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 Here is a video of the Bion M1, during launch preparations. I’ve never heard such music in a science video, it is lovely.  

 Sadly, the mission itself did not go completely according to plan. The mortality rate of all the animals was expected to be below 5%, but for the mammals the mortality rate was over 75%. Due to technical failure most of the mice and gerbils died. The geckos survived. All experiments will be transported to Moscow for further examination. 

"Ow hai, we are Festo and we build another flying thing that will blow your mind"

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This is the Commercial Crew Progress Status Update. It is a good 100 minutes, but it is worth it if you want to be updated on the latest developments in the human commercial spaceflight and what we can expect the upcoming year. It becomes also clear that NASA is still very much involved in the development of all of the vehicles. 

Here are ESA’s plans for 2013 in a nice and compact video.

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Building ESA’s and CONAE’s new deep space antenna, which will be inaugurated this Tuesday.

The ESA Ministerial Council and why it is important.
In just over a week time the most important meeting in the European Space Sector will take place. On the 20th and 21th of November the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level will take place in Napels. This meeting takes place at somewhat irregular intervals (the last one was in 2008, the next one is in 18 months), but at this meeting the future plans for ESA will be outlined.
All the big players (from Europe) will be there (qouting from Parabolic Arc):
20 member states, including newly minted member Poland (two more members than last time)
Cooperating member Canada
Nine European countries with cooperative agreements with ESA
Bulgaria, the only EU country without a cooperative agreement with ESA
European Union
Eumetsat
European Science Foundation
European Defence Agency (Though I didn’t even know we had one)
European Maritime Safety Agency.
 Officially all discussion will be done at the meeting, but everyone is already promoting their ideas and agenda’s. France has been promoting an Ariane 6 lately and  and the UK is boosting its funding for ESA, but isn’t really involved in launchers (or the space station). Germany wants to push for a Lunar Lander (probably in cooperation with EADS Astrium) and prefers the development of the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution. Another issue is the ESA space station contribution of which economical troubled Italy had a big stake. The barter element with NASA has been the ATV, of which only 5 will fly. A current proposal of NASA for continuation of the barter element is that ESA will provide a propulsion module for the Orion, this is backed by Germany. Meanwhile France prefers to develop an active space debris removal mission as a barter element. 
The above topics will be discussed, but since there doesn’t seem to be an agenda available yet for outsiders, the exact topics of discussion will be a bit of a suprise. The Chief executive of UK space David Williams for example thinks that the Launcher issue might be postponed to the next ministerial council meeting.
There is probably more news to come, so keep your eyes and ears open. 
sources: spacenews, parabolic arc, ESA

The ESA Ministerial Council and why it is important.

In just over a week time the most important meeting in the European Space Sector will take place. On the 20th and 21th of November the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level will take place in Napels. This meeting takes place at somewhat irregular intervals (the last one was in 2008, the next one is in 18 months), but at this meeting the future plans for ESA will be outlined.

All the big players (from Europe) will be there (qouting from Parabolic Arc):

  • 20 member states, including newly minted member Poland (two more members than last time)
  • Cooperating member Canada
  • Nine European countries with cooperative agreements with ESA
  • Bulgaria, the only EU country without a cooperative agreement with ESA
  • European Union
  • Eumetsat
  • European Science Foundation
  • European Defence Agency (Though I didn’t even know we had one)
  • European Maritime Safety Agency.

 Officially all discussion will be done at the meeting, but everyone is already promoting their ideas and agenda’s. France has been promoting an Ariane 6 lately and  and the UK is boosting its funding for ESA, but isn’t really involved in launchers (or the space station). Germany wants to push for a Lunar Lander (probably in cooperation with EADS Astrium) and prefers the development of the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution. Another issue is the ESA space station contribution of which economical troubled Italy had a big stake. The barter element with NASA has been the ATV, of which only 5 will fly. A current proposal of NASA for continuation of the barter element is that ESA will provide a propulsion module for the Orion, this is backed by Germany. Meanwhile France prefers to develop an active space debris removal mission as a barter element. 

The above topics will be discussed, but since there doesn’t seem to be an agenda available yet for outsiders, the exact topics of discussion will be a bit of a suprise. The Chief executive of UK space David Williams for example thinks that the Launcher issue might be postponed to the next ministerial council meeting.

There is probably more news to come, so keep your eyes and ears open. 

sources: spacenews, parabolic arc, ESA

At the moment I’m working very close to this beauty, the Fallturm Bremen (fall tower Bremen). In the drop tower, operated by the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) of the university of Bremen, 9 second of weightlessness can be simulated. This is done by catapulting a capsule up into a vacuum tube, and letting it fall down again such that there are no acceleration on the capsule during its travel through the tube.  
The Guardian made a nice little video explaining it better. 

At the moment I’m working very close to this beauty, the Fallturm Bremen (fall tower Bremen). In the drop tower, operated by the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) of the university of Bremen, 9 second of weightlessness can be simulated. This is done by catapulting a capsule up into a vacuum tube, and letting it fall down again such that there are no acceleration on the capsule during its travel through the tube.  

The Guardian made a nice little video explaining it better.