ESA is hot on the trail of Geminga

Astronomers using ESA’s X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, have discovered a pair of X-ray tails, stretching 3 million million kilometres across the sky. They emanate from the mysterious neutron star known as Geminga. The discovery gives astronomers new insight into the extraordinary conditions around the neutron star.

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Major In-Orbit Milestone for Dynacon’s MOST Microsatellite

Dynacon Inc. announced that a major milestone in the commissioning of the MOST microsatellite was achieved, with the successful detumbling of the satellite. MOST was launched on June 30, with initial radio contact being made with the satellite a few hours after launch. Since that time, engineers at the MOST Satellite Control Center have been gradually turning on and checking out the various items of equipment in the satellite, a process known as commissioning. All of the primary equipment on MOST has now been activated, and all items are functioning properly.
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The NASA mishap investigation board, charged to review the loss of the X-43A Hyper-X program research vehicle during its June 2, 2001 launch, concluded no single factor or potential contributing factor caused the mishap. The flight failed because the vehicle’s control system design was deficient in several analytical modeling areas, which overestimated the system’s margins.
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Mission Update: Arianespace Flight 162

The S5 satellite preparation facility at the Spaceport in French Guiana is busy with activity as two of the three payloads for Flight 162 undergo their pre-launch preparations.

The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 lunar spacecraft has been mated to its interface adapter, while INSAT-3E for the Indian Space Research Organisation underwent a solar panel deployment test.

All is on schedule for a late August liftoff of Flight 162’s Ariane 5 Generic launcher, which will carry SMART-1 and INSAT-3E, along with e-BIRD for Europe’s Eutelsat.

For the latest photos of activity at the Spaceport, see our Mission Update on the Arianespace Web site:


NASA satellites’ “eyes” above Earth are providing scientists and fire managers with powerful monitoring tools. NASA is providing the “big picture” needed to understand how fires behave before, during, and after damage has been done. A suite of NASA satellites, flying in coordinated fashion, offers the unparalleled insight only possible from space.
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Take one well-seasoned oceanography satellite, the joint NASA-CNES (French Space Agency) Topex/Poseidon, nearing its 11th year in orbit to study the world’s ocean circulation and its effect on climate, mix in a fresh sibling satellite, Jason, and add a dash of ingenuity, and you get what scientists are calling the Jason-Topex/Poseidon tandem mission.
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Space engineering helps drill better holes in planet Earth

Expertise derived from working on the joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan is now being applied to underground drilling machines. This is providing tunnelling engineers with an improved ability to virtually ‘see’ some 40 metres into solid rock and pinpoint obstacles ahead.

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