...the who's who,
and the what's what 
of the space industry

Copernical Team

Copernical Team

Saturday, 24 October 2020 05:46

SpaceX launches cluster of Starlink satellites

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Washington DC (UPI) Oct 25, 2020
SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space Saturday morning, carrying 60 Internet satellites into orbit to help establish connections to remote areas. The launch, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It went off without a hitch with the booster rocket safely landing on SpaceX's drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The upper st
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Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft
In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)

A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week's grab that it's jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday.

Scientists announced the news three days after the named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA's first attempt at such a mission.

The mission's lead scientist, Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, said Tuesday's operation 200 million miles away collected far more material than expected for return to Earth—in the hundreds of grams. The sample container on the end of the robot arm penetrated so deeply into the asteroid and with such force, however, that rocks got sucked in and became wedged around the rim of the lid.

Thursday, 22 October 2020 13:15

Week in images: 19-23 October 2020

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The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over the Ganges Delta – the world’s largest river delta.

Week in images: 19-23 October 2020

Discover our week through the lens

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Washington (AFP) Oct 23, 2020
NASA said Friday that its robotic spacecraft Osiris-Rex had succeeded in collecting a large sample of particles from the Bennu asteroid this week - but so much that it was leaking. The team in charge of the probe is now working to quickly stow the remaining samples that would eventually be delivered back to Earth to provide key scientific insights. "A substantial fraction of the require
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Video: 00:13:10

Step inside the Main Control Room at ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, and one thing becomes immediately clear: teams that operate space missions are highly hierarchical, and the Flight Director is indisputably in charge.

How does this work, and why is this the case? In the last of his Masterclass series, Paolo Ferri delves into the culture of operations, from written rules and procedures to equally important unwritten principles that guide the day-to-day working lives of those flying Europe’s spacecraft.

Paolo explains that on rare occasions, an internal battle takes place when protocols, procedures and

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NASA, human lunar lander companies complete key Artemis milestone
Credit: NASA

NASA's Human Landing System (HLS) Program recently checked off a key milestone in its progress toward landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. The HLS Program conducted Certification Baseline Reviews (CBR) with the three U.S. companies competing to provide landers that will deliver Artemis astronauts to the Moon. These virtual meetings were the culmination of critical work by NASA and the companies since NASA announced the base period selections in April.

Since then, NASA has worked closely with the Blue Origin-led team, Dynetics, and SpaceX to better understand their human landing system proposals and approach for the agency's Artemis program. The primary purpose of the CBRs was to finalize the functional and performance requirements for the companies' landing system designs, confirm the standards to be applied to lander development, establish the baseline designs, schedules, and management plans for HLS contract execution and human spaceflight certification. Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan, the HLS program manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, chaired the CBR board that approved the certification baseline for each contractor.

Seeking to leverage NASA's human spaceflight experience and the commercial sector's speed and innovation, the agency specified a concept of operations and high-level requirements and standards but did not dictate approach or design, allowing the contractors to propose their own designs.

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The ESA Masterclass series brings leading figures in the Agency to the fore, from the cutting edge of space exploration. Join them as they share their journey, along with decades of experience, knowledge and lessons learnt during their eventful careers in space.

In the first of the Masterclass series, we head to Darmstadt, Germany, where epoch-making robotic space exploration missions have been flown under the watchful eye of one man, Paolo Ferri. 

Thursday, 22 October 2020 08:00

Earth from Space: Ganges Delta

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Video: 00:04:24

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore the Ganges Delta – the world’s largest river delta - with Copernicus Sentinel-3.

See also Ganges Delta to download the image.

Thursday, 22 October 2020 08:00

Ganges Delta

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The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over the Ganges Delta – the world’s largest river delta. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over the Ganges Delta – the world’s largest river delta.
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Artist's view of Vega-C

Europe’s new-generation Vega-C small launch vehicle developed by ESA will increase performance and extend current launch capabilities at Europe’s Spaceport.

The solid rocket motors built for Vega-C under contract to Avio have all completed the hot fire tests to qualify them for flight.

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