ESA

GomX-4B (Image ESA–G. Porter, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has announced the success of the mission of its GomX-4B nanosatellite in testing new miniaturized technologies that allow really tiny satellites to navigate in space thanks to tiny liquid butane propellers and the positioning system called star tracker to use instruments such as HyperScout, a hyperspectral camera. So far, CubeSat nanosatellites were normally devoid of propulsion systems so this one opens a new era by proving that there are cases in which a shoebox-sized satellite can do the job that until now was the prerogative of satellites hundreds of times more massive with enormously lower costs.

Korolev crater (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published new images of Korolev crater on Mars obtained thanks to of its Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) instrument. Its peculiarity is that it’s filled with water ice and despite the presence of dust its color is white, which is a strong contrast with that of the surrounding land. Normally water can’t remain solid at the very low pressure generated by the Martian atmosphere but near the north pole Korolev crater acts like a cold trap.

The Nili Fossae (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published new photos of the region on planet Mars called Nili Fossae taken by its Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The Nili Fossae are a group of tectonic depressions called graben that show signs not only of geological activity but also of erosion by winds and especially by water that dug the shapes still visible today.

Greeley Crater (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

New images captured by ESA’s Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) show Greeley Crater on Mars. Its name was officially approved in 2015 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to honor geologist Ronald Greeley, who passed away in 2011 after having worked on various Mars missions, also being part of the team that manages the HRSC instrument.