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ESA Top Multimedia

ESA Top Multimedia

Copernicus Sentinel-1 maps Bangladesh flood

Copernicus Sentinel-1 maps Bangladesh flood

ESA counts down to Asteroid Day with news on riskiest asteroid

Will we find 2021 QM1 before it finds us?

Tenoumer Crater, Mauritania

Deep within the Sahara Desert lies one of the best-preserved craters on Earth. On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the almost-perfectly circular Tenoumer Crater in Mauritania.

ESA DG Josef Aschbacher on Zero Debris

In this short video, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher presents the Zero Debris Approach: by 2030, we aim to consistently and reliably remove all European satellites from valuable orbits around the Earth, immediately after they cease operations.

Watch the Clean Space webinar “ESA Strategy towards Zero Debris - the evolution of spacecraft platforms”

Learn more

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BepiColombo’s second Mercury flyby

A beautiful sequence of 56 images taken by the monitoring cameras on board the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission as the spacecraft made its second close flyby of its destination planet Mercury on 23 June 2022.

The compilation includes images from two monitoring cameras (MCAM) onboard the Mercury Transfer Module, which provides black-and-white snapshots at 1024 x 1024 pixel resolution. The MCAMs also capture parts of the spacecraft: MCAM-2 sees the Mercury Planetary Orbiter’s medium-gain antenna and magnetometer boom, while the high-gain antenna is in the MCAM-3 field-of-view.

The image sequences lasted about 15 minutes starting soon after closest approach to Mercury, which was at an altitude of 200 km. The first sequence showcases images taken by MCAM-2, starting from a distance of around 920 km from the surface of the planet and finishing at about 6099 km. The second sequence shows images from MCAM-3 covering a similar distance range (approximately 984 km – 6194 km).

Since MCAM-2 and MCAM-3 are located on either side of the spacecraft, and the image acquisition alternated quickly between the two cameras with about 15-20 seconds between them, the final sequence shows a composite of the two views, giving an impression of the complete planet receding behind the spacecraft.

During the flyby it was possible to identify various geological features that BepiColombo will study in more detail once in orbit around the planet. While craters dominate the landscape, numerous volcanic plains can also be made out, as well as roughly linear ‘scarps’ – cliff-like features created by tectonic faulting. In this flyby, the planet’s largest impact basin Caloris was seen for the first time by BepiColombo, its highly-reflective lavas on its floor making it stand out against the darker background as it rotated into the MCAM-2 field of view.

The gravity assist manoeuvre was the second at Mercury and the fifth of nine flybys overall. During its seven-year cruise to the smallest and innermost planet of the Solar System, BepiColombo makes one flyby at Earth, two at Venus and six at Mercury to help steer it on course to arrive in Mercury orbit in 2025. The Mercury Transfer Module carries two science orbiters: ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. They will operate from complementary orbits to study all aspects of mysterious Mercury from its core to surface processes, magnetic field and exosphere, to better understand the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star.

All images are also available in the Planetary Science Archive.

Read more about the flyby here.

The search for volcanoes

The search for volcanoes

First sighting of Caloris

First sighting of Caloris

Earth from Space: Lake Balkhash

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Lake Balkhash, the largest lake in Central Asia.

See also Lake Balkhash, Kazakhastan to download the image.

ESA – made of people

ESA – made of people

The people who make ESA

Fulfilling Europe’s space ambitions is a special kind of teamwork, combining different Member States, skills, agency activities and industry. This is just some of the people who make ESA, gathered at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, known to most as ESTEC.

Inspired by ESA’s young professionals and with thanks to all the participants, and a helpful passing satellite.

Lunar science stirring on Mount Etna

Lunar science stirring on Mount Etna

Space quartet

Space quartet

Clean Space Webinar: ESA Strategy towards Zero Debris - the evolution of spacecraft platforms

In this webinar, Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General, introduces the concept of Zero Debris and ESA's commitment to achieve this goal by 2030. He is followed by Holger Krag, Head of the Space Safety Programme, who explains the reasons why this is needed. Then, Tiago Soares and Sara Morales Serrano, ESA Clean Space systems engineers, further explain the Zero Debris approach that ESA is proposing, with a focus on the policy requirements and on the evolution of spacecraft platform, which are required to reach Zero Debris. The interaction with the audience during the technical session is animated by Sibyl-Anna de Courson, Clean Space YGT, and Benedetta Cattani, Clean Space Coordinator.

