James Webb Team Ready to Install Telescope's 18 Gold-Coated Primary Mirror Segments

A robotic arm lifts and lowers a golden James Webb Space Telescope flight spare primary mirror segment onto a test piece of backplane at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. In this image the JWST team practices the positioning that will be done on the actual telescope in the cleanroom. Dave […]

Like Superman: ESA's IXV Spaceplane Makes Successful Research Flight

AND IT’S OFF: A Vega launch vehicle lofts ESA’s IXV spaceplane to its suborbital mission. Photo Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja

It wasn’t Superman, but a spaceplane; however, it sure appeared to travel “faster than a speeding bullet,” as it cleared the pad in four seconds.

At 13:40 GMT (8:40 EST) today, the flight of […]

'Ready to Fly': Europe's IXV Spaceplane Geared Up for Feb. 11 Launch

Fueling IXV: “The IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is being prepared for launch at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. IXV will be launched 320 km into space on top of a Vega rocket, climbing up to 420 km before beginning a long glide back through the atmosphere. In the process, IXV will gather […]

The Future That Wasn't: The Hermes Spaceplane

Hermes, Europe’s spaceplane, is depicted coasting in orbit in an artist’s rendering. Image Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

The prose in the 1986 Aerospatiale advertisement was breathless: “10 years old, and still 20 years ahead,” it started. The ad continued, “At Aerospatiale, addressing the exciting aerospace challenges of tomorrow means capitalizing on the […]

Arianespace Soyuz-Fregat Delivers European Radar-Imaging Satellite Into Orbit

The Soyuz-Fregat vehicle launches the Sentinel-1A radar-imaging satellite at 6:02 p.m. GFT (5:02 p.m. EDT) Thursday, 3 April. Photo Credit: Arianespace

Arianespace—the Paris, France-headquartered launch services organization, which operates Ariane, Vega, and Soyuz vehicles from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana—has successfully lofted Europe’s Sentinel-1A radar-imaging satellite into orbit. Liftoff of […]

Ariane 5 Successfully Launches Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A Satellites

Arianespace’s venerable launcher begins its 59th consecutive successful mission with the rousing liftoff of Mission VA-216. Photo Credit: Arianespace

Despite slightly overcast skies, Ariane 5’s 96-percent success record continues to stay strong following tonight’s rousing launch of the Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A communications satellites by Mission VA-216 from the Guiana Space Centre […]

Ariane 5 Poised to Launch Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A Satellites in Friday Mission

The livery for Mission VA-216, scheduled for launch on Friday, 21 March, is affixed to the side of the booster. Photo Credit: Arianespace

More than three months later than originally planned, Arianespace—the Paris, France-headquartered launch services organization—is poised to deliver the Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit on […]

European Space Agency Selects PLATO Observatory for Proposed 2024 Launch

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths. It will also investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling a precise characterisation of the host sun of each planet […]

Gaia En-Route to L2 for Five-Year Mission of Astronomical Discovery

Characterized by the bulbous payload fairing, which encapsulates Gaia, Europe’s space observatory takes flight on Thursday, 19 December, from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. Photo Credit: Arianespace/Mike Barrett

Yesterday’s successful launch of the ambitious Gaia mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) has set another spacecraft en-route for the Earth-Sun […]

Ambitious Gaia Billion-Object Astronomy Mission Delayed Until NET Mid-December

 

Artist’s concept of Gaia and the deep-space survey work it will conduct during its 5 years of baseline operations. Image Credit: ESA

Last week, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that it will delay the launch of its ambitious Gaia mission to observe and catalog around 1 billion astronomical objects—or approximately 1 […]