Laser focus down to the nano-world03 December 2013
Laser focus down to the nano-world03 December 2013 These images might resemble a planetary surface but actually show a different kind of alien environment: a microscopic view across a damaged laser lens, down to the nanometre level – a millionth of a millimetre, smaller than most individual bacteria.
ESA seeks cleaner means of ‘cooking’ composite satellite parts02 December 2013
ESA seeks cleaner means of ‘cooking’ composite satellite parts02 December 2013 Modern satellites and other space hardware have something in common with top-of-the-range boats or Formula 1 racing cars: they’re often as much ‘cooked’ as they are built, composed of advanced composites that are rigidly set in place. Now ESA is looki...
ESA’s new breed of Galileo endures weeks of simulated space02 December 2013
ESA’s new breed of Galileo endures weeks of simulated space02 December 2013 ESA’s newest Galileo satellite has emerged from five weeks of simulated space conditions: Friday saw a hatch slid open to end its thermal-vacuum test, a milestone on the way to orbit.
What might recyclable satellites look like?22 November 2013
What might recyclable satellites look like?22 November 2013 No matter how painstakingly we choose the materials to build satellites, once a mission is over they are just so much junk. But what if one day they could be recycled in space for future missions – perhaps as construction material, fuel or even food?
Shaker testing seeks to extend Vega performance20 November 2013
Shaker testing seeks to extend Vega performance20 November 2013 Vega’s top stage has been subjected to the forces of launch on a shaker table at ESA’s main technical centre. This testing is intended to boost the carrying capacity of Europe’s newest launcher for future flights.
Considering hydrazine-free satellite propulsion 14 November 2013
Considering hydrazine-free satellite propulsion 14 November 2013 Whenever engineers fill up satellites with propellant, they put on spacesuit-like protective gear. That’s because hydrazine, while being highly energetic, is also extremely toxic.