December 12, 2019

Astronauts perform third spacewalk to fix cosmic ray detector

December 2, 2019

After prepping their patient — a $2 billion cosmic ray detector — during two earlier spacewalks, two space station astronauts ventured back outside for a third outing Monday to carry out what amounted to transplant surgery, installing replacement coolant pumps in a bid to revive the costly instrument and extend its life.

Earth observation, deep space exploration big winners in new ESA budget

November 29, 2019

European Space Agency member states on Thursday committed nearly 12.5 billion euros ($13.8 billion) to fund ESA programs over the next three years, promising money to grow Europe’s fleet of satellites studying Earth’s changing climate, contribute to NASA-led lunar exploration efforts, and continue ESA’s participation in the International Space Station until 2030.

Spacewalkers continue repair of cosmic ray detector

November 22, 2019

In a complex bit of orbital surgery, two spacewalking astronauts cut into a $2 billion cosmic ray detector Friday, venting away life-sustaining carbon dioxide refrigerant and then snipping eight coolant lines the size of soda straws to prepare the high-tech “patient” for a coolant pump transplant.

Astronauts complete bonus objectives in first in series of AMS repair spacewalks

November 15, 2019

Two astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station Friday for the first of four spacewalks to repair a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, breezing through work to prep the device for invasive surgery to splice in new coolant pumps and extend the instrument’s life probing the composition of the universe.

Complex spacewalk repair work begins Friday

November 14, 2019

After four years of brainstorming, custom tool development and training, two astronauts plan to venture outside the International Space Station Friday for the first of four spacewalks to repair a $2 billion cosmic ray detector. The excursions are considered the most challenging since work to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Solar Orbiter arrives at Kennedy Space Center for launch preps

November 2, 2019

The European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft arrived in Florida late Friday after a trans-Atlantic journey from a test center in Germany, ready to begin preparations for a liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

British-built solar probe shipping to Florida launch site before Brexit deadline

October 22, 2019

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft — assembled in Britain and set for liftoff in February — has completed environmental testing in Germany and is scheduled to ride a cargo plane to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin launch preparations Oct. 31, several weeks earlier than planned to avoid complications stemming from Brexit.

NASA’s moon program winning international support

October 21, 2019

While Congress considers whether to provide funding NASA says it needs for a moon landing with astronauts before the end of 2024, several international partners voiced their intentions Monday to participate in the U.S.-led lunar exploration program.

Egyptian satellite, ESA science probe share plane ride to launch base

October 16, 2019

A European-built communications satellite, manufactured in secret for the Egyptian government, joined a European Space Agency exoplanet observatory aboard a Ukrainian Antonov An-124 cargo plane for a trans-Atlantic flight Wednesday to begin final launch preparations in French Guiana.

NASA, ESA officials seek formal approvals for Mars sample return mission

September 16, 2019

After crystallizing a partnership to retrieve samples from the surface of Mars and return them to Earth, NASA and European Space Agency officials are seeking government funding commitments before the end of this year to carry out a multibillion-dollar robotic mission that could depart Earth with a pair of rocket launches as soon as 2026.

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