European Space Agency

ESA's next satellite propelled by butane

ESA's next miniature satellite will be its first able to change orbit. Thanks to a compact thruster resembling a butane cigarette lighter, the cereal box-sized satellite will fly around its near-twin to test their radio communications.

dateDec 21, 2017 in Space Exploration
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Image: ESA's Large Space Simulator

This circular enclosure, made to appear larger still by an array of mirrors at its end, is ESA's Large Space Simulator. Some 15 m high and 10 m in diameter, it is cavernous enough to accommodate an upended double decker bus.

dateJan 18, 2018 in Space Exploration
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Image: China's space station Tiangong-1

This vivid image shows China's space station Tiangong-1 – the name means 'heavenly palace' – and was captured by French astrophotographer Alain Figer on 27 November 2017. It was taken from a ski area in the Hautes-Alpes ...

dateJan 11, 2018 in Space Exploration
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Exploring alien worlds with lasers

In everyday life we look and touch things to find out what they are made of. A powerful scientific technique does the same using lasers – and in two years' time it will fly in space for the first time.

dateJan 10, 2018 in Space Exploration
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Image: Columbus module stripped

Inside the cylindrical modules of the International Space Station is the standard stuff of technology. Wires, cables and pumps form the framework of the one-of-a-kind European Columbus laboratory, seen here in its early days ...

dateJan 10, 2018 in Space Exploration
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Image: A sun a day

This montage of 365 images shows the changing activity of our sun through the eyes of ESA's Proba-2 satellite during 2017, along with a partial eclipse for good measure.

dateJan 08, 2018 in Space Exploration
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