Asteroid researcher Kristiane Schmidt and ESA data technician Andrea Toni inspect a camera fixed to the five-storey-high rooftop of ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands, keeping a constant watch for fireballs – very bright meteors burning up in the atmosphere.
This small fisheye camera atop the ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk on the North Sea coast is one of a network of cameras stretching across Europe, called the Fireball Recovery and Planetary Inter Observation Network, FRIPON.
FRIPON cameras work together to plot the course of meteorites entering Europe’s skies, supporting efforts to retrieve fresh-fallen meteorites for study.
Space Safety at ESA
Solar activity, asteroids and artificial space debris all pose threats to our planet and our use of space.
ESA's Space Safety activities aim to safeguard society and the critical satellites on which we depend, identifying and mitigating threats from space through projects such as the Flyeye telescopes, the Lagrange space weather mission and the Hera asteroid mission.
As asteroid experts meet for the international Planetary Defense Conference, ESA is focusing on the threat we face from space rocks. How likely is an asteroid impact? What is ESA doing to mitigate impact risks? Follow the hashtag #PlanetaryDefense to find out more.