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Tag: European Space Agency (ESA)

Vacuum-sealed container from the 1972 Apollo 17 Moon landing will soon be opened for the first time

Gizmodo »

Recognizing that future scientists will have better tools and richer scientific insights, they refrained from opening a portion of the lunar samples returned from the historic Apollo missions. One of these sample containers, after sitting untouched for 50 years, is now set to be opened.

The sample in question was collected by Gene Cernan in 1972. The Apollo 17 astronaut was working in the Taurus-Littrow Valley when he hammered a 28-inch-long (70 cm) tube into the surface, which he did to collect samples of lunar soil and gas. The lower half of this canister was sealed while Cernan was still on the Moon. Back on Earth, the canister was placed in yet another vacuum chamber for good measure. Known as the 73001 Apollo sample container, it remains untouched to this very day.

But the time has come to open this vessel and investigate its precious cargo, according to a European Space Agency press release. The hope is that lunar gases might be present inside, specifically hydrogen, helium, and other light gases. Analysis of these gases could further our understanding of lunar geology and shed new light on how to best store future samples, whether they be gathered on asteroids, the Moon, or Mars.

Video » Satellite images show the change in the Arctic

European Space Agency, ESA via YouTube »

Satellites images from space play a vital role in monitoring the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic. Tracking ice lost from the world’s glaciers, ice sheets and frozen land shows that Earth is losing ice at an accelerating rate. Currently more than a trillion tonnes of ice is lost each year. The sooner Earth’s temperature is stabilized, the more manageable the impacts of ice loss will be.

 

ESA ‘unboxed’ the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble telescope

In December, the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 launch vehicle will carry the new space telescope into orbit.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be NASA’s flagship observatory.

Video » European Space Agency is playing a vital role in humankind’s return to the Moon

European Space Agency via YouTube »

The European Space Agency is playing a vital role in humankind’s return to the Moon. In a few months NASA will launch Artemis I from the Kennedy Space Center. The uncrewed mission will carry NASA’s Orion spacecraft incorporating ESA’s European Service Module (ESM-1), built and tested by Airbus Bremen, in Germany, with the help of 10 European nations. ESM-1’s main engine and 32 thrusters will propel Orion into orbit around the Moon and return it to Earth.

As Artemis I prepares for launch, the second European Service Module (ESM-2) is about to ship to the US with ESM-3 also currently under construction. The second Artemis mission, however, has a crucial difference: it will carry four astronauts for a lunar flyby. ESM-2 will provide propulsion, power, oxygen, water and life support as well as controlling the temperature in the orbiting crew module. ESM-3 will go one step further and put the first person on the Moon for 50 years.

Mercury looks stunning in this 1st flyby on October 1st

The joint  European Space Agency (ESA) – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) BepiColombo spacecraft captured this view of Mercury on Oct. 1, 2021 during the first of six flybys on its voyage to orbit the planet in 2025.

Space.com »

Two spacecraft built by Europe and Japan captured their first up-close look at the planet Mercury in a weekend flyby, revealing a rocky world covered with craters.

The two linked probes, known together as BepiColombo, snapped their first image of Mercury late Friday (Oct. 1) during a flyby that sent them zooming around the planet. The encounter marked the first of six Mercury flybys for BepiColombo, a joint effort by the space agencies of Europe and Japan, to slow itself enough to enter orbit around the planet in 2025.

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