The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is held every year in a different world city. As China has become the “third force” in manned spaceflight, it was logical and correct that Beijing, China’s capital city, should be selected as the venue for IAC 2013. The 64th IAC was held at the China National Convention Centre from 22-27 September. Attendance was high […]
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The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft successfully returned to Earth at 0258 GMT on 11 September 2013 with its three crew of US astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogfradov and Alexander Misurkin. After atmospheric re-entry capsule landed after being braked by parachute and last second retrofire rockets near Dzhezkazgan, in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft had earlier undocked from […]
While the French and Germans continue to bicker over the final configuration of Ariane 6 even though it has been officially set, the European Space Agency is now looking beyond that rocket. Under a €1 million study the UK-based air-breathing rocket design firm, Reaction Engines Limited, has been asked by ESA to study its Skylon rocket plane design with […]
UK Space Conference: Air-breathing rocket takes headlines but it is size of UK space ambition that is most breathtaking
The biennial UK Space Conference was held this year at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow in July. During the conference, which was organised by the UK Space Agency, there was an emphasis on how innovation and enterprise could promote growth in the space industry. And the UK space industry’s ambition is […]
This image released today by the European Space Agency shows adeployment test of the solar wings on the latest Galileo navigation satellitebeing carried out ESA’s technical hub in the Netherlands. The 1 x 5 m solarwings carry more than 2,500 state-of-the-art gallium arsenide solar cells topower the satellite during its 12-year working life. A counterweighted […]
The European Space Agency’s next big science mission – an attempt to unlock the secrets of the so-called “dark matter” invisible to normal telescopes but and its sister mystery, “dark energy”, which may hold the key to the Universe’s apparently accelerating expansion – has entered its full industrial phase, with the selection of Thales Alenia […]
The final configuration of the Ariane 6 launch vehicle has been finalised by the European Space Agency (ESA). It will use three parallel solid rockets as a “multi P linear” configuarion followed by a solid second stage with a Vinci-engined final stage using using liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as propellants. The full description is on our main Flightglobal space news page here.
Analysis: NASA may have lost its nerve over TiME but ESA’s TALISE still has a chance to paddle on Titan’s seas (Updated)
While NASA gained plaudits for its most excellent and innovative sky crane landing technique that successfully dropped its Mars Curiosity Rover onto the planet Mars, we do note that since choosing that mission, NASA appears to have become more risk averse, and, dare we say it, a little more boring in its mission choices.
Flightglobal’s Hyperbola column/blog recently pointed out that instead of choosing fly a rocket powered glider in the Martian atmosphere, NASA had instead chosen a little more conventional, if uninspiring, Mars orbiter mission called MAVEN for its funding.
Another example of perhaps a loss of NASA nerve, the administration failed to chose a very exciting and innovative mission called TiME which would have used a boat to make nautical exploration of Titan. Instead, the administration elected to send a lower risk landing mission to Mars (yes – yet another mission to that planet).
At the Paris Air Show, it was revealed that the European launch provider, Arianespace, is requesting from the European Space Agency (ESA) financing for a new volumetric fairing extension for its Ariane 5 rocket so that new bulkier, if not heavier, design satellites can be carried. The cost of this extension is reported to be circa €30 million. If approved, and ESA Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordaine expects it to be as he described the funding needed as a “fairly small amount of money”, then this modification will be flying in 2015.
While its main role is vegetation mapping, the European Space Agency’s Proba-V spacecraft is also being used to carry an aircraft tracking payload. While primary radars can give direct positioning of aircraft by their radar returns, and transponders can give “squawk” identifying information, the latest improvement Automatic Dependent Broadcast – Surveillance (ADS-B) system.
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