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Europe launches satellite program designed to monitor climate change

Europe on Thursday launched the first in a constellation of hi-tech satellites designed to monitor Earth for climate change and environmental damage and help disaster relief operations. Sentinel-1A, a satellite designed to scan the Earth with cloud-penetrating radar, lifted off at 2102 GMT aboard a Soyuz rocket from Kourou, French…

From Stone Age to Space Age: Bone pigment from prehistoric times now used on space probe

A pigment once daubed on cave walls by prehistoric Man will help shield an unmanned probe that will fly close to the Sun, the European Space Agency (ESA) said Wednesday. Black calcium phosphate is being applied to the heatshield of Solar Orbiter, a Sun-monitoring probe due for launch in 2017,…

NASA says it’s ready to build $8.8 billion super space telescope

All the pieces of the most powerful space telescope ever are ready for assembly at NASA, the US space agency said Monday. The $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch in 2018 and aims to provide an unprecedented look at far-away planets and the first galaxies formed.…

Dwarf planet Ceres in asteroid belt may contain more freshwater than Earth

Scientists have confirmed signs of water on the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. A team led by the European Space Agency detected water plumes spewing from two regions of the dwarf planet using the infrared Herschel Space Observatory telescope. Scientists have long suspected Ceres may…

Researchers: Antarctic ice sheet thinning continues to increase

The West Antarctic ice sheet appears to be shedding far more ice than a few years ago, according to climate research unveiled Wednesday. Previous research, conducted between 2005 and 2010, estimated that the ice sheet contributed 0.28 millimetres (0.1 inches) per year to the rise in global sea levels. But…

Keep calm and wait for the 1-ton satellite to crash to Earth

The European GOCE satellite is falling uncontrollably to Earth but no one need worry too much A one-tonne satellite is falling uncontrollably towards the Earth. It is expected to hit sometime late this weekend or early next week. No one knows exactly when or where it will smash down but…

European Space Agency takes on 3D printing for space metals

European Space Agency takes on 3D printing for space metals (via The Inquirer) THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (ESA) and European Commission (EC) are working together on making 3D printing a good way of building metal parts for rockets and spaceships. The ESA has released a statement about this, saying that…

European space agency enlists Russia to search for life on Mars

By Irene Klotz PARIS (Reuters) – The European Space Agency signed final contracts with Thales Alenia Space Italy for work on a pair of missions to assess if the planet Mars has or ever had life, officials said at the Paris Airshow this week. Until last year, the ExoMars program…

Winds on Venus have accelerated to 250 mph over the past six years

Already travelling at super-hurricane speeds, winds on Venus have accelerated by an astonishing one-third over the past six years, the European Space Agency (ESA) reported on Tuesday. Separate teams of astronomers analysed images from ESA’s Venus Express orbiter, monitoring cloud patterns on our closest neighbour. When Venus Express started operations…

International trio take Russian Soyuz rocket to space station

An international trio blasted off Wednesday on top of a Russian Soyuz rocket for the International Space Station with a busy schedule full of space walks and a docking with a pioneering US cargo craft. The six-month mission of Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and his two flight engineers — Karen…

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