October 20, 2017

Q&A with Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA’s Earth observation programs (members only)

October 13, 2017

Josef Aschbacher, head of ESA’s Earth observation programs, recently spoke with Spaceflight Now about the importance of the Sentinel 5P satellite mission designed for air quality measurements from space, and discussed increasing data usage from Europe’s Copernicus environmental network, and plans to expand the flagship Earth observation fleet.

Photos: Sentinel 5P environmental satellite prepared for liftoff

October 13, 2017

Europe’s Sentinel 5P satellite, fitted with a Dutch-developed spectrometer to measure gases in Earth’s atmosphere, was fueled and mated to its Russian Rockot booster over the last month at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a military complex around 500 miles (800 kilometers) north of Moscow.

Live coverage: European environmental satellite launches from Russia

October 13, 2017

A modified Russian missile built for nuclear war blasted off on a peaceful mission Friday, targeting placement of a European Earth observation satellite in orbit to measure atmospheric chemistry and global air quality. Liftoff from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia occurred at 0927 GMT (5:27 a.m. EDT).

JWST launch slips to early 2019

October 4, 2017

Extra testing of the James Webb Space Telescope and delays in assembling the powerful observatory will push back the $10 billion mission’s launch by at least six months to early 2019, officials announced last week as the telescope successfully completed an extensive performance test inside a cryogenic vacuum chamber in Houston.

Q&A with Eric Smith, JWST program director

September 29, 2017

NASA’s senior manager in charge of the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, Eric Smith, recently spoke with Spaceflight Now about the decision to reschedule its launch from October 2018 to the spring of 2019.

Six firm launch contracts booked with Arianespace

September 20, 2017

Arianespace has received its first two confirmed launch contracts for Europe’s new Ariane 6 rocket, and the company recently announced four more launch bookings to loft communications and weather satellites into orbit aboard Ariane 5 and Soyuz boosters from French Guiana.

Pioneering ESA mission aims to create artificial solar eclipses

August 20, 2017

As skywatchers and scientists converge on a transcontinental band of totality for Monday’s solar eclipse in the United States, engineers in Europe are building a unique pair of satellites to create artificial eclipses lasting for hours — a feat that that could be a boon for solar physicists but will escape the view of Earth-bound spectators.

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