Galileo’s search and rescue service in the spotlight

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  • Title Norwegian search and rescue
  • Released 06/04/2017 9:41 am
  • Copyright © Sysselmannen på Svalbard–Birgit Adelheid Suhr
  • DescriptionA helicopter airlift during a Norwegian search and rescue exercise on the Svalbard archipelago.
  • Id 375706
6 April 2017Europe’s Galileo satnav network does more than let us find our way – it is also helping to save lives. Today sees a spotlight cast on Galileo’s Search and Rescue service, which pinpoints people in distress on land or sea.


The service is Europe’s contribution to the Cospas–Sarsat international satellite-based locating system that has helped to rescue more than 42 000 people since 1982 – the only system that can independently locate a distress beacon wherever it is activated on Earth.

The service is being formally premiered today, a date chosen to highlight the Cospas–Sarsat 406 MHz signal.

This new system has already proven its worth, as Tore Wangsfjord, Chief of Operations at Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre recounted to a satnav meeting in Munich, Germany, last month.

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Exoplanet mission gets ticket to ride

  • Title Soyuz launch
  • Released 06/04/2017 4:30 pm
  • Copyright ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE/Optique Video Du CSG
  • DescriptionCheops will be launched on a Soyuz from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The image shows the first Soyuz launch from Kourou, in 2011.
  • Id 375629
6 April 2017A Soyuz rocket operated by Arianespace from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou will boost ESA’s upcoming exoplanet satellite into space.

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Lost in space

Spotting debris

During a spacewalk on 30 March 2017, a thermal shield - a piece of fabric - was inadvertently lost. The loss posed no immediate danger to the astronauts or Station, but it does highlight the problem of space edbris.



  • Title Spotting debris
  • Released 06/04/2017 9:00 am
  • Copyright Marco Langbroek, 2017
  • DescriptionOn 30 March, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson ventured outside the International Space Station on a seven-hour spacewalk. The duo’s work included installing four thermal shields on the US Tranquility module, protecting a docking port.

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Dream Chaser to use Europe’s next-generation docking system

6 April 2017ESA and a team of European industrial contractors led by QinetiQ Space have finalised an agreement with Sierra Nevada Corporation for the use of Europe’s International Berthing Docking Mechanism on the Dream Chaser spaceplane.

The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser is being developed as a reusable, lifting-body, multimission spacecraft capable of landing at commercial airports or spaceports that can accommodate large commercial aircraft anywhere in the world.

Selected to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract, it is a safe, affordable, flexible and reliable system, designed to provide crewed and uncrewed transportation services to low orbit destinations, such as the Space Station and future commercial space infrastructures.

The International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM) is an androgynous, contact force-sensing, low-impact docking system, capable of docking and berthing large and small vehicles.

The IBDM consists of the Soft-Docking System and the Hard-Docking System. The first captures and actively dissipates the kinetic energy of the two spacecraft. The second makes the structural pressurised connection between the spacecraft.

The IBDM is fully compatible with the International Docking System Standard (IDSS) defined by the Station partner agencies and with the new docking ports being made available at the Station.

ESA developed the docking system in cooperation with NASA, with the goal of building a modern docking system for space vehicles visiting the Station after the Space Shuttle’s retirement.

The dual active control loop markedly improves on existing technology by reducing the docking forces on the space infrastructure and by enabling the capture and docking of a wide range of spacecraft mass and flight envelopes.

QinetiQ Space has been leading IBDM development since the beginning and it has set up an industrial team including SENER (Spain and Poland), responsible for the Hard-Docking System, Ruag AG (Switzerland) for the linear actuators, and Maxon (Switzerland) for the electric motors.

David Parker, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, notes, “This agreement is an additional step forward in international cooperation and it has a strategic value in view of ESA’s current involvement and future plans for international human exploration missions, as well as for potential commercial activities and servicing scenarios in low orbit. SNC has shown interest in joining forces with Europe for a mutually beneficial cooperation.”

“We have always envisioned the Dream Chaser to be a vehicle with global reach and have actively sought international cooperation,” said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area.

“This IBDM partnership is a significant example of that. SNC is very pleased to be working with ESA and its industrial partners on this technology.”

Textron Aviation wins Turbo Skyhawk JT-A order from Purdue Aviation

WICHITA, Kan. (April 5, 2017) – Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced it has received an order from Purdue Aviation, LLC for a Cessna Turbo Skyhawk JT-A. The delivery to Purdue Aviation will be the first in the U.S. following Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of the aircraft equipped with the next-generation Garmin G1000 NXi integrated cockpit. The company expects to achieve certification later this year.

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Textron Aviation piston aircraft feature Garmin G1000 NXi avionics at Sun ‘n Fun 2017

LAKELAND, Fla. (April 4, 2017) –Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, is highlighting its leadership and investment in the piston segment at this year’s Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in & Expo in Lakeland, Florida. Textron Aviation’s static display of aircraft includes the show debut of the next-generation Garmin G1000 NXi equipped Cessna Turbo Stationair HD, Cessna Skylane 182 and Beechcraft Baron G58. The company is also displaying the high-performance Cessna TTx with touch-screen Garmin G2000 avionics.

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Textron Aviation is displaying its class-leading aircraft at Aero Friedrichshafen 2017

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (April 5, 2017) – Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company is showcasing seven of its class-leading aircraft at the 2017 Aero Friedrichshafen exhibition this week at the Friedrichshafen Airport from April 5-8. The company is highlighting its leading light jet platforms and its best-selling Beechcraft King Air and Cessna Caravan turboprops, as well as debuting the next-generation Garmin G1000 NXi-equipped piston aircraft at this year’s show.

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Mocoa on the radar

Sentinel-1 sees Mocoa landslide



  • Title Sentinel-1 sees Mocoa landslide
  • Released 04/04/2017 5:05 pm
  • Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by I. Parcharidis, Harokopio University of Athens
  • DescriptionSentinel-1 radar coverage from before and after the 1 April 2017 mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia, shows the extent of movement of the disaster that claimed over 260 lives, injured hundreds more and left scores displaced.

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