Access all the Clean Space webinars

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ESA at ILA 2022 - Opening Ceremony

ESA joined the Space Pavilion at ILA 2022 to present the newest programmes, missions and technologies at the heart of Europe’s space effort. The Pavilion also highlights upcoming commercial opportunities in the space sector for German, European and global industry focussing on sustainability and climate change, digitalization, innovation, research and space safety.

Announcing the names of the new Astro Pi computers!

In this video ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer announces the names of the new Astro Pi computers, as voted by participants of the 2021-22 European Astro Pi Challenge. The Astro Pi Mark II hardware arrived on the International Space Station in December 2021, replacing the previous computers "Ed" and "Izzy".

Astro Pis display their new names!

In this video, recorded by Astro Pi VIS on the International Space Station, Astro Pi IR displays Mission Zero codes submitted by students voting for the names of the newly delivered Astro Pi computers; Marie Curie and Nikola Tesla!

Heatwave in western Europe

Heatwave in western Europe

IRIS for greener skies

Iris aims to make aviation safer, greener and more efficient by developing a new satellite-based air–ground communication system for Air Traffic Management (ATM), in partnership with Inmarsat.

Currently, pilots communicate with air traffic control mostly by voice and the communication channels are becoming more and more congested.

Introducing digitalisation by fitting aircraft with Iris satellite data communication technology enables air traffic controllers to manage the skies more efficiently using a high bandwidth satellite datalink between the aircraft and the ground. Flight plans can be continually updated during the flight to maintain an optimal trajectory towards the destination. This allows air traffic controllers to schedule landings well in advance, maximising airspace and airport capacity, while minimising the fuel burned and its environmental impact.

Land-surface temperature 1995-2020

Land-surface temperature measurements are crucial for tracking changes in the climate while also helping to monitor heat stress in crops and urban environments.

By describing the skin temperature across Earth’s land surfaces, such as bare ground, vegetation, snow and ice, land-surface temperature data complement the near-surface air temperature records used to track global warming.

This animation shows changes in global land-surface temperature from 1995-2020 developed via ESA’s Climate Change Initiative.

It is the first climate record of land-surface temperature that uses both infrared and microwave sensors at a global scale. This greatly improves scientists’ ability to monitor climate change, including polar regions where climate change is happening very quickly.

Inflight call with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

An educational in-flight call with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on board the International Space Station for teachers and students in Europe, connecting live with local events organised by ESERO Italy, ESERO Portugal and ESERO Luxembourg.

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Earth from Space: Glacier Bay, Alaska

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore part of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska, with Copernicus Sentinel-2.
See also Glacier Bay, Alaska to download the image.

Cosmic treasure chest

Cosmic treasure chest

Sunny Italy

Sunny Italy

Construction underway on new ESA antenna in Australia

Plaque unveiling to mark start of construction on new ESA deep-space antenna in Australia

The Road to CM22 – Europe’s Space Ambition

ESA’s Council at Ministerial level will take place in November 2022, a crucial milestone as Europe sets out its ambitions and plans for space activities in the coming years and decades.

Replay: NASA Administrator at the ESA Council

At the invitation of ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson attended the ESA Council at ESA’s establishment ESTEC in the Netherlands on 15 June 2022. A press briefing took place following the conclusion of the council meeting.

ESA is currently working with NASA on many areas, from science such as the James Webb Space Telescope to exploration such as Mars Sample Return, Artemis and the International Space Station, to Earth observation.

At the ESA Council, a framework agreement between ESA and NASA for a strategic partnership in Earth System Science was signed, as well as a memorandum of understanding between ESA and NASA on the Lunar Pathfinder mission.

VV21 payload LARES-2 integration

The LARES-2 satellite has now been mounted onto the launch adapter: 14 June 2022, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana

Hera asteroid mission’s first step

Hera asteroid mission’s first step

What is the European CanSat Competition?

Have you ever dreamt of building a satellite? If you're between 14-19 years old, the European Space Agency invites you to participate in the CanSat school project. Teams of six are tasked with imagining, designing, building, testing and launching their own satellite. Your CanSat will be launched up to 1 km and must perform a mission and return data via telemetry to ground. For more info, check out https://cansat.esa.int

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