Horizons hatch opening

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev entered the International Space Station on 8 June after orbiting Earth 34 times to catch up to the weightless outpost. The Expedition 56/57 lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 6 June.

The German astronaut is a returning visitor to the International Space Station, the first of ESA’s 2009 class of astronauts to be sent into space for a second time. During the second part of his mission Alexander will take over as commander of the International Space Station, only the second time an ESA astronaut will take on this role so far.

The mission is called Horizons as a symbol for the unknown and what lies beyond – reflecting on ESA’s strategy to extend human and robotic exploration beyond Earth orbit. While in space, Alexander will work on over 50 European experiments, including testing ways of operating and working with robots to develop techniques required for further human and robotic exploration of our Solar System.

Follow Alexander and his mission via alexandergerst.esa.int.

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Horizons docking

Replay of the docking of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft to the International Space Station with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev on 8 June. The astronauts were launched to Space Station on 6 June from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

After orbiting Earth 34 times to catch up to the International Space Station, the car-sized spacecraft arrived at the Station two days after launch.

The German astronaut is a returning visitor to the International Space Station, the first of ESA’s 2009 class of astronauts to be sent into space for a second time. During the second part of his mission Alexander will take over as commander of the International Space Station, only the second time an ESA astronaut will take on this role so far.

The mission is called Horizons as a symbol for the unknown and what lies beyond – reflecting on ESA’s strategy to extend human and robotic exploration beyond Earth orbit. While in space, Alexander will work on over 50 European experiments, including testing ways of operating and working with robots to develop techniques required for further human and robotic exploration of our Solar System.

Follow Alexander and his mission via alexandergerst.esa.int.

Click here to visit Original posting

Horizons docking

Replay of the docking of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft to the International Space Station with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev on 8 June. The astronauts were launched to Space Station on 6 June from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

After orbiting Earth 34 times to catch up to the International Space Station, the car-sized spacecraft arrived at the Station two days after launch.

The German astronaut is a returning visitor to the International Space Station, the first of ESA’s 2009 class of astronauts to be sent into space for a second time. During the second part of his mission Alexander will take over as commander of the International Space Station, only the second time an ESA astronaut will take on this role so far.

The mission is called Horizons as a symbol for the unknown and what lies beyond – reflecting on ESA’s strategy to extend human and robotic exploration beyond Earth orbit. While in space, Alexander will work on over 50 European experiments, including testing ways of operating and working with robots to develop techniques required for further human and robotic exploration of our Solar System.

Follow Alexander and his mission via alexandergerst.esa.int.

Click here to visit Original posting

Cabo Verde

For World Oceans Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite takes us over the Atlantic Ocean and the Republic of Cabo Verde.

Several of the small islands that make up the archipelago of Cabo Verde can be seen peeking out from beneath the clouds. These volcanic islands lie in the Atlantic Ocean about 570 km off the west coast of Senegal and Mauritania, which frame the image on the right.

The most striking thing about this image, however, is the dust and sand being carried by the wind towards Cabo Verde from Africa. The sand comes mainly from the Sahara and Sahel region. Owing to Cabo Verde’s position and the trade winds, these storms are not uncommon and can disrupt air traffic.

However, this sand also fertilises the ocean with nutrients and promotes the growth of phytoplankton, which are microscopic plants that sustain the marine food web. The iron in the dust is particularly important. Without iron mammals cannot make haemoglobin to transport oxygen around the bloodstream and plants cannot make chlorophyll to photosynthesise. Research has shown that around 80% of iron in samples of water taken across the North Atlantic originates from the Sahara. It can be assumed, therefore, that life in the deep ocean depends on this delivery of fertiliser from one of the world’s most parched regions.

World Oceans Day takes place on 8 June each year and celebrates the ocean, its importance in all our lives, and how we can protect it.

This image, which was captured on 30 May 2018, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Click here to visit Original posting

Cabo Verde

For World Oceans Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite takes us over the Atlantic Ocean and the Republic of Cabo Verde.

Several of the small islands that make up the archipelago of Cabo Verde can be seen peeking out from beneath the clouds. These volcanic islands lie in the Atlantic Ocean about 570 km off the west coast of Senegal and Mauritania, which frame the image on the right.

The most striking thing about this image, however, is the dust and sand being carried by the wind towards Cabo Verde from Africa. The sand comes mainly from the Sahara and Sahel region. Owing to Cabo Verde’s position and the trade winds, these storms are not uncommon and can disrupt air traffic.

However, this sand also fertilises the ocean with nutrients and promotes the growth of phytoplankton, which are microscopic plants that sustain the marine food web. The iron in the dust is particularly important. Without iron mammals cannot make haemoglobin to transport oxygen around the bloodstream and plants cannot make chlorophyll to photosynthesise. Research has shown that around 80% of iron in samples of water taken across the North Atlantic originates from the Sahara. It can be assumed, therefore, that life in the deep ocean depends on this delivery of fertiliser from one of the world’s most parched regions.

World Oceans Day takes place on 8 June each year and celebrates the ocean, its importance in all our lives, and how we can protect it.

This image, which was captured on 30 May 2018, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Click here to visit Original posting