Mars. The discovery was made using the Marsis radar instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, which has been orbiting the red planet for 15 years. Thirsty astronauts shouldn’t expect instant refreshment, though. The lake is filled with salt water.

More:

“Mars: huge underground lake raises prospects of life on planet, astronomers say,” Ian Sample, The Guardian

“A 12-mile-wide body of water lies beneath a Mars ice cap,” Carolyn Y. Johnson, Washington Post

“Scientists detect giant underground aquifer on Mars, raising hope of life on the planet,” Loren Grush, The Verge

“Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed on Mars,” Mary Halton, BBC News

“Deep within Mars, Liquid Water Offers Hope for Life,” Lee Billings, Scientific American

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Comet Lander: It’s Alive!

June 15, 2015

Comet Lander: It's Alive!

The Philae device the European Space Agency landed on a comet has emerged from 7 months of hibernation and phoned home, sending a radio signal from Comet 67P. The ESA Rosetta Orbiter landed Philae after a 10 year space voyage, but the washing-machine-sized device bounced into a shadowed part of the comet’s surface and couldn’t recharge its solar cells until now.

More:

“European space probe, thought lost, awakes in comet’s shadows,” Thomas Atkins, Reuters

“ESA’s Philae comet lander wakes up after seven months of hibernation,” Sebastian Anthony, Ars Technica UK

(more…)

European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

November 12, 2014

European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

7 hours after Europe’s Rosetta orbiter launched Philae, a washing-machine-sized robot probe, it landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a big ball of ice and rock 314 million miles away and traveling through space at 34,000 miles an hour. The ESA probe will remain there transmitting data until August 2015 as the comet slowly melts from the heat of the sun.

The international space mission has been a long time in the making. Comet-chasing Rosetta was launched ten years ago. The scientific importance of the Rosetta mission cannot be over-estimated. Comets are frozen repositories of early stages of the solar system.

More:

“European Probe Makes Historic Comet Landing,” VOA News

“Comet-Chasing Spacecraft Lands Probe After 10 Year Flight,” Alex Morales, Bloomberg News

“Mankind Has Landed on a Comet,” Sarah Zhang, Gizmodo

“Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae Probe Lands on Comet.” (ESA press release)

“The Rosetta comet mission cost half as much as the US midterm elections,” Joseph Stromberg, Vox

“Bill Nye on the Rosetta Comet Landing: ‘We’ll make discoveries that nobody’s imagined yet,'” Big Think

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Image (“Comet, after Charles Martin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Here Comes GOCE!

November 10, 2013

Here Comes GOCE!

The European Space Agency satellite GOCE is returning to Earth, falling out of its decaying orbit. It will re-enter the atmosphere Sunday night and land … somewhere. GOCE, the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer, had been mapping ocean currents since 2009. It cost $443 million and weighs about a ton.

More:

“GOCE Satellite Hours Away from Falling to Earth,” Phil Plait, Slate

“Duck! Falling Satellite Arrives on Sunday,” Jeffrey Kluger, TIME

UPDATE (phew!):

“European Space Agency’s Goce satellite falls to Earth,” Jonathan Amos, BBC News

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-hNN

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.