"Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
--1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.

"Correction: It is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum. The 'Times' regrets the error."
NY Times, July 1969.

— New York Times

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Updated: 16 hours 53 min ago

ESA's Euclid celebrates first science with sparkling cosmic views

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 9:00am

Today, ESA’s Euclid space mission releases five unprecedented new views of the Universe. The never-before-seen images demonstrate Euclid’s ability to unravel the secrets of the cosmos and enable scientists to hunt for rogue planets, use lensed galaxies to study mysterious matter, and explore the evolution of the Universe.

Categories: Astronomy

ESA's Euclid celebrates first science with sparkling cosmic views

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 6:45am
Video: 00:07:21

ESA is releasing a new set of full-colour images captured by the space telescope Euclid.

Five new portraits of our cosmos were captured during Euclid’s early observations phase, each revealing amazing new science. Euclid’s ability to unravel the secrets of the cosmos is something you will not want to miss. 

Categories: Astronomy

Iceberg A-83 breaks free

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 2:45am
Image: An iceberg roughly the size of the Isle of Wight has broken off the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica on 20 May.
Categories: Astronomy

First Space Station missions for new ESA astronauts

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 12:30pm
Video: 00:18:15

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher announces the first two astronaut missions for the new ESA astronaut class of 2022 on the first day of the Space Council, held in Brussels on 22 and 23 May 2024.

ESA's most recent class of astronauts selected in 2022 includes Sophie Adenot, Pablo Álvarez Fernández, Rosemary Coogan, Raphaël Liégeois, and Marco Sieber. They recently completed one year of basic training and graduated as ESA astronauts on 22 April at ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Germany, making them eligible for spaceflight. During their missions aboard the International Space Station, ESA astronauts will engage in a diverse range of activities, from conducting scientific experiments and medical research to Earth observation, outreach and operational tasks.

Categories: Astronomy

Twelve countries sign the Zero Debris Charter

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 11:25am
Categories: Astronomy

ESA signs contracts for commercial space cargo return service

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 11:00am

ESA has signed two contracts with European industry to develop a commercial service capable of transporting cargo to and from the International Space Station in low Earth orbit by 2030.

Categories: Astronomy

ESA and the EU update their Security of Information Agreement

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 8:13am

Keeping information secure in today’s interconnected world is becoming ever more important. ESA and the EU have amended their security of information agreement, reinforcing their trusted partnership.

Categories: Astronomy

EarthCARE pre-launch press briefing

Tue, 05/21/2024 - 12:00pm
Video: 00:51:05

ESA’s Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) mission is designed to advance our understanding of the role that clouds and aerosols play in reflecting incident solar radiation back out to space and trapping infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface.

Developed as a cooperation between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), this exciting mission will make a range of different measurements that together will shed new light on the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s delicate temperature balance. 

With global climate change increasingly affecting our planet, EarthCARE is poised to provide data for climate research, improve the accuracy of climate models and support numerical weather prediction. 

The EarthCare pre-launch press briefing featured: Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, ESA, Dirk Bernaerts, EarthCARE project manager and Acting Head Earth Explorers Division, ESA, Futoshi Takiguchi, Vice President and Director General for the Space Technology Directorate, JAXA, Eiichi Tomita, EarthCARE/CPR Project Manager, JAXA and Maximilian Sauer, EarthCARE Project Manager, Airbus.

Categories: Astronomy

Stunning meteor captured by ESA's fireball camera in Cáceres, Spain

Mon, 05/20/2024 - 8:00am
Video: 00:00:16

ESA's fireball camera in Cáceres, Spain, captured this stunning meteor during the night of 18—19 May 2024 (00:46 CEST 19 May / 22:46 UTC 18 May).

The camera is operated by ESA’s Planetary Defence Office and is part of the AllSky7 fireball network.

ESA’s planetary defenders began investigating the impact shortly after it was first reported. Their analysis of the object’s trajectory has revealed that it is likely to have been a small piece of a comet.

They estimate that it flew over Spain and Portugal travelling at roughly 45 km/s (162 000 km/h) before burning up over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of approximately 60 km.

Using data on the amount of energy released during the impact, they estimate that the object was roughly 1 m in size and had a mass of 500—1000 kg.

The likelihood of any meteorites from this even being discovered is very low.

The object was not detected before impact. This is likely because it approached Earth from a region of the sky that is particularly crowded with stars of the Milky Way galaxy.

Find out more about ESA’s Planetary Defence activities

Categories: Astronomy

Week in images: 13-17 May 2024

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 11:20am

Week in images: 13-17 May 2024

Discover our week through the lens

Categories: Astronomy

The May 2024 solar storm: your questions answered

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 6:00am
Categories: Astronomy

What does EarthCARE mean to me?

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 6:00am
Video: 00:04:43

A new satellite called EarthCARE launching later this month will provide unprecedented data on clouds and aerosols, contributing to our understanding of climate change. As we approach its launch, join us as we delve into the minds of some of the individuals who have contributed to EarthCARE over the years.

The mission will shed new light on the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s temperature.

This video features interviews with: Dave Donovan, Senior Scientist at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Robin Hogan, Senior Scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Ulla Wandinger, Senior Scientist at Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Alain Lefebvre, Retired Project Manager of EarthCARE at ESA, Hajime Okamoto, Director, Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Bjoern Frommknecht, EarthCARE Mission Manager at ESA, Edward Baudrez, Scientific Assistant at the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Thorsten Fehr, EarthCARE Mission Scientist at ESA, Pavlos Kollias from Stony Brook University – McGill University and Dirk Bernaerts, EarthCARE Project Manager at ESA.

Follow the EarthCARE launch campaign blog for more updates.

Categories: Astronomy

Electromagnetic Levitator turns ten

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 4:30am

This summer marks the ten-year anniversary of the electromagnetic levitation facility on the International Space Station.

Categories: Astronomy

Earth from Space: New Zealand’s North Island

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 4:00am
Image: Captured on 7 May 2024, this Copernicus Sentinel-2 image shows part of New Zealand’s North Island.
Categories: Astronomy

EarthCARE mission kit

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 2:45am

Explore this mission kit to learn more about EarthCARE – ESA’s new mission that will shed new light on the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s climate.

Categories: Astronomy

Hera plus one: enter the CubeSat

Thu, 05/16/2024 - 9:31am
Image: Hera plus one: enter the CubeSat
Categories: Astronomy

Canada’s wildfire season begins

Thu, 05/16/2024 - 8:15am

Wildfire season has arrived in full force in Canada, prompting evacuation orders and alerts in several towns in British Columbia and Alberta due to the danger of uncontrolled blazes.

Hazardous smoke from the fires has also triggered air quality alerts in Canada and the northern US. Satellite technology, including the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite and ESA’s Fire Atlas, plays a crucial role in monitoring these wildfires.

Categories: Astronomy