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Destination: Moon

ESA has released this beautiful and informative video called Destination: Moon about lunar exploration, enjoy!

Helping China to the Moon

Chang'e-3 / Yutu Moon rover. Credits: CNSA

[ESA Press Release - 29.11.2013]
Shortly after China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft departs Earth to land on the Moon, ESA’s network of tracking stations will swing into action, providing crucial support for the vessel’s five-day lunar cruise.

Moon mission beams laser data to ESA station

LADEE transmitting laser signal. Credits: NASA

[ESA Press Release - 01.11.2013]
ESA’s ground station on the island of Tenerife has received laser signals over a distance of 400 000 km from NASA’s latest Moon orbiter. The data were delivered many times faster than possible with traditional radio waves, marking a significant breakthrough in space communications.

Laser communications set for Moon mission

LADEE approaches lunar orbit. Credits: NASA

[ESA Press Release - 30.07.2013]
An advanced laser system offering vastly faster data speeds is now ready for linking with spacecraft beyond our planet following a series of crucial ground tests. Later this year, ESA’s observatory in Spain will use the laser to communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter.

Building a lunar base with 3D printing

Lunar base made with 3D printing. Credits: Foster+Partners

[ESA Press Release - 31.01.2013]
Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.

ESA workhorse to power NASA’s Orion spacecraft

Orion with the MPCV-SM from ESA. Credits: ESA

[ESA Press Release - 16.01.2013]
ESA agreed with NASA today to contribute a driving force to the Orion spacecraft planned for launch in 2017. Ultimately, Orion will carry astronauts further into space than ever before using a module based on Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle technology.

Testing Mars and Moon soil for sheltering astronauts from radiation

Apollo 11 and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[ESA Press Release - 10.10.2012]
Humans venturing beyond Earth orbit deeper into space face increased exposure to cosmic radiation, so ESA has teamed with Germany’s GSI particle accelerator to test potential shielding for astronauts, including Moon and Mars soil.

ESA to catch laser beam from Moon mission

A computer-generated model of the LADEE spacecraft. Credits: NASA/Ames

[ESA Press Release - 19.06.2012]
In 2013, a NASA satellite will beam digital signals to an ESA receiving station fast enough to stream dozens of movies at once. The test will help to demonstrate the readiness of next-generation optical links for future data-intensive deep-space missions.

Student Moon Orbiter passes preliminary review

ESMO spacecraft concept. Credits: ESMO Team

[ESA Press Release - 08.04.2010]
The European Student Moon Orbiter (ESMO) project passed its System Requirements Review (SRR) during a workshop held 22-26 March at ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The successful outcome marked a major milestone in the project’s development.

More than 30 participants attended the event, including one student from each of the participating universities, and staff from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), the project’s prime contractor.

Fly us to the Moon…south pole to be precise

Soft lander proposal from EADS Astrium. Credits: EADS Astrium

[ESA Press Release - 31.03.2010]
The south polar region of the Moon, with dark craters and high ridges, is a world away from the relatively smooth terrain visited by Apollo astronauts four decades ago. This rugged moonscape is the target for Europe’s next leap into space.

The possible deposits of water ice, heavily cratered terrain and long periods of sunlight make the lunar south pole and areas around it extremely interesting for explorers and scientists. It is therefore a prime target for future human missions to the Moon.

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