Category Archives: Space/ AstroPhysics

On the shoulders of giants

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli (left) along with Expedition 52 crewmates Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos (centre) and Randy Bresnik of NASA (right) took to Red Square in Moscow yesterday to perform…

How to rescue a Moon walker in need

During a simulated space mission underwater last week, ESA tested an ingenious concept to bring astronauts safely back to base if they are incapacitated during lunar exploration. Four ‘aquanauts’, including…

BepiColombo spacecraft stack

BepiColombo, a joint ESA and JAXA mission to Mercury, has completed its final tests in launch configuration, the last time it will be stacked like this before being reassembled at…

M–ARGO

ESA has designed its first stand-alone CubeSat mission for deep space – aimed at targeting a little- known class of asteroid: small in size and rapidly spinning. Studied in the…

Orion frame work

Set to be shipped to the USA around the New Year, ESA’s contribution to NASA’s Orion spacecraft is taking shape at Airbus in Bremen, Germany. This is no test article:…

Satellites forewarn of locust plagues

Satellites are helping to predict favourable conditions for desert locusts to swarm, which poses a threat to agricultural production and, subsequently, livelihoods and food security. Desert locusts are a type…

Window to a watery past on march

This 70 km-wide crater and its surrounds offer a window into the watery past of the Red Planet. The scene, captured by ESA’s Mars Express, is a composite of two…

Celestial boondocks: Study supports the idea that we live in a void

Cosmologically speaking, the Milky Way and its immediate neighborhood are in the boondocks. In a 2013 observational study, University of Wisconsin–Madison astronomer Amy Barger and her then-student Ryan Keenan showed…

XMM-Newton slew tracks

This blue ‘ball of string’ actually records 2114 movements made by ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope as it shifted its gaze from one X-ray object to another between August 2001 and…

Quantifying the effects of climate change

Last year was the hottest on record, Arctic sea ice is on the decline and sea levels continue to rise. In this context, satellites are providing us with an unbiased…