ESA News 2016


Call for Media: The next flight to Mars is departing soon

29 February 2016: The ExoMars 2016 mission is planned for launch at 09:31 GMT (10:31 CET) on 14 March from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Representatives of traditional and social media are invited to apply for accreditation to attend a day-long event at ESA's control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.


Keeping transport systems on track

29 February 2016: Operators of UK transport networks are the first who are set to benefit from Live Land, a satellite-based land monitoring system developed through ESA.


Two more Galileo satellites poised for launch in May

26 February 2016: Another pair of Galileo navigation satellites is scheduled for launch by Soyuz rocket in May, ahead of a quartet on an Ariane 5 in the autumn, bringing the Galileo system a step closer to operational use.


Sentinel-3 and the ocean carbon conundrum

Carbon flux

25 February 2016: Each year, about a quarter of the carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere ends up in the ocean, but how it happens is still not fully understood. The Sentinel-3A satellite is poised to play an important role in shedding new light on this exchange.


World´s corals under threat

24 February 2016: The current El Niño weather phenomenon is taking its toll on coral reefs, prompting a field campaign to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to explore how Europe's Sentinel-2 satellite might be able to quantify the damage on a large scale.


Freefall achieved on LISA Pathfinder

24 February 2016: On Monday, the two cubes housed in the core of ESA's LISA Pathfinder were left to move under the effect of gravity alone – another milestone towards demonstrating technologies to observe gravitational waves from space.


ESA in partnership with Europe´s railways

22 February 2016: Europe's railway network plays a vital role in keeping our continent on the move. A new ESA initiative is considering the ways that space can add value to the network as it enters its third century of operations.


Footprints of a martian flood

18 February 2016: Water has left its mark in a variety of ways in this martian scene captured by ESA's Mars Express.


Fuel cells powering inner-city vehicles

18 February 2016: Inner-city deliveries in Austria may soon be powered by pollution-free fuel cell technology that is also being explored by ESA for satellites and robotic missions to Mars.


Third Sentinel satellite launched for Copernicus


16 February 2016: The third ESA-developed satellite carrying four Earth-observing instruments was launched today, ready to provide a 'bigger picture' for Europe's Copernicus environment programme.


Test cubes floating freely inside LISA Pathfinder

16 February 2016: ESA's LISA Pathfinder has released both of its gold–platinum cubes, and will shortly begin its demanding science mission, placing these test masses in the most precise freefall ever obtained to demonstrate technologies for observing gravitational waves from space.


All dressed up with somewhere to go

15 February 2016: Yesterday, a 'team of teams' working at ESA's control centre conducted a final rehearsal for tomorrow's launch of Sentinel-3A.


New antenna ready for business

A new radio dish has been inaugurated at ESA’s existing New Norcia, Western Australia, tracking station, ready to catch the first signals from new missions

12 February 2016: ESA inaugurated a new tracking dish in Australia yesterday, marking a significant step in the Agency's worldwide satcom network.


Sentinel-3A poised for liftoff

12 February 2016: With four days to liftoff, the next Sentinel satellite for Copernicus is now on the launch pad at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia.


Rosetta´s lander faces eternal hibernation

Rosetta lander

12 February 2016: Silent since its last call to mothership Rosetta seven months ago, the Philae lander is facing conditions on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from which it is unlikely to recover.


ESA congratulations on gravitational wave discovery

11 February 2016: ESA is thrilled to learn that gravitational waves have been detected, and is looking forward to starting its mission to test technologies that could extend the study of these exotic waves to space.


Inside Rosetta´s comet

4 February 2016: There are no large caverns inside Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA's Rosetta mission has made measurements that clearly demonstrate this, solving a long-standing mystery.


Martian labyrinth

28 January 2016: This block of martian terrain, etched with an intricate pattern of landslides and wind-blown dunes, is a small segment of a vast labyrinth of valleys, fractures and plateaus.


Integral X-rays Earth´s aurora

26 January 2016: Normally busy with observing high-energy black holes, supernovas and neutron stars, ESA's Integral space observatory recently had the chance to look back at our own planet's aurora.


A Milky Way twin swept by an ultra-fast X-ray wind

14 January 2016: ESA's XMM-Newton has found a wind of high-speed gas streaming from the centre of a bright spiral galaxy like our own that may be reducing its ability to produce new stars


Exposed ice on Rosetta´s comet confirmed as water

13 January 2016: Observations made shortly after Rosetta's arrival at its target comet in 2014 have provided definitive confirmation of the presence of water ice.