Irradiating an iPhone

Space is a vacuum but it is far from empty, racked with charged particles from the Sun and sources in deep space. Components for space missions therefore have to be tested against radiation at facilities such as ESA’s Cobalt-60 facility at its technical centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands. So what happens when we test standard issue smartphones against its beam of gamma rays?

On 12-16 November 2018 ESTEC hosts SERESSA, the 14th international School on the Effects of Radiation on Embedded Systems for Space Applications, training engineers on radiation effects on all kinds of embedded systems from space and avionics systems, as well as for critical applications operating at ground level such as automotive, medical or even banking.

Noordwijk shake

ESA’s Test Centre based in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, simulates every aspect of space for satellite testing – including recreating the equivalent vibration of a rocket launch. This is ESA’s most powerful shaker: the Hydra hydraulic shaker, able to generate vibration equivalent to a 7.5 Richter scale  earthquake.

Find out more about the test centre: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Test_centre

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ESA is Europe’s gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out http://www.esa.int/ESA to get up to speed on everything space related.

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Orion service module – from components to shipping

A look at the elements that make up the European service module that will provide power, water, air and electricity to NASA’s Orion Moon module.

Made in Europe the service module is integrated in Bremen, Germany, from where it will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the USA for testing and getting ready for launch.

Inside the Service Module, large tanks hold fuel as well consumables for the astronauts: oxygen, nitrogen and water.

Radiators and heat exchangers keep the astronauts and equipment at a comfortable temperature, while the module’s structure is the backbone of the entire vehicle, like a car chassis.

The European Service Module is built by main contractor Airbus, with many companies all over Europe supplying components.

Orion will eventually fly beyond the Moon with astronauts, the first time a spacecraft will support humans with European hardware will also be the farthest humans ever travel from Earth. The first mission – without astronauts – is getting ready for launch in 2019.

Find out more about Orion and ESM: http://www.esa.int/orion

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ESA is Europe’s gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Check out http://www.esa.int/ESA to get up to speed on everything space related.