Video: Vega’s Nighttime Blastoff with Sentinel-2B Earth Observer

Vega – the smallest in Europe’s line of launch vehicles – lit up the night skies over the edge of the Amazon on Monday, thundering off to lift the newest member in the Copernicus constellation to orbit, taking the pulse of an ever-changing planet with a series of active observation posts circling the Earth.

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Sentinel-2B Earth-Observation Satellite ready for Nighttime Liftoff atop Vega Rocket

Europe’s Copernicus Earth Observation Constellation will welcome its newest member Monday night when the Sentinel-2B satellite blasts off from the Guiana Space Center atop a Vega Rocket, blazing into orbit to cut in half the revisit time for multispectral images.

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ESA Mars Orbiter completes Plane Change Maneuvers ahead of long Aerobraking Campaign

ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter completed a series of engine burns to shift its orbit around Mars toward a higher inclination in preparation for a lengthy altitude reduction campaign that will take the rest of the year and spiral the spacecraft down into its science orbit from where the orbiter can obtain a detailed inventory of the Martian atmosphere.

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2016 Space Launch Statistics

The year 2016 saw a total of 85 known orbital launch attempts operated by eight nations from space ports in

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ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter delivers first Science Data from Mars ahead of Orbit-Lowering Campaign

The European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter successfully completed a pair of science checkout orbits around Mars and delivered a first glimpse of the scientific results to be expected from the orbiter’s instrument suite once reaching a low orbit around the planet in late 2017.

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One-Second Navigation Error at the Root of Schiaparelli Mars Lander Crash

A one-second glitch led to a 3.7-Kilometer free fall for the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander that crashed on Mars back on October 19 when attempting an experimental parachute-and-rocket-assisted landing on the red planet to pave the way for the ExoMars 2020 mission that aims to dispatch a rover to the Martian surface.

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High Orbital Delivery of Galileo Satellite Quartet captured by Ground-Based Telescope

Unique photos captured last week’s Ariane 5 launch with a quadruplet of Galileo navigation satellites but observers also had eyes high in the sky to capture equally tantalizing views of the four satellites arriving at their orbit destination nearly 23,000 Kilometers above the Earth.

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Detailed Post-Mortem Begins for Schiaparelli Mars Lander after Wreckage Discovery

A 500-million Kilometer journey came to a dramatic end this week when the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander crashed into the surface of Mars at over 300 Kilometers per hour after suffering an as yet unknown failure in the final stages of its descent.

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ExoMars Orbiter Captured in Mars Orbit, Schiaparelli Lander falls silent before Touchdown

ESA’s ExoMars 2016 mission reached a dramatic culmination on Wednesday when the Trace Gas Orbiter successfully inserted itself into orbit around Mars while the Schiaparelli lander attempted a daring landing maneuver to become Europe’s first craft to achieve the feat of landing on Mars.

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