ESA is raising the bar on autonomous space vehicles. The IXV is being designed as an re-entry vehicle. The IXV will change everything.
We are starting to see some detail on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as Rosetta closes in.
Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 2 August 2014 from a distance of about 500 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image has been processed using an interpolation technique and the resolution has been increased from 1024 x 1024 to 5120 x 5120 pixels.
ESA is getting ready to launch the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle or IXV. This will test technologies and critical systems for Europe’s autonomous reentry for return missions from low Earth orbit. The IXV is said to be about the size of a car being 5 m long, 1.5 m high, 2.2 m wide and weighs almost 2 tons.
The IXV is to be launched atop a Vega rocket from the Europe’s Spaceport (French Guiana) in November. The flight will collect an immense amount of data during the 1 hour and 40 minute flight to the Pacific Ocean.
The flight will be short in duration and will have HUGE implications for ESA’s ambition of autonomous reentry and the possibilities that will present not to mention a U.K. Spaceport.
Rosetta is getting close and Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko looks to be a very good choice. The since the previous image release on 4 July, Rosetta as reduced its distance to the comet by 25,000 km (to 12,000 km from 35,000 km).
BE SURE to check out the link in the description below – Great site!
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was imaged on 14 July 2014 by OSIRIS, Rosetta’s scientific imaging system, from a distance of approximately 12 000 km. This image has been processed using ‘sub-sampling by interpolation’, a technique that removes the pixelisation and makes a smoother image. It does not, however, reveal hidden detail and it is therefore important to note that the comet’s surface is not very likely to be as smooth as the processing implies. The image suggests that the comet may consist of two parts: one segment seems to be rather elongated, while the other appears more bulbous.
Read more via the blog: The dual personality of comet 67P/C-G
If you venture over to the ESA site you can see a Hi-res version of this beauty.
This view, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433. At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy — a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centres comparable to that of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Here is a bit more data on NGC 1433 including a “more normal” image to compare this incredible Hubble image too.
After eight years in orbit, ESA’s Venus Express has completed routine science observations and is preparing for a daring plunge into the planet’s hostile atmosphere.
Venus Express was launched on 9 November 2005, and arrived at Venus on 11 April 2006.
It has been orbiting Venus in an elliptical 24-hour loop that takes it from a distant 66 000 km over the south pole — affording incredible global views — to an altitude of around 250 km above the surface at the north pole, close to the top of the planet’s atmosphere.
With a suite of seven instruments, the spacecraft has provided a comprehensive study of the ionosphere, atmosphere and surface of Venus.
This video includes interviews in English with Håkan Svedhem, ESA mission scientist and Patrick Martin, ESA Venus Express mission manager
The Sentinel-1A radar satellite was launched last April and is still in the commissioning phase. This look at part of the Philippine island of Luzon with Mount Pinatubo is pretty nice, looks like the satellite is working quite well.
Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios.
Here’s the latest image of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft. Mission managers have been busy with a series of maneuvers designed to bring the spacecraft in line with the comet for the August rendezvous.
The journey for Rosetta has been underway for 10-years, beginning in February 2004 when it was launched from Kourou in French Guiana. It will soon reach its destination 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and even now Rosetta is taking data about the comet.
The comet appeared to show some activity in the last image from Rosetta but not so much in this one. As Emily at the Rosetta blog posts: Expect the Unexpected
The ESA Venus Express has been orbiting our neighboring planet for eight-years and is about to come to an end with one final contribution.
The Venus Express will begin an aerobraking maneuver and enter the atmosphere of the planet. The aerobraking phase was planned for 18 June to 11 July, during which time the spacecraft will be able to sample from altitudes not accessible in orbit.
We should hear something soon.