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From Earth orbit to deep space: sharing the excitement of realtime mission operations at the European Space Agency #WhereMissionsComeAlive 🛰🕹️ #SpaceSafety
May 18 7 tweets 6 min read
On Monday, for the first time, we performed a set of manoeuvres to avoid a high-risk collision w. #SpaceDebris created in the #Cosmos1408 anti-satellite test last year.

This was a difficult #CollisionAvoidance manoeuvre.👏👏to our #Sentinel1A Control Team & Space Debris Office #CollisionAvoidance monitoring is unfortunately routine work at #MissionControl, and our teams are well-practiced in reacting to high-risk events.

This near head-on #collision was however unique; the situation evolved rapidly, was tricky to avoid, AND we had <24 hrs warning
Oct 29, 2020 5 tweets 4 min read
Solar cycle 25: the Sun wakes up🌤️

Experts on the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel recently announced the Sun has officially entered a new cycle, its 25th since we’ve had enough data to reliably recognise them.


ESA/NASA SOHO, 2012 - Brendan Gallagher While we can expect #spaceweather to get more exciting in the next few years, with peak sunspot activity expected in 2025, the panel came to the consensus that this next cycle will be very similar to the previous – both generally weaker than the average solar cycle.

Oct 27, 2020 9 tweets 8 min read
ESA's #missioncontrol centre is preparing for the launch of #Sentinel6 on 10 Nov.

In particular, teams are rehearsing the 'Launch and Early Orbit Phase' – the riskiest period in the fledgling spacecraft's life

Find out more🛰️👉… Image Like a bird hatching from the egg, this is the period in which a new spacecraft unfurls its solar arrays, wakes up to test its core functioning and manoeuvres into the correct path, all the while at its most vulnerable to the hazards of space.

#Sentinel6 Image
Jun 28, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
2️⃣ days til #AsteroidDay!

The second most likely asteroid to strike Earth is 2018 VP1. A tiny little thing, it is estimated to be just 2.4 m in diameter and has a (relatively) high chance of striking Earth in November this year of 1 in 193

#PlanetaryDefence🌍 Even though 2018 VP1 seems very small, meteorites still regularly reach Earth's surface - it all depends on the composition of the asteroid.

ESA & @mfnberlin are currently studying the physical processes as an asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere with velocities above 11 km/s
Oct 1, 2019 9 tweets 5 min read
To date, more than 5800 launches have resulted in over 44,000 tracked objects in orbit, of which more than 20,000 remain in space and are regularly tracked by surveillance networks around the globe
#SpaceDebris🛰️ ~26% of catalogued objects are satellites, and only a small fraction of those - about 2000 - are still operating today
~17% of tracked objects are used upper stages of rockets and mission-related objects like launch adapters and lens covers
A drifting thermal blanket,📸1998
Sep 2, 2019 11 tweets 16 min read
For the first time ever, ESA has performed a 'collision avoidance manoeuvre' to protect one of its satellites from colliding with a 'mega constellation'
#SpaceTraffic @esa This morning, @ESA's #Aeolus Earth observation satellite fired its thrusters, moving it off a collision course with a @SpaceX satellite in their #Starlink constellation
Aug 2, 2019 4 tweets 3 min read
The surprise close approach of asteroid '2019 OK' illustrates need for more eyes on the sky☄️🔭
Find out more:…
#PlanetaryDefence🌍 Two key goals of ESA’s #PlanetaryDefence activities are, by 2030, Europe will be able to
Apr 27, 2019 6 tweets 5 min read
Whats your favourite method to prevent an #AsteroidImpact?
(More info on techniques below. HINT: one is pretty dangerous and another is #sciencefiction)
#PlanetaryDefense🌍☄️ 1. The planned #AIDA mission will be the first to test asteroid deflection. @NASA's #DART spacecraft will be crashed into asteroid #Didymoon, and ESA's #HeraMission will observe the effects. Find out more:…