Posted on 25 January 2017 by Daniel
Debris manoeuvre abort
Today’s debris avoidance manoeuvre has been cancelled! To recap: Based on an assessment of information on hand as of late yesterday, it was clear that the conjunction – a close flyby – of a ca. 15-cm chunk...
Posted on 24 January 2017 by Daniel
ESA teams respond to debris risk
A close approach for Swarm-B with a piece of ca. 15-cm debris is forecast for 25 January at 23:10:55 UTC. We're doing something about it.
Posted on 19 August 2016 by Daniel
Little burn results
Here's an update on the second deep-space manoeuvre (DSM-2) with the final assessment based on post-burn tracking data. The burn took place on Thursday, 11 August, DSM-2 and targeted a delta-v of 17.7 m/second during a run...
Posted on 10 August 2016 by Daniel
Deep-space manoeuvre Part 2 – the little burn
On Thursday, 11 August, ExoMars/TGO will conduct DSM-2, designed as a follow-on burn to provide whatever additional delta-v is needed after the first burn in July.
Posted on 6 February 2014 by Daniel
Hitting a comet named Kevin
A fabulous post over at XKCD's What if? BTW: We already knew the answer to this – we just asked ESA's flight dynamics experts! Astrophysicists are always saying things like "This mission to this comet is equivalent to...
Posted on 7 January 2014 by Daniel
The flight dynamics expertise behind Gaia’s criti...
Today is a big day for the flight dynamics experts who determine and predict trajectories, prepare orbit manoeuvres and determine satellite attitudes. At around 19:58 CET this evening, five of Gaia's eight thrusters will be commanded to fire an automated burn lasting almost two hours. It's a critical manoeuvre meant to bring Gaia onto its planned operational orbit about the L2 Lagrange point (a second, smaller, burn on 14 January will complete the process). The event may appear straightforward, but it marks the culmination of years of careful mission analysis work supported by orbital calculations. The ease of getting into the proper orbit – denoted by a mere two lines in the mission...