@ESA_Cluster #How_We_Fly


Under Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa, the ESA Cluster team posted a series of tweets that describe in 140 characters or less the entire process of flying their mission.

Alphasat is the largest European telecom satellite ever built, exceeding 6.6 tonnes at launch. Its solar array, spanning almost 40 m, generates more than 12 kW of power

Step aside humans: TECO will take care of that

To cope with the payload coordination requirement, an advanced planning and scheduling software system, the ‘TECO System’, was designed to support Alphasat operations and, in particular, to manage and coordinate the payload requests.

Estrack New Norcia

Blog break

The Rocket Science blog will take a break between today and 5 January. During this time, there will be no new posts (well, unless anything extraordinary happens!) and commenting will be disabled. We'll be back in 2016...

LISA Pathfinder - Path to SEL1 Credit: ESA

En route to nothing

It's official! LISA Pathfinder is safely en route to a virtual point in space called the Sun-Earth Libration Point 1 (SEL1), 1.5 million km from Earth. A main engine burn during the weekend provided the thrust needed...

ESA's LISA Pathfinder spacecraft seen in orbit 8 December 2015 at about 20:50 UT (21:50 CET) from the DeSS Deimos Sky Survey, Niefla Mountain, Spain. LISA Pathfinder is the oblong blog seen moving from upper-right to middle-left. Image credit: Deimos/N. Sánchez-Ortiz, J. Nomen, M. Hurtado

LISA Pathfinder spotted!

On the evening of 8 December, LISA Pathfinder was spotted in orbit by a team from DEIMOS Space, working at a new observatory located in Spain: We received a note from Noelia Sánchez-Ortiz, one of the observers,...

LISA Pathfinder apogee-raising orbits, prior to departure for SEL1 Credit: ESA

Five down, one to go

Fifth orbit-raising burn has been executed successfully and Lisa Pathfinder is now in a highly elliptical orbit with apogee above 120 000 km.

LISA Pathfinder's Ian Harrison Credit: ESA/K. Siewert - CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

LISA Pathfinder orbit manoeuvres: so far, so good!

Three done, three to go! These updates were sent in by LISA Pathfinder Spacecraft Operations Manager Ian Harrison Monday evening and this morning, reporting on the results of the Nos. 2 and 3 apogee-raising engine burns (referred...

LISA Pathfinder spacecraft after propulsion module has been discarded Credit: ESA

LISA Pathfinder Burn 1 confirmed

This update sent in this morning by LISA Pathfinder Spacecraft Operations Manager Ian Harrison at ESOC: The evaluation of this morning's main engine burn conducted by LPF – the first of the so-called apogee-raising manoeuvres (ARMs) –...

This image was created using data from the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescopes on NASA's twin Van Allen Probes. It shows the emergence of a new third transient radiation belt. The new belt is seen as the middle orange and red arc of the three seen on each side of the Earth. Image Credit: APL, NASA

Getting to where we want to go: LISA Pathfinder’s...

To travel to SEL1, LISA Pathfinder must raise its apogee to be near the 1.5-million-km point and to do so the spacecraft will perform a sequence of 'apogee raising manoeuvres' providing a velocity increment of more than...