Skimming an alien atmosphere

Mission controllers are preparing for the ultimate challenge: using drag from the Red Planet’s atmosphere to lower ExoMars/TGO into its final Mars orbit.

Time to update?

Updating TGO OS

The ExoMars Trace Gas orbiter received an updated ‘operating system’ – the basic software that runs the craft just like the Windows® software that runs a PC.

Strengthening the Mars Telecommunications Network credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA

Aced: TGO data relay capability

On 22 November 2016, the NASA radio system on ESA's Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which arrived at Mars in October, succeeded in its first test of receiving data transmitted from NASA Mars rovers, both Opportunity and Curiosity....

Maspalomas station. Credit: ESA/F. Macia

Rumba decides to spontaneously reboot

The Cluster flight control team communicates avidly via mobile text messaging, and soon the on-call engineer was being assisted by two colleagues who came in to provide assistance.

Cluster satellites study the effects of solar wind. Credit: ESA

Come back from the dark side

Cluster spacecraft 3 and 4 went through a Moon eclipse this morning at around 06:00z (08:00 CET). In both cases, the eclipse lasted on the order of 30 minutes.

Full Moon seen from the ISS in August 2016 Credit: NASA/Jeff Williams

Dance with the Moon

We're celebrating today's Supermoon with a little fun: take a look outside tonight, then pop back in where it's warm and listen to our new Spotify playlist, and dance with the Moon!

The Rosetta phone Credit: ESA

Rosetta’s deep-space ringtone

One of the responsibilities of the engineers on any mission's Flight Control Team is to monitor the spacecraft and react immediately in case of trouble.

Mars Express orbit Credit: ESA

Keeping MEX warm

Details, register to attend or watch live: Mars Express - Open Data Day 28 October 2016

The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope for radio astronomical research at metre wavelengths. GMRT is a very versatile instrument for investigating a variety of radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby Solar system to the edge of observable Universe. Credit: National Centre for Radio Astrophysics - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Listening to an alien landing

We're listening: Earth tracking the Schiaparelli lander 19 October Today's blog post was contributed by Thomas Ormston, a spacecraft operations engineer working here at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany. Since its successful separation on Sunday, 16 October, Schiaparelli has...