European Space Agency

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Astronaut's Pics of Belgium Are Beautiful—and Bothersome

Country leaves most of its streetlights on all night long, and it's obvious from space

(Newser) - After Thomas Pesquet gets off work and completes his exercise routine, he often whiles away his evenings with his camera, taking pictures he thinks others will enjoy—and those images recently exposed to the entire world the odd obsession Belgium has with leaving its lights on all night long. Pesquet,... More »

Glitch Caused Mars Lander to Plummet 2.3 Miles

It thought it had landed, but it was mid-air

(Newser) - The European Space Agency's Mars lander ended up as a smudge on the red planet's surface because of what Gizmodo calls a "crazy miscalculation." According to a report released by the ESA, the Schiaparelli lander had deployed its parachute and was descending normally when the device... More »

It Seems Mars Lander's Crash Made Quite the Explosion

The European Space Agency lost contact with its lander Wednesday

(Newser) - We now have the most definitive sign yet—courtesy of a NASA orbiter—that the European Space Agency's Mars lander crashed onto the planet's surface in what the AP describes as a "fiery ball of rocket fuel." ESA lost contact with the Schiaparelli lander Wednesday, approximately... More »

Plenty Went Wrong With ESA's Mars Lander

Schiaparelli probably fell a half-mile or more

(Newser) - The Schiaparelli spacecraft that tried to land on Mars Wednesday is probably dead or badly injured, the European Space Agency confirmed Thursday. It's placing the blame on a problem with the lander's parachute, reports CNN . "The ejection itself appears to have occurred earlier than expected," which... More »

Europe Fears Its Mars Lander Has Crashed

The ESA lost contact with its robot less than a minute before it landed

(Newser) - It appears Europe's latest attempt to put a lander on the surface has Mars has once again resulted in failure. The BBC reports the European Space Agency lost communication with the Schiaparelli robot less than a minute before it was supposed to reach the Martian surface Wednesday. The lander'... More »

A Comet Crash Landing for the Ages

Space probe Rosetta makes final journey onto comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

(Newser) - It took the Rosetta a decade to catch up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and on Friday, the space probe was sent to crash-land on the comet, ending its 12-year mission and giving European Space Agency scientists "emotional closure," the Guardian reports. "Rosetta has been comparable to the moon... More »

Spacecraft Blasts Off to Seek Alien Life on Mars

Russian and Euro space agencies send ExoMars craft to measure gases

(Newser) - Anyone who glanced at the skies above Kazakhstan Monday morning may have seen the trails of a spacecraft headed out on a search for alien life on Mars. Per the Guardian , the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a joint effort by the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos agency, launched... More »

Anonymous Hacks European Space Agency—for Laughs

And it was insanely simple for them to break in

(Newser) - Anonymous has had a busy week. First the hacktivists spent Friday mocking ISIS , then they took down the Trump Tower website . And before the weekend was out, the group infiltrated the European Space Agency's database, apparently just to keep their skills on point, reports Inverse . "Because Xmas is... More »

Scientists to See If They Can Save Earth From Asteroid

Mission in 2022 will be a test run on preventing collision

(Newser) - Come 2022, scientists will attempt to save all of humanity from an asteroid. Calm down, it's just a trial run. The joint US-European AIDA—that's Asteroid Deflection and Assessment—mission intends to crash a probe into a 525-foot-wide asteroid known as Didymoon to see if the impact will... More »

Hubble Spots 'Butterfly' 2K Light-Years Away

It's also known as the Twin Jet Nebula, and it's pretty

(Newser) - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... a space butterfly? That's essentially what the Hubble Space Telescope has captured in a new image of the Twin Jet Nebula, a shimmering planetary nebula that strongly resembles a winged insect, reports CNET . What you're actually seeing in... More »

This Woman Just Set a Record in Space

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is close to being there for 200 days

(Newser) - Nearly 200 days in outer space is what Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will have logged when she touches down in Kazakhstan on Thursday, a feat that has given her the world record for the longest time in space by a woman on a single mission, USA Today reports. On Saturday,... More »

Comet Lander's Batteries Die

But it manages to send data to scientists

(Newser) - In a development that's no huge surprise , the comet lander Philae is entering what the European Space Agency calls "idle mode." When the lander missed its intended spot on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—and its harpoons didn't manage to lock into the comet successfully—it couldn't get... More »

Scientists Hope to Make Comet Lander Hop to Safety

If it doesn't get sunlight soon, mission could be over

(Newser) - The spacecraft that landed on a comet yesterday is still talking to scientists, but its battery is expected to conk out soon. In what could be a last-ditch effort to save the mission, scientists with the European Space Agency say they'll try to make the Philae lander essentially hop... More »

Probe That Landed on Comet May Not Be Secure

Harpoons might have to be fired again

(Newser) - No matter what, the European Space Agency made history today with its astonishing feat of landing a spacecraft on a comet . But now the ESA has a simpler concern: Its Philae lander, about the size of a washing machine, might fall off. The main problem is that the lander's... More »

Scientists Brace for Comet Landing's '7 Hours of Terror'

Philae to depart tomorrow morning

(Newser) - Tomorrow's a big day at the European Space Agency: Officials are getting ready to land a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko , Space.com reports. The Philae robot will have to navigate a "very, very rough" surface, and officials won't know whether things have worked out until after what... More »

'Thousands' of Hidden Mountains Found in the Sea

Satellite images show seamounts at least a mile high rising from ocean floor

(Newser) - Underscoring how much of the Earth remains mysterious, scientists have located "thousands" of previously unknown underwater mountains, known as "seamounts," reports LiveScience . The discovery, announced in this month's Science journal, was a joint effort between a European Space Agency satellite and one from NASA that used... More »

For Comet Landing, 'J' Marks the Spot

Robot will get one shot to touch down on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

(Newser) - Europe's space agency has finally decided exactly where on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko it's going to attempt to land a robot—and in this case, "J" marks the spot. The robot, called Philae, is currently being carried by the space probe Rosetta, which is orbiting 67P after a decade-long... More »

Europe Launches 2 Satellites— Into Wrong Orbit

Apparently, sometimes it takes GPS to launch GPS network

(Newser) - The European Space Agency on Friday launched a pair of satellites in the hopes of building a GPS network similar to that of the United States. Problem: They apparently took a wrong turn, and ended up in an elliptical orbit that's lower than the circular one they were supposed... More »

After 10-Year Chase, Space Probe Catches Comet

Spacecraft to be 1st to hook up with a comet in yearlong trip around sun

(Newser) - The thrill is often in the chase itself—though for European Space Agency scientists, there's definitely a thrill in actually catching the object they've been chasing. The Rosetta space probe, which was sent hurtling through space a decade ago to hunt down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—aka the "rubber... More »

Space Probe Chasing 'Rubber Duck' Comet

Rosetta probe closing in on rare double comet

(Newser) - Space may have found itself a mascot: a double comet some say looks an awful lot like a giant rubber duck. The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has been gaining on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since reawakening this year , hoping to send a lander to its surface. Now that it's... More »

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