Spacecraft constantly scan the Earth, creating hundreds of gigabytes of new data products daily. Working with this ever-growing mass of information has made ESA’s Earth Observation Directorate a pioneer user of powerful Grid computing.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA scientists studying Mount St. Helens are using high-tech Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to analyze changes in the surface elevation of the crater, which began deforming in late September 2004.
With data derived from airborne LIDAR, scientists can accurately map, often in exquisite detail, the dimensions of the uplift and create better models to forecast volcanic hazards. LIDAR shows, in the two weeks before Oct. 4, the new uplift grew to the height of a 35-story building (110 meters or 360 feet) and the area of 29 football fields (130,000 square meters).
This three-dimensional image shows the shape of Typhoon Songda, which recently struck the Japanese homeland. This visualisation comes from data gathered by ESA’s Envisat environmental satellite.
The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order the Space Shuttles are listed in this report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.
In the Orbiter Processing Facility, technicians continue to perform system testing for Discovery’s Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114, to the International Space Station.
Today sees ESA’s first ever microsatellite complete three years of successful operations. The size of a large television set, Proba was launched to demonstrate new technologies for future European spacecraft, but continues to provide fantastic images of Earth.
On 19 October 2004, ESA and DLR officially inaugurated the Columbus Control Centre. The Centre has been set up under ESA contract in Oberpfaffenhofen at the premises of DLR, near Munich, Germany. The Columbus Control Centre is now ready to take up operations of the European elements of the International Space Station (ISS).
In preparation for the Women International Space Simulation for Exploration (WISE) study, which starts on 22 February next year, an official call for candidates to participate as test subjects was issued on 3 August. Over 700 women have responded in the 10 weeks since then, demonstrating strong interest in the study among potential participants. However, most of the applications are from France, where the WISE study is to take place, and ESA wishes to ensure that women from all over Europe get the chance to participate.
Flight 165’s launch vehicle began its buildup at the Spaceport this week, becoming the second Ariane 5 G currently undergoing preparation in French Guiana for upcoming Arianespace launches. This Ariane 5 G will carry a French governmental payload.
See images of the Flight 165 launch campaign on the Mission Update page of Arianespace’s Website:
NASA scientists and their academic colleagues are providing valuable insights into how DNA encodes instructions for control of basic biological functions. Their research may change the understanding of human diseases.
Scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., worked in collaboration with scientists from Yale University, Columbia University, and the University of Amsterdam. They discovered genes that change during the development of a living organism at every major stage of its life cycle.
The sound of alien thunder, the patter of methane rain and the crunch (or splash) of a landing, all might be heard as Huygens descends to the surface of Titan on 14 January 2005.