Thanks to ion propulsion, the Artemis mission is turning near-defeat into a success story. Nominal operations could start this summer, with ESA’s satellite, manufactured by Alenia Spazio as prime contractor (I), playing a significant role in the pursuit of high technology and advanced telecommunications.
On 12 July 2001, 30 minutes after lift-off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, it became apparent that the Ariane 5 launcher had propelled the Artemis satellite into a transf
Proceedings of the Royal Society Series A Vol. 458, No. 2019 Cover Date 8 March 2002
Christiaan Huygens` observations in 1665 of anti-phase synchronisation in two pendulum clocks were the subject of some of the earliest deliberations of The Royal Society but have remained a scientific puzzle. Huygens` acute observations are often quoted but have never been adequately explained – until today. The forthcoming issue of Proceedings A, a Royal Society journal, offers a simple and compelli
Researchers from the Technology Foundation STW and the University of Twente, in cooperation with Smit Transformatoren and Smit Draad, have developed a prototype coil for a superconducting transformer which is not only light and compact but also energy-efficient. A keen interest has already been expressed by several companies.
The coil is made from superconducting wires, insulated using a newly patented method. Furthermore, together with Smit Transformatoren the researchers have developed a m
In the powerful, fast-fading realm of gamma-ray bursts, scientists say they have detected for the first time a lingering afterglow of the shortest types of bursts, which themselves disappear within a second.
This afterglow, radiating in X rays, may provide crucial insight into what triggers the mysterious bursts, the most energetic explosions in the Universe, second only to the big bang in total power. Previously, scientists had only detected the afterglow of longer bursts, which can last fr
Interstellar travellers should be “motivated, tolerant and nice”.
One hundred and sixty fertile, motivated, English speakers could make it to distant stars, researchers have worked out. But generations down the line, returning voyagers may speak an alien tongue.
Travel to planets orbiting other stars will soon be technically possible, the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in Boston heard last week. But the 200-year odyssey will require a cer
Markus Landgraf of the European Space Agency and colleagues (*) have found the first direct evidence that a bright disc of dust surrounds our Solar System, starting beyond the orbit of Saturn.
Remarkably, their discovery gives astronomers a way to determine which other stars in the Galaxy are most likely to harbour planets and allows mission planners to draw up a ’short-list’ of stars to be observed by ESA’s future planet-search missions, Eddington and Darwin.
The discovery of th