Europe a night

The loss of friends

In the last few days, while under high pressure preparing for the ESA Council meeting at ministerial level, I have been deeply saddened by the loss of two people I very much trusted and admired: Thierry Duquesne...

What a day!

17 November saw two major space events taking place on the one day: the launch of 4 Galileo satellites from Kourou and the lift-off of the European astronaut Thomas Pesquet from Baikonur. Galileo will need close to...

The game of risk

After the orbit insertion of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mother ship (TGO) and the hard touchdown of the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module (EDM), I made some comments in one of my last blog...

Ground displacement from Italy’s earthquake

Space playing a role when tragedy strikes

On 24 August 2016 and in the days that followed, a series of earthquakes hit central Italy. These devastating events claimed many lives and left numerous others seriously injured while also leaving the entire region in a...

Tim Peake, Europe and Brexit

After ESA astronaut Tim Peake returned home safely from his very successful and eventful mission, I was able to catch up with him in northern Norway en route from Kazakhstan with his NASA crewmate Tim Kopra. Even...

Chancellor Angela Merkel visit to ESA's European Astronaut Centre EAC and DLR in Cologne, Germany, 18 May 2016. Image: ESA/S. Grothues.

Chancellor’s messages

On 18 May the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the German Aerospace Center DLR and ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. Instead of a predefined presentation, she asked in advance for a “hands on visit”...