February 23, 2008 |
Ulysses, the mission to study the sun's poles and the influence of our star on surrounding space, is coming to an end. After more than 17 years in space -- almost four times its originally expected lifetime -- the mission is succumbing to its harsh environment and is likely to finish sometime in the next month or two, astronomers said Friday. A joint mission of the European Space Agency and NASA, Ulysses was launched in 1990 from a space shuttle. Ulysses is in a six-year orbit around the sun. Its long path through space carries it out to Jupiter's orbit and back again.
February 12, 2008 |
Europe's shiny new $2-billion science laboratory, Columbus, was anchored to the International Space Station on Monday by a team of astronauts laboring inside and out. "A great day for Europe," said the European Space Agency's station program manager, Alan Thirkettle. "She looks just beautiful." French astronaut Leopold Eyharts announced its arrival. Installation was an exhausting daylong affair that took more time than expected.
November 29, 2007 |
Venus became the solar system's baking hellhole by making a classic real estate mistake: building in the wrong neighborhood, according to research released Wednesday presenting the first comprehensive findings from Europe's Venus Express spacecraft. Instruments aboard the craft, which has been orbiting the haze-shrouded planet for almost 20 months, show that Venus and Earth are not just sister planets, but are nearly twins in important ways.
June 22, 2007 |
The European Space Agency is looking for 12 volunteers to spend up to 520 days in "extreme isolation and confinement" on a simulated mission to Mars. The volunteers will study the "human factor" of a trip to the Red Planet -- "a journey with no way out once the spaceship is on a direct path to Mars," the ESA said. The experiment will emphasize psychological factors, including stress resistance.
September 2, 2006 |
Europe's first mission to the moon is due to crash-land in a cloud of dust and rock late today, ending a three-year voyage that gathered data about the lunar surface and tested a new engine intended to propel spacecraft to Mercury and other planets. The European Space Agency's SMART-1, orbiting lower and lower as it makes its final approach at 4,475 mph, should hit its target on a volcanic plain called the Lake of Excellence at 10:41 p.m. PDT.
April 14, 2006 |
The European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft returned the first images of the planet's south pole Thursday, revealing a tempestuous sky of sulfuric acid clouds whipped by winds of more than 200 mph. Scientists long have been hampered from peering into Venus' atmosphere because a thick haze enshrouds the planet. But the spacecraft's infrared and visible cameras were able to capture two slices of the atmosphere at 34 and 40 miles above the surface.