Satellites Around the Moon Come Another Step Closer

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is going to the Moon – in collaboration with its international partners – and seeks to build a lasting lunar link to enable sustainable space exploration.

The agency has now evaluated initial ideas to create a network of lunar telecommunications and navigation satellites.

Creating a commercial telecommunications and navigation service for the Moon will allow many of the dozens of planned lunar missions to share the same infrastructure to communicate with Earth, as well as to find their way on the lunar surface.

The service is needed because the planned missions are becoming regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions.

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Bio Plaster Produced from the 3D Printer Aboard the International Space Station

Matthias Maurer at the Bioprint FirstAid experiment. (Credit: NASA/ESA)
  • As part of the “Cosmic Kiss” mission, the German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer carried out the Bioprint FirstAid experiment on the International Space Station (ISS).
  • The long-term goal of the experiment is to cover skin wounds with bio-ink from a 3D printer like a band-aid.
  • The new technology should help to significantly improve wound care on space missions, but also in daily medical use on Earth.

BONN, Germany (DLR PR) — Human cells from the 3D printer, with which skin wounds can be covered like an adhesive plaster – that is the long-term goal of the Bioprint FirstAid experiment. As part of the mission “Cosmic Kiss”, the German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer has now carried out the test series on the International Space Station. The mobile hand-held device is intended to significantly improve wound care on space missions, but also in daily medical use on earth. 

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Plato Exoplanet Mission Gets Green Light for Next Phase

Artist impression of an exoplanet system. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Plato, ESA’s next-generation planet hunting mission, has been given the green light to continue with its development after the critical milestone review concluded successfully on 11 January 2022.

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European System Speeds Data Flow with 50,000 Links

EDRS-A in geostationary orbit (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Valuable data is flowing rapidly from Earth observing satellites back to the planet, thanks to the most sophisticated laser communication network ever built.

Day-and-night radar images and multispectral high-resolution images of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas – as well as information for emergency services – are arriving back at Earth in almost real time.

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Data Relay Satellite Beams at Light Speed

EDRS antennas undergoing tests. (Credit: DLR)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed has gained its second satellite.

The European Data Relay System (EDRS) was built to accelerate the flow of information from Earth-observation satellites to people on the ground.

The second satellite in the network, EDRS-C, has now passed its user commissioning review and entered into full service.

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ESA Data-relay Satellite Ready for Service

Artist’s impression of EDRS system in space. (Credit: DLR)

PARIS (ESA) — The second node in the most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed is ready to go into service.

Dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway”, the European Data Relay System (EDRS) helps Earth-observing satellites to transmit large quantities of potentially life-saving data to Europe in near-real time.

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Plasma Crystal Research Conducted on the ISS

ISS and the Columbus module. (Credit: ESA/NASA)
  • Plasma research on the ISS – Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov will be carrying out a new series of experiments from 10 to 16 November 2019
  • Important knowledge for tomorrow – the plasma crystal laboratory PK-4 provides insights into fundamental physical processes
  • Plasma is ionised gas and is considered to be the fourth state of matter in addition to solids, liquids and gases. Complex plasmas are formed when dust particles are present in the neutral gas

TOULOUSE, France (DLR PR) — More plasma research is being conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). From 10 to 16 November 2019, the Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov will be carrying out a new series of experiments with the PK-4 plasma crystal laboratory. Under the direction of scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), Skvortsov will record how microparticles move through a neon plasma in microgravity, forming structures and thus providing insights into basic physical processes.

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Ariane 5 Orbits Communications Satellites on Third Launch of 2019

Ariane 5 lifts off with the Intelsat 5 and EDRS-C communications satellites aboard. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace marked another success for global telecommunications with launch of the Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C satellites, which were deployed to geostationary transfer orbit on its latest flight using a workhorse Ariane 5.

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RUAG Space Builds Brain, Heat Protection for EDRS Data Highway Satellite

Artist’s impression of EDRS system in space. (Credit: DLR)

BERN, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — The European Data Relay System (EDRS), dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway”, uses innovative laser technology to dramatically cut the time needed for Earth observation satellites to deliver information to the ground. The second satellite to join the sister satellite already in orbit is due for launch on 6 August.

The “brain” (onboard computer) of the latest satellite, called EDRS-C, was delivered from RUAG Space to the satellite builder OHB System AG. The onboard computer controls and monitors the payload of the satellite and many other subsystems.

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What Would You 3D Print on the Moon to Make it Feel Like Home?

3D printed food produced by the TNO research centre in the Netherlands, a member of the URBAN consortium investigating 3D printing in support of a lunar base. (Credit: TNO/URBAN)

PARIS, 20 July 2018 (ESA PR) — A new ESA-led project is investigating the ways that 3D printing could be used to create and run a habitat on the Moon. Everything from building materials to solar panels, equipment and tools to clothes, even nutrients and food ingredients can potentially be 3D printed. But if you were headed to the Moon, what would you want to 3D print, to turn a lunar base into a place that feels like home? Tell us your idea, to win a chance of actually getting it printed.

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German Space Agency Funds Study on Uses of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

Dream Chaser undergoing a tow test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
Dream Chaser undergoing a tow test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Tip of the hat to Clark Lindsey at New Space Watch for finding this release.

BREMEN, Germany (OHB System PR) — OHB System AG and the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) signed an agreement providing for the use of funding from the national space program to finance a study to explore possible uses of the U.S. spacecraft Dream Chaser® developed and owned by U.S. company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC).

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