Ariel Spacecraft Passes Crucial Design Review, Bringing ESA Exoplanet Mission Closer to Reality

Long Read

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Ariel exoplanet mission reached an important milestone on December 5th, 2023, when its preliminary spacecraft design successfully passed a key ESA review board. This latest approval formally concludes Ariel's initial design phase after 19 months of refinement to structural specifications and interface requirements....

Exploring the Red Planet: Chinese rover provides comprehensive mapping of Martian subsurface

Long Read

China's Mars rover, Zhurong, has used ground-penetrating radar to map the subsurface of Mars, revealing shallow impact craters and other geologic structures in the top five meters of the planet's surface. China Zhurong to Mars on the Tianwen-1 mission which launched in 2020. The rover landed on the...

Cornwall space launch: why the environmental cost of rocket launches is large even when they fail

Deep Dive

A recent UK mission to launch satellites into space from Spaceport Cornwall in the west of England failed to deliver the satellites to orbit. But the rocket, LauncherOne, succeeded in releasing hazardous pollutants to the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere where many will remain for years....