Hellas Chaos topography

Colour-coded topography map of the Hellas Chaos region found in the Hellas Basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars. White and red show the highest terrains, while blue and purple show the deepest.

This region was imaged by the High Resolution StereoCamera on ESA’s Mars Express on 23 January 2014 during orbit 12 785. The image is centred on 46ºS / 69ºE and has a ground resolution of about 18 m per pixel. North is to the right and west is at the top.

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Hellas Chaos

Hellas Chaos, in the southern central part of the giant Hellas basin, stretches roughly 200 km north–south and for about 500 km in an east–west direction. It shows a variety of landforms, from large impact craters containing wind-blown dunes or flat-topped mesas, to ridges and troughs with rough knobs of material protruding from the surface. The region is also dusted with carbon dioxide frost. In the right-hand portion of the image, the curved outlines of large sublimation pits are interspersed with polygonal-patterned terrain. These features are typical of ‘periglacial’ terrain, and develop as a result of contraction and relaxation during freeze–thaw cycles as the seasons change.

The image was acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 23 January 2014 during orbit 12 785. The image is centred on 46ºS / 69ºE. The ground resolution is about 18 m per pixel. North is to the right and west is at the top.

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Trough in Hellas Chaos

Close-up of a trough-like depression that runs in an east–west direction through Hellas Chaos on the floor of the vast Hellas Basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars. The trough is punctuated with small raised knobs of rough-textured material.

This region was imaged by the High Resolution StereoCamera on ESA’s Mars Express on 23 January 2014 during orbit 12 785. The main image is centred on 46ºS / 69ºE with a ground resolution of about 18 m per pixel.

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Linking by laser for fast data delivery

Sentinel-1A transmits data to Earth when passing over ground stations in Europe. For continual data delivery, the satellite is also equipped with a laser terminal to transmit data to satellites in geostationary orbit carrying the European Data Relay System (EDRS). These satellites then transmit the Sentinel-1 data to the ground. Complementing the Sentinel ground-station network, EDRS ensures the timely availability of large volumes of data. Sentinel-1A is the first in the family of satellites for Europe’s Copernicus programme, the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world. This new satellite carries an advanced radar to image Earth’s surface through cloud and rain, regardless of whether it is day or night. Among its many applications, Sentinel-1 routinely monitors shipping zones, maps sea ice and provides information on winds and waves for marine traffic, tracks changes in the way land is being used, provides imagery for rapid response to disasters such as floods, and monitors uplift and subsidence.

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Highlights of Minister Giannini’s visit to ESRIN

ESA’s centre for Earth Observation welcomed high-ranking representatives of he Italian Government, European institutions and industry on 26 November in an event to mark the 50th anniversary of European cooperation in space. Among the guests were Stefania Giannini, the Italian Minister of Education, Universities and Research, and Head of the Italian Space Agency, ASI, Roberto Battiston.

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Comet on 20 November – NavCam

This mosaic comprises four individual NAVCAM images taken from 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 20 November 2014. The image resolution is 2.6 m/pixel and thus each original 1024 x 1024 pixel frame measured 2.7 km across. The mosaic has been slightly rescaled, rotated, and cropped, and measures roughly 4.2 x 5.0 km.

The four individual images making up the mosaic are available via the blog: Cometwatch - 20 November

This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) licence. The user is allowed to reproduce, distribute, adapt, translate and publicly perform this publication, without explicit permission, provided that the content is accompanied by an acknowledgement that the source is credited as 'European Space Agency – ESA', a direct link to the licence text is provided and that it is clearly indicated if changes were made to the original content. Adaptation/translation/derivatives must be distributed under the same licence terms as this publication. To view a copy of this license, please visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/

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NASA Coverage Set for Fifth SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station

The fifth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Tuesday, Dec. 16, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 p.m. EST.

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International Space Station’s 3-D Printer

The International Space Station’s 3-D printer has manufactured the first 3-D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions. The object, a printhead faceplate, is engraved with names of the organizations that collaborated on this space station technology demonstration: NASA and Made In Space, Inc., the space manufacturing company that worked with NASA to design, build and test the 3-D printer. This image of the printer, with the Microgravity Science Glovebox Engineering Unit in the background, was taken in April 2014 during flight certification and acceptance testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, prior to its launch to the station aboard a SpaceX commercial resupply mission. The first objects built in space will be returned to Earth in 2015 for detailed analysis and comparison to the identical ground control samples made on the flight printer prior to launch. The goal of this analysis is to verify that the 3-D printing process works the same in microgravity as it does on Earth. The printer works by extruding heated plastic, which then builds layer upon layer to create three-dimensional objects. Testing this on the station is the first step toward creating a working "machine shop" in space. This capability may decrease cost and risk on the station, which will be critical when space explorers venture far from Earth and will create an on-demand supply chain for needed tools and parts. Long-term missions would benefit greatly from onboard manufacturing capabilities. Data and experience gathered in this demonstration will improve future 3-D manufacturing technology and equipment for the space program, allowing a greater degree of autonomy and flexibility for astronauts. Image Credit: NASA/Emmett Given

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DIRECTV-14 is “pointed” for its liftoff next week on Arianespace’s dual-payload Ariane 5 mission

The upper passenger for Arianespace's dual-satellite launch from French Guiana next week has been encapsulated in its protective payload fairing, preparing the DIRECTV-14 relay platform for its integration on Ariane 5.

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DIRECTV-14 is “pointed” for its liftoff next week on Arianespace’s dual-payload Ariane 5 mission

The upper passenger for Arianespace's dual-satellite launch from French Guiana next week has been encapsulated in its protective payload fairing, preparing the DIRECTV-14 relay platform for its integration on Ariane 5.

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