14 Sep 2021

Announcing Earth observation hackathon winners

Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon

In June 2021, more than 4300 participants from 132 countries and territories came together to solve challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. ESA, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are pleased to announce CleverChart and TRACER as the winners of the Open Science Award.

Source: ESA news

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13 Sep 2021

Kibo | Space Station 360 (in French with English subtitles available)


Video:
00:02:59

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet takes you on a tour of the International Space Station like no other. Filmed with a 360 camera, the Space Station 360 series lets you explore for yourself alongside Thomas’s explanation – this is the Kibo module.

Kibo is the Japanese module, also known as the Japanese Experiment Module or JEM. Thomas takes you through the hardware available for the astronauts and researchers on Earth and the unique airlock and storage space in Kibo.

The video is part of a series with Thomas showing each module in full 360 surround video.

Click and drag with your mouse or move your smartphone around to see different angles and feel like you are in space with Thomas.

Follow Thomas: https://blogs.esa.int/exploration/it/category/astronauts/thomas-pesquet/

The video is in French, to activate the English subtitles, click on the CC icon at the bottom right of the YouTube player.

Access the other Space Station 360 videos

Source: ESA news

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10 Sep 2021
10 Sep 2021

Volcanic trenches on Mars


Image:

This image of the young volcanic region of Elysium Planitia on Mars [10.3°N, 159.5°E] was taken on 14 April 2021 by the CaSSIS camera on the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

The two blue parallel trenches in this image, called Cerberus Fossae, were thought to have formed by tectonic processes. They run for almost one thousand km over the volcanic region. In this image, CaSSIS is looking straight down into one of these 2 km-wide fissures.

The floor here is a few hundred metres deep and is filled with coarse-grained sand, likely basaltic in composition, which appears blue in the CaSSIS false-colour composite image. The flat volcanic plains nearby are punctured by small impact craters, which expose possibly the same basaltic materials that we see within Cerberus Fossae.

TGO arrived at Mars in 2016 and began its full science mission in 2018. The spacecraft is not only returning spectacular images, but also providing the best ever inventory of the planet’s atmospheric gases, and mapping the planet’s surface for water-rich locations. It will also provide data relay services for the second ExoMars mission comprising the Rosalind Franklin rover and Kazachok platform, when it arrives on Mars in 2023.

Source: ESA news

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10 Sep 2021

Selection begins | ESA’s next astronauts


Video:
00:03:30

Work is under way to sort and assess applications from more than 22 500 ESA astronaut hopefuls. The rigorous selection process will take around 18 months. Initial screening to ensure that basic criteria are met will be followed by medical and psychological tests, exercises and interviews.

ESA plans to recruit 4-6 new astronauts through this 2021-22 selection round to support the future of European space exploration. This is likely to include missions to the International Space Station as well as the Moon. As part of the selection process, ESA is also assessing the feasibility of flying an astronaut with a physical disability.

More information about the ESA Astronaut Selection is available online at https://esa.int/YourWayToSpace

Source: ESA news

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10 Sep 2021
09 Sep 2021
09 Sep 2021

Moon rock class in session


Image:

School is also back in session for ESA astronaut Andrea Mogensen (right) and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins. Together with European Astronaut Centre engineer Robin Eccleston (far left), the trio are taking part in this year’s Pangaea field training campaign to become better field scientists.

With all eyes set on the Moon, the three-week campaign has increasingly focussed on lunar geology. Now in its fourth edition, the course kicked off this week with background lessons by top planetary scientists on identifying rock samples of interest for exploration.

In this image Andreas and his fellow students use a microscope to analyse samples.  

Later, the class went on a field trip to the Bletterbach canyon in the Italian Dolomites. The eight-km long and 400-m deep gorge contains around 10 billion tonnes of rock transported to the valley since the end of the glacial age, around 18 000 years ago.

The gorge is the result of sedimentary processes quite similar to those found on Mars and is an ideal site to put classroom knowledge into practice.

In later sessions, the trainees will also visit the Ries Crater in Germany and the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote, Spain, to unravel not only lunar but also martian features on Earth. They will use more sophisticated tools that will allow them to explore their geography from the microscopic to the macroscopic level.

The participants will wear a virtual reality headset to immerse themselves in a real martian landscape. Together with images and dozens of 3D maps, the trainees will see a combination of ground truth information and satellite images with the PLANetary MAPping project (PLANMAP) running behind the scenes.

Follow Pangaea on social media for live updates and on the blog for more in depth articles.

Source: ESA news

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08 Sep 2021
08 Sep 2021

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