BepiColombo: preparations & launch (timelapse)

This year saw ESA’s science exploration mission BepiColombo begin its seven year cruise to the innermost planet of our Solar System: Mercury. This timelapse recalls some of the preparations that went into readying the mission at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The mission, a joint endeavour between ESA and JAXA, comprises three spacecraft modules: ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter that will study all aspects of Mercury from their complementary orbits around the planet, and ESA’s Mercury Transfer Module that will bring them to the planet using a combination of solar electric propulsion and nine planetary flybys.

The video includes testing of the individual spacecraft units, stacking of the three modules and a protective sunshield into their launch configuration, integration of the spacecraft inside the launcher fairing, roll out to the launch pad, and finally launch itself. The mission lifted off at 01:45:28 GMT on 20 October 2018.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – highlights

Experience magical moments from ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst’s Horizons mission in this time-lapse of highlights from space.

Combining thousands of images taken by Alexander over more than six months, this Ultra High Definition video provides a glimpse into spacecraft operations and the beauty of Earth as seen from the International Space Station.

Marvel at orbital sunrises, dancing auroras, city lights, oceans, clouds, the Milky Way, the release of cargo vehicles, a Soyuz launch and more against the thin band of atmosphere that surrounds our planet.

Watch in 4K resolution for the best effect and find even more of Alexander’s images on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/astro_alex/

Music is Quantum and Time by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock and Ellie Kidd sourced from the Audio Network library.

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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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Soyuz spacecraft launch time-lapse seen from space

This is what three astronauts being launched into space looks like – seen from space. ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took this time-lapse sequence from the International Space Station’s Cupola observatory on 3 December 2018.

Inside the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft were NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Roscosmos astronaut and Soyuz commander Oleg Konenenko. The trio blasted into orbit at 11:31 GMT from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked with the International Space Station just six hours later.

Spacecraft are launched after the Space Station flies overhead. This allowed Alexander to set up a camera to take regular pictures at intervals that are played back to create this video.

The rocket leaves behind a trail of exhaust as it gains altitude and passes through the layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

Download the video from ESA’s space in videos: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2018/12/Soyuz_spacecraft_launch_timelapse_seen_from_space

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Credits: ESA/NASA.

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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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Space Station 20th: longest continual timelapse from space

Since the very first module Zarya launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 20 November 1998, the International Space Station has delivered a whole new perspective on this planet we call home. Join us as we celebrate 20 years of international collaboration and research for the benefit of Earth with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst’s longest timelapse yet.

In just under 15 minutes, this clip takes you from Tunisia across Beijing and through Australia in two trips around the world. You can follow the Station’s location using the map at the top right-hand-side of the screen alongside annotations on the photos themselves.

This timelapse comprises approximately 21 375 images of Earth all captured by Alexander from the International Space Station and shown 12.5 times faster than actual speed.

Music is Orbital Horizons, an original composition by Los Angeles-based musician Matt Piper.

Participate in further Space Station celebrations via social media using hashtag #SpaceStation20th.

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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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Aeolus quick steps to launch

This time-lapse video shows ESA’s #Aeolus satellite being prepared for liftoff. It includes shots from the cleanroom in France, its arrival by ship in French Guiana, preparations at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, roll out to the launch pad and, finally, liftoff on a Vega rocket on 22 August 2018.

Aeolus carries one of the most sophisticated instruments ever to be put into orbit. The first of its kind, the Aladin instrument includes revolutionary laser technology to generate pulses of ultraviolet light that are beamed down into the atmosphere to profile the world’s winds – a completely new approach to measuring the wind from space.

Learn more about Aeolus: http://bit.ly/AeolusESA

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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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Credits of this video: Directed and realised by Stephane Corvaja, ESA; Realised and edited by Manuel Pédoussaut, Zetapress; Music by Hubrid – GALACTIC

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Releasing the Dragon

This timelapse video shows still pictures taken from the International Space Station of the departing #Dragon supply spacecraft. Played in quick succession the video displays faster than real life but in 4K resolution.

The Dragon spacecraft was released from the Station’s robotic arm at 18:38 GMT on 3 August 2018. Thrusters fired to increase its distance from the Space Station and the spacecraft started its deorbit and return to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean less than seven hours after release.

The International Space Station flies at 28 800 km/h above our planet doing a complete orbit in around 90 minutes – during release operations the sun set and rose above the horizon many times.

As Dragon faded into the distance it flew over a stormy part of Earth – lightning flashes can be seen many kilometres below.

Dragon is the only spacecraft that can return to Earth with scientific cargo aside from the Soyuz spacecraft that ferries astronauts to space and back – this flight carried over 1700 kg of cargo.

Watch the release of Cygnus here: https://youtu.be/bttU_rKoti0

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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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Bye bye Cygnus

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor commanded the International Space Station’s 16-m robotic arm to release a #Cygnus supply spacecraft to burn up harmlessly over Earth.

The duo set up the robotic workstation in the European-built Cupola module to follow operations from the observatory. You can see Alexander opening the protective shutters from a window at the start of the video.

The spacecraft was released at 14:17 GMT on 15 July 2018 as the International Space Station flew over Colombia.

Cygnus spent two weeks orbiting Earth on its own allowing engineers to conduct tests as well as releasing a series of miniature satellites before ending its mission.

Watch the release of Dragon here: https://youtu.be/0_TxRN8OnCA

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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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Horizons mission time-lapse – from Alaska to the Andes

Ever wondered what it feels like to fly from Alaska to the Andes in 260 seconds? ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this timelapse footage of Alaska, the USA and South America while orbiting Earth on board the International Space Station.

This timelapse is made up of 6,375 images shown 12.5 times faster than actual speed. Music is Our Oasis by Miriam Speyer, sourced from Audio Network Limited.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – Australia and New Zealand

Māori, as native New Zealanders, refer to their islands as “Aotearoa” or “the land of the long white cloud”. This timelapse from ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst shows Australia and New Zealand shrouded in cloud from the unique viewpoint of the International Space Station.

Comprised of 5,175 photos, this timelapse is 12.5 times faster than actual speed and is set to the soundtrack “Try or Die” sourced from Audio Network Limited.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – an orbital sunrise

Orbiting Earth once every 90 minutes, the International Space Station soars into 16 sunrises and sunsets every single day. Many of these sunrises occur while the crew is working or sleeping, but ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this stunning timelapse of a sunrise to share with us here on Earth.

These photos were taken by Alexander at an interval of two per second and the video has been edited at 25 frames per second.

Music: First Survivors 4 by Los Angeles-based British composer, Luke Richards. Sourced from Audio Network Limited.

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