Arianespace lofts three satellites with Ariane 5

Arianespace logged a triple success Sept. 27 on Flight 162, when an Ariane 5G orbited India’s INSAT 3E, the e-BIRD satellite for Eutelsat, and Europe’s SMART-1 lunar probe.

This mission marked the first time an Ariane 5 lofted such a triple payload, and it was the initial Ariane launch carrying a spacecraft bound for the Moon.

For full details on this accurate Ariane 5 flight, see the Mission Update and press release on the Arianespace Web site:

SMART-1 leaves Earth

SMART-1, Europe’s first science spacecraft designed to orbit the Moon, has completed the first part of its journey by achieving its initial Earth orbit after a flawless launch during the night of 27/28 September.

The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 was one of three payloads on Ariane Flight 162. The generic Ariane-5 lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, at 2014 hrs local time (2314 hrs GMT) on 27 September (01:14 Central European Summer time on 28 September).
Continue reading


Eutelsat’s new satellite marks a milestone for building broadband in Europe.

Paris, Kourou, September 27, 2003 Eutelsat announces the successful launch of e-BIRD, the first satellite in the world specially designed for two-way broadband communications. Built by Boeing Satellite Systems, e-BIRD was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana during the night of September 27 to 28 at 23.14 GMT (01.14 Paris time). After a series of in-orbit tests, the satellite will enter service in November at 33 degrees East in order to provide coverage of Europe and Turkey.
Continue reading


Immerse yourself in an interactive exploration of NASA’s greatest achievements and challenges, as we mark the agency’s 45th anniversary.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 1 p.m. EDT, NASA Television and ( take you on an exciting tour of the agency’s historic past and present, and we’ll give you a glimpse into the future of exploration. Plus, put your knowledge of NASA to the test with our multimedia trivia challenges.
Continue reading


NASA and Spanish scientists, who are developing ways to drill into Mars in search of underground life, will take part in eight worldwide, educational webcasts from their project site near Spain’s Rio Tinto River from Sept. 29 to Oct. 15.

NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC) scientist Carol Stoker will kick off the webcast series on Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. EDT with a talk about the Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE). According to Stoker, mineral deposits like the ones the MARTE project is drilling into may also be found in the Martian subsurface.
Continue reading


Students from second grade through high school at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, quizzed NASA International Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, on September 15 about how he’s faring aboard the ISS. The early morning contact between NA1SS on the ISS and WH6PN in Honolulu marked the 115th Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contact. Lu told the students that living in space makes him appreciate life on Earth.
Continue reading

ZARM Drop Tower becomes ESA External Facility

The European Space Agency is to declare the “Zentrum für Angewandte Raumfahrt Microgravitation” ZARM Drop Tower in Bremen an ESA External Facility. This prestigious title will be conferred at a ceremony at ZARM on 2 October, beginning at 12:45, attended by the Mayor of Bremen and President of the City Senate Dr Henning Scherf, Prof. Dr Hans J. Rath, ZARM Director General, Dr Hans Kappler, ESA Director of Industrial Matters and Technology Programmes, and Mr Gaele Winters, ESA Director of Technical and Operational Support.
Continue reading

Baby satellites

ESA’s second microsatellite, Proba-2, is under development for a launch early in 2006. Like Proba-1, in orbit since October 2001, Proba-2 will be no larger than a domestic washing machine and will weigh only 100 kilograms. The name Proba comes from the Project for On-board Autonomy. It blazes a trail for space engineering in the future, when spacecraft will make operational decisions for themselves. It also typifies a trend towards small but powerful spacecraft, made feasible by advances in miniaturization.

Read more: