Author Archives: Daniel

Daniel Scuka is Senior Editor for Spacecraft Operations at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.

Four decades of Vilspa

On 1 September 2017, ESA’s VIL-2 antenna and its supporting facilities was formally retired after 36 years’ service.

Visualisation of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter aerobraking at Mars. With aerobraking, the spacecraft's solar array experiences tiny amounts of drag owing to the wisps of martian atmosphere at very high altitudes, which slows the craft and lowers its orbit. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Crossing Phobos

We did our best to ensure that Phobos would be at the farthest possible point away from TGO when we cross the moon's orbit.

2012TC4 flyby

Asteroid 2012 TC4 flyby

This remarkable footage shows the flyby of asteroid 2012 TC4 during the night of 11/12 October 2017. At the time this was recorded, the estimated 10-20 m-diameter asteroid was approaching Earth. It made its closest approach at...

Fireball from the Chelyabinsk meteor airburst, as recorded by a Russian driver's 'dashcam' during the the morning of 15 February 2013. Credit: ESA

Asteroid 2012 TC4 – ESA experts respond

We've put together a few Q&As provided by Detlef Koschny, responsible for Near-Earth Object (NEO) activities in ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme office.

VMC Image acquired on 25-09-2017 at 07:39:19 at an altitude of %altitude% km above Mars, on Mars Express orbit number 17386. Image #1 out of 1 from this observation. Credit: ESA - European Space Agency, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

VMC went pro and goes great

The VMC camera on Mars Express is delivering some of the best images ever, showing the Martian surface in excellent detail, colour and contrast.

On 17 March 2015, Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa (standing, looking up) and the Cluster flight control team watched closely as the Cluster-1 satellite performed a 17-minute orbital correction manoeuvre. The team operates the four-satellite Cluster mission from ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany. Credit: ESA

Out of limits

How are all important metrics clearly recognizable (and actionable) even in stressful or dangerous situations? - Frederic Hemberger via Twitter

Sentinel-5P simulation training at ESOC 7 Sep 2017. Credit: ESA

ESOC readies for Sentinel-5P

Operations Manager Daniel Mesples on the training and preparations for 5P launch at ESA’s ESOC mission control centre in Germany.