Cardiff from Space

Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is featured in this ALOS image. Recognised as the capital in 1955, Cardiff is Europe’s youngest capital city. Together Wales, England and Scotland form Great Britain ­ an island lying off the north-western coast of mainland Europe and to the east of Ireland. Of the British Isles, Great Britain is the largest and is also the largest island in Europe.

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Ensuring safety in orbit

In space, there’s no up or down, and exact distances between objects are difficult to judge. Astronauts using Canadarm on the Space Shuttle and Canadarm2 on the International Space Station must delicately manoeuvre precious cargo on a precise path. Helping the crews achieve this task as they guide the robotic arms is a special 3-D vision system that calculates both the position and orientation. The Space Vision System, developed by Ottawa’s Neptec for the Canadian Space Agency, is cutting-edge technology that has many space applications. It is also used commercially to monitor structures on Earth.

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Venus Express

On 20 April 2006, after its first 9-day, elongated orbit around Venus, ESA’s Venus Express started to get closer to the planet, until it reached its final 24-hour long orbit on 7 May. During this time, and up to today, the spacecraft has been working relentlessly: the new data coming in are already providing first glimpses on planetary features never seen before.

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Botswana from Space

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is highlighted in the lower left corner of this Envisat image. The Okavango Delta ­ the world’s largest inland delta ­ is a labyrinth of lagoons, swamps, channels and islands and is home to a vast array of wildlife, with a third of the greater delta area being protected by the Moremi Wildlife Reserve.

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International Polar Year 2007-2008

Thousands of scientists from 60 countries will be conducting research during International Polar Year 2007-2008 and will, for the first time during an International Polar Year, be armed with satellite measurements offering complete coverage of the polar regions, which play a vital role in the Earth’s climate and ecosystems.

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