At the latest meeting of the European Space Agencys Earth Observation Programme Board, which took place at ESA’s Headquarters in Paris on 23 and 24 February, ESA received the green light from its Member States to build and launch a CryoSat recovery mission, CryoSat-2.
The launch of the CryoSat spacecraft was unfortunately aborted on 8 October 2005 due to a malfunction of its Rockot launcher, which resulted in the total loss of the spacecraft.
"This decision is very important, as the scientific community in Europe and elsewhere is eagerly awaiting resumption of the CryoSat mission. We are happy to have obtained approval today", said Volker Liebig, ESA Director of Earth observation programmes.
A CryoSat recovery plan was presented to the Programme Board by ESA’s Executive, which explained the status of ongoing activities and outlined the preparatory work leading to a CryoSat-2 mission, expected to be launched in March 2009.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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