OrbitalHub

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02-15-15

ATV-5 Undocking

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ESA dixit:

“Time-lapse movie showing the departure of ATV Georges Lemaître from the ISS on Saturday, 14 February 2015.”

Credit: NASA/ESA

 

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12-19-14

Soyuz Flight VS10 Liftoff

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ESA dixit:

“On 18 December 2014, Soyuz flight VS10 lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana and carried four O3b Networks satellites into orbit.”

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Optique Video du CSG

 

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12-8-14

Ariane 6

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ESA dixit:

“Decided upon in Luxembourg by the European Space Agency Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, Ariane 6 is a modular three-stage launcher (solid–cryogenic–cryogenic) with two configurations using: four boosters (A64) or two boosters (A62).”

Credit: ESA

 

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11-10-14

Rosetta Story

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ESA dixit:

“This short movie tells the story of Rosetta’s journey through the Solar System and its exploration of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko so far, through the voices of some of the many people involved in this exciting mission.

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft was launched in March 2004 and has chased down the comet for 10 years, reaching it on 6 August 2014. It is the first space mission to orbit a comet and to attempt a soft landing. It will also be the first mission to journey with a comet as they swing around the Sun throughout 2015.

In the last 10 years Rosetta has made three flybys of Earth and one of Mars, and passed by and imaged asteroids Steins and Lutetia. In June 2011, Rosetta was placed into deep-space hibernation as it cruised nearly 800 million kilometres from the warmth of the Sun, close to the orbit of Jupiter. This was necessary because not enough energy could be generated by the solar panels to keep all the spacecraft systems operating. On 20 January 2014, Rosetta woke up from hibernation and continued its journey towards the comet.

Rosetta first viewed its target from a distance in 2011. After the wake-up, the first sight of the comet came in March 2014. Since then, Rosetta scientists have been following the comet’s activity, studying it with various instruments on board. As Rosetta drew closer and closer in July, the complex shape of this double-lobed object was revealed.

After Rosetta arrived at the comet in August, it started mapping the surface in greater detail, leading to the selection of a target for the lander, Philae, in September 2014. The site, now named Agilkia after an island on the Nile river, is located on the smaller lobe of the comet.

Rosetta is scheduled to release Philae on 12 November and, seven hours later, the lander is expected to reach the comet’s surface.

Acknowledgements: The images of the comet were taken with the OSIRIS camera (ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA) and with the navigation camera (ESA/Rosetta/NavCam) on Rosetta; the self-portraits were taken with the CIVA instrument on Philae (ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA); the ground-based images of the comet were taken using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. The images of asteroids Steins and Lutetia were also taken with the OSIRIS camera.”

Credit: ESA

 

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11-6-14

3D-printing A Lunar Base

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ESA dixit:

“Could astronauts one day be printing rather than building a base on the Moon? In 2013 ESA, working with industrial partners, proved that 3D printing using lunar material was feasible in principle. Since then, work continues to investigate the technique. The shielding against radiation provided by a 3D-printed block of simulated lunar regolith was measured, providing important inputs for next-stage designs… Soon the Agency is due to investigate another lunar 3D printing method, harnessing concentrated sunlight to melt regolith rather than using a binding liquid.

But how might lunar 3D printing one day be used in practice? Foster+Partners, contributing architectural concepts for the original study, put together this outline of a hypothetical mission to 3D-print an entire a lunar base, illustrating the design factors that steered them in their work. The rim of Shackleton Crater at the lunar south pole was chosen for the base location. The Moon’s rotation is such that the Sun only grazes its poles at low angles. The result is a near-constant ‘peak of eternal light’ along the rim of Shackleton Crater, beside regions of permanent shadow. Building in the vicinity of such a site would offer plentiful solar power, and relief from the extremes of heat and cold found across the rest of the Moon.

In reality any lunar base remains firmly on the drawing board, but each small step forward in research makes future lunar colonisation a little more feasible. In November 2014 more than 350 experts came together for a two-day Additive Manufacturing for Space Applications workshop at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. They discussed the potential of 3D printing – also known as Additive Manufacturing – to transform the way the space industry operates and begin preparing common standards for its use.”

Read more about 3D-printing using Lunar soil…

Credit: ESA/Foster+Partners

 

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08-19-14

Rosetta Mission

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ESA dixit:

“Rosetta will come to within about 10 km of the nucleus to deploy Philae, which will take several hours to reach the surface. Because of the comet’s extremely low gravity, landing gear will absorb the small forces of landing while ice screws in the probe’s feet and a harpoon system will lock the probe to the surface. At the same time a thruster on top of the lander will push it down to counteract the impulse of the harpoon imparted in the opposite direction. Once it is anchored to the comet, the lander will begin its primary science mission, based on its 64-hour initial battery lifetime. The animation then shows five of Philae’s 10 instruments in action: CIVA, ROLIS, SD2, MUPUS and APXS. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.”

Credit: ESA

 

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