Tag Archives: testing

ESA's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) carries two Electra radios provided by NASA. This image shows a step in installation and testing of the first of the two radios, inside a clean room at Thales Alenia Space, in Cannes, France, in June 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/TAS

Update on TGO data relay

The first in-flight data-relay tests were conducted with the NASA rovers in November 2016; these were successful.

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...

Rosetta and Philae engineering testing at ESOC today

The joint ESA/DLR team are working this week at ESOC, testing the Philae lander simulator together with the Rosetta engineering model (photos in Flickr). ESA's Armelle Hubault, from the Rosetta flight control team, just sent in this update: Today, we are simulating the need for a shift in the separation time, i.e. the time when the lander separates from the Rosetta spacecraft. The purpose of this test is to verify that the procedures we have in place to shift all Lander activities is working as expected. In our simulation, separation was originally planned at 15:00 CET, (and all the Lander data commands were uplinked as they would be, using this time). Then,...

Operations don’t start at launch – the Gaia...

Today's update comes from the Gaia Spacecraft Operations Manager, Dave Milligan, working today with the flight control team at ESOC on a final system validation test. When Gaia is released from the Fregat upper stage of its Soyuz launcher, ESA's mission control team at ESOC in Darmstadt will take over command and – from then on until the end of the mission (planned to be at least 5.5 years) – look after all operations. However, like the spacecraft itself, operation of the mission start a long time before the launch. Gaia is a complex spacecraft, using the most-up-to-date space technology in many areas to achieve its challenging mission objectives (see 'Charting the...

Cassini-Huygens eight years later: Modest hero sparks t...

ESOC radio engineer Boris Smeds has become a modest celebrity for his single-handed discovery of a fatal design flaw in Huygens' radio relay link; one magazine credibly dubbed him a "hero." But developing the mission recovery plan required a team effort involving hundreds. Editor's note: Repost of an article published in January 2005. Today marks the 8th anniversary of the landing of ESA's Huygens – delivered by NASA's Cassini – on Titan. The touchdown remains today the farthest landing ever made by a human artefact. Media interest in the little-known story of how the Huygens mission was recovered from near-certain disaster started to grow last fall as the joint NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission neared its...

ESA’s new tracking station gets ready in the Arge...

"Construction is done. Now, we're in the handover phase, where ESA Engineering is passing the station facility over to ESA Operations and we're verifying that it meets all specifications," says ESA's Roberto Maddè, manager of the construction project. ESA’s new 35m deep space tracking station, DSA 3, located near the town of Malargüe in Mendoza province, Argentina, will join two existing stations – DSA 1 and 2 – in New Norcia, Australia, and Cebreros, Spain, to provide global coverage for the Agency’s deep-space missions. First signals received from Mars Express With major construction complete, teams are preparing DSA 3 for formal inauguration late this year and entry in routine service early in 2013. The...