ATV-4 in its container together with its temperature control unit 19 Sep 2012. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique

Why are satellites treated so carefully on Earth?

You've got questions – and we've got answers! We saw this tweet yesterday: @esaoperations Why do Satelites have to be treated so carefully while on earth? I mean they have no problem sitting on top of a...

Main Control Room at ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany. Credit: ESA/P. Shlyaev

Update on Progress M-27M / 59P

Progress M-27M / 51 reentry risk: In six decades of space flight, no person has ever been hit by any piece of reentering satellite or debris.

Perth station Credit: ESA CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

ESA tracking stations support Soyuz

Estrack engineers Gerhard Billig and Robert Launer have been at Santa Maria and Perth, respectively, for a number of days now, helping configure the stations for launcher tracking.

ESOC Navigation Support Office Credit: ESA/J. Mai

Knowing where Galileo flies

On 19 March, ESA's Navigation Support Office generated the first 'Precise Orbit Determination' (POD) for a Full Operational Capability (FOC) Galileo satellite.

Estrack New Norcia

Happy Birthday, New Norcia!

Great ambient audio on this clip, recorded in 2012 when ESA's 35m deep-space tracking station at New Norcia, Western Australia, was undergoing maintenance.

IXV floating and waiting for recovery


IXV glided through the atmosphere before parachutes deployed to slow the descent further for a safe splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.