“Sentinel-2 will serve a wide range of applications related to Earth’s land surface and coastal zones. The mission will mainly provide information for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security. Satellite images will be used to determine various plant indices such as leaf area chlorophyll and water content indexes. This is particularly important for effective yield prediction and applications related to Earthâ€™s vegetation. As well as monitoring plant growth, Sentinel-2 can be used to map changes in land cover and to monitor the world’s forests. It will also provide information on pollution in lakes and coastal waters. Images of floods, volcanic eruptions and landslides contribute to disaster mapping and help humanitarian relief efforts.
Examples for applications include: monitoring land cover change for environmental monitoring; agricultural applications, such as crop monitoring and management to help food security; detailed vegetation and forest monitoring and parameter generation (e.g. leaf area index, chlorophyll concentration, carbon mass estimations); observation of coastal zones (marine environmental monitoring, coastal zone mapping); inland water monitoring; glacier monitoring, ice extent mapping, snow cover monitoring; flood mapping & management (risk analysis, loss assessment, disaster management during floods).”
“Still images taken by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on the International Space Station were joined together to create this timelapse. The astronauts on the Space Station spend as much time as possible on science. During her 40-hour working week Samantha runs many experiments from Italyâ€™s ASI space agency and ESA, and takes part in even more from scientists all over the world.”
“An aurora is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying colour and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles. Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.”
“JPL scientist Marina Brozovic explains how radar will be used to study asteroid 2015 TB145 when it safely passes Earth on Oct. 31, 2015. Scientists are tracking the Halloween flyby with several optical observatories and the radar capabilities of the agency’s Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California. Radar images should be available within a few days of the flyby.
The asteroid will fly past Earth at a safe distance slightly farther than the moon’s orbit on Oct. 31 at 10:01 a.m. PDT (1:01 p.m. EDT). Scientists are treating the flyby of the estimated 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid as a science target of opportunity.”
Further extending Ariane 5â€™s track record of highly accurate payload delivery, the estimated orbital parameters at injection of its cryogenic upper stage for Flight VA226 were:
– Perigee: 249.2 km. for a target of 249.5 km.
– Apogee: 35,911 km. for a target of 35,927 km.
– Inclination: 5.99 deg. for a target of 6.00 deg.
The first-released passenger on todayâ€™s mission was Sky Muster, which is the initial satellite to be operated by nbnâ„¢ â€“ a service provider owned by the Commonwealth of Australia. This company’s objective is to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and at the least cost to taxpayers. Built by Palo Alto-based SSL (Space Systems Loral), Sky Muster is scheduled to operate from geostationary orbit. It is designed to deliver broadband services to more than 200,000 rural and remote Australians, providing coverage to the entire country â€“ including the Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands. Launch of nbn’s second spacecraft also has been entrusted to Arianespace. […]
Completing today’s mission was the deployment of ARSAT-2, which is the second of three geostationary satellites that will increase Argentina’s telecommunications capacity and guarantee the same level of connectivity quality across the country’s regions. Arianespace successfully orbited the first of these relay platforms â€“ ARSAT-1 â€“ on an Ariane 5 flight in October 2014. Built under the responsibility Argentina’s INVAP, ARSAT-2 will be operated by the state-owned Argentinian operator ARSAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad AnÃ³nima) to provide direct-to-home (DTH) television, Internet access services for reception on VSAT antennas, along with data transmission and IP telephony.”
“The AIM spacecraft will be launched in October 2020 on board a Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle from Kourou. After launch and one or more deep-space manoeuvres, AIM will arrive at Didymos in June 2022, some months before DART’s impact.After arrival, the AIM spacecraft will transition into a heliocentric co-flying orbit, from which it will observe the binary system to derive a high-resolution 3D model of the asteroid, determine its mass and dynamical state, and characterise its surface and shallow sub-surface properties by means of a thermal infrared imager and high-frequency radar. This first characterisation phase would last for a couple of months and be conducted from a distance of between 35 to 10 km from the asteroid. Following this, the AIM spacecraft will release a number of CubeSats and a lander which is based on DLRâ€™s MASCOT lander used for the JAXA Hayabusa-2 mission. The lander will carry out a detailed characterization of the deep-interior structure of the asteroid by means of a low-frequency bistatic radar. Approximately two weeks before DART impact, the AIM spacecraft would be moved to an orbit about 100 km from the asteroid to safely conduct impact observations. After the impact, a second characterisation phase would conclude the mission.
The AIM spacecraft is based on a very simple design with fixed solar arrays and a fixed high-gain antenna. The baseline propulsion system uses a bi-propellant (MMH/MON) fuel with 24 thrusters each capable of producing 10 N of thrust. A separate Helium tank would keep the four 60 l propellant tanks pressurized. Power is generated by two deployable, fixed solar arrays with an output of 165 W each at a distance of 2.2 AU from the Sun, and a total panel surface of 5.6 mÂ². The total spacecraft dry mass would be about 420 kg and the propellant mass about 292 kg.
The target of the AIM mission is asteroid 65803 Didymos (1996 GT), an Apollo-type near-Earth orbit (NEO) with a perihelion that is just below the aphelion radius of Earth orbit. Didymos is a binary body; the primary body has a diameter of around 750 m and a rotation period of 2.3 hours, while the secondary body had a diameter of around 170 m and rotates around the primary at a distance of 1.2 km in 12 hours. Study of the Didymos moon should offer valuable insights into the origins of our Solar System, and help scientists develop planetary defence strategies against any incoming asteroids in the future. Informally called â€˜Didymoonâ€™, the asteroid is nearly three times larger than the body thought to have caused the 1908 Tunguska impact in Siberia, the largest impact in recorded history. An equivalent asteroid striking Earth would be well into the â€˜city-killerâ€™ class, leaving a crater of at least 2.5 km diameter and causing serious regional and climate damage. The 2013 Chelyabinsk airburst, whose shockwave struck six cities across Russia, is thought to have been caused by an asteroid just 20 m in diameter.”
“New imagery from NASAâ€™s Hubble Space Telescope is revealing details never before seen on Jupiter. High-resolution maps and spinning globes (rendered in the 4k Ultra HD format) are the first products to come from a program to study the solar systemâ€™s outer planets each year using Hubble. The observations are designed to capture a broad range of features, including winds, clouds, storms and atmospheric chemistry. These annual studies will help current and future scientists see how such giant worlds change over time.”