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  • richardmitnick 11:37 am on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA Euclid,   

    From ESA: “Thales Alenia Space kicks off Euclid construction” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    8 July 2013
    No Writer Credit

    “The construction of ESA’s Euclid space mission to explore the ‘dark Universe’ will be led by Italy’s Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor, beginning the full industrial phase of the project.

    euclid
    Euclid

    The announcement follows that of last month when Astrium Toulouse was confirmed to build the payload module – the telescope and optical bench carrying the science instruments.

    Euclid will be launched in 2020 to explore the roles played by dark energy and dark matter in the evolution of the Universe since the Big Bang and, in particular, in its present accelerating expansion.

    Dark matter is invisible to normal telescopes, but acts through gravity to play a vital part in forming galaxies and slowing the expansion of the Universe.

    Dark energy, on the other hand, causes a force that overcomes gravity and that is accelerating the expansion seen around us today.

    Together, they are thought to comprise 95% of the total amount of mass and energy in the Universe, with ‘normal’ matter – from which stars, planets and we humans are made – making up the remaining small fraction. But their nature remains a profound mystery.

    ‘We are pleased to confirm the prime contractor for this exciting mission. With the support of European space industry, we are a step closer to revealing the darkest secrets of the Universe,’ says Professor Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

    ‘This is a long-awaited milestone after the mission concept was first proposed to ESA in 2007, and we are delighted to see that the spacecraft construction can now begin,’ says Yannick Mellier, who leads the Euclid consortium, comprising scientists from 13 European countries and the US.

    The consortium will provide Euclid’s two state-of-the art scientific instruments: a visible-light camera and a near-infrared camera/spectrometer. Together, they will map the 3D distribution of up to two billion galaxies spread over more than a third of the whole sky.

    Light from the most distant galaxies streaming towards Earth is slightly bent by gravity as it interacts with matter along the way. This is dominated by dark matter, whether associated with galaxies and galaxy clusters, or in isolation. Thus, by measuring distortions in the shapes of those background galaxies, astronomers can construct a 3D map of the dark matter in the Universe.

    Furthermore, by assessing how the distribution of galaxies and galaxy clusters has changed over cosmic time, scientists can infer the role and evolution of dark energy from the dawn of the Universe until today.

    The results will help to answer one of the most important questions in modern cosmology: why is the Universe expanding at an accelerating rate today, rather than slowing down due to the gravitational attraction of all the matter in it?”

    See the full article http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Thales_Alenia_Space_kicks_off_Euclid_construction.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.


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  • richardmitnick 3:15 pm on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA Euclid,   

    From JPL Caltech: “JPL to Lead U.S. Science Team for Dark Energy Mission” 

    February 12, 2013

    “The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected three NASA-nominated science teams to participate in their planned Euclid mission, including one team led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

    ESA Euclid spacecraft

    NASA is a partner in the Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to probe the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter. Euclid is currently scheduled to launch in 2020.

    JPL will provide 16 advanced infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of two instruments planned for the mission. In addition, JPL will contribute to science planning and data analysis with the help of its 43-member science team, the largest of the three U.S. teams. This team, led by JPL scientist Jason Rhodes, is composed of 29 scientists recently nominated by NASA, and 14 U.S. scientists who are already part of Euclid.

    Rhodes also was appointed by NASA to be a member of ESA’s principal 12-member Euclid Science Team and the U.S. representative for the Euclid Consortium’s governing body. The Euclid Consortium is an international body of 1,000 members, including the U.S. science team members, and will build the instruments and analyze the science data jointly.

    Euclid will observe up to two billion galaxies occupying more than one-third of the sky with the goal of better understanding the contents of our universe. Everyday matter that we see around us, for example in tables and chairs, people and even stars, makes up only a few percent of everything in our cosmos. If you could fill a bucket with the mass and energy contents of our universe, this everyday matter would fill only a small fraction. A larger amount, about 24 percent, would consist of dark matter, an invisible substance that does not reflect or emit any light, but exerts a gravitational tug on other matter.

    The other two U.S. science teams are led by Ranga-Ram Chary of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; and Alexander Kashlinsky of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; with three and seven members, respectively.

    See the full article here.

    Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
    whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov

    J.D. Harrington 202-358-5241
    NASA Headquarters, Washington
    j.d.harrington@nasa.gov

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

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    NASA JPL Icon


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  • richardmitnick 3:34 pm on January 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA Euclid,   

    From ESA: “NASA joins ESA’s ‘dark Universe’ mission” 

    XMM Newton
    XMM Newton
    herschel
    Herschel
    ESA Planck
    Planck

    24 January 2013

    Markus Bauer
    ESA Science and Robotic Exploration Communication Officer
    Email: markus.bauer@esa.int
    Tel: +31 71 565 6799
    Mob: +31 61 594 3 954

    René Laureijs
    ESA Euclid Project Scientist
    Email: rene.laureijs@esa.int

    Giuseppe Racca
    ESA Euclid Project Manager
    Email: giuseppe.racca@esa.int

    NASA has officially joined ESA’s Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to investigate the mysterious natures of dark matter and dark energy.

    euclid
    Euclid

    To be launched in 2020, Euclid’s 1.2 m-diameter telescope and two scientific instruments will map the shape, brightness and 3D distribution of two billion galaxies covering more than a third of the whole sky and looking back over three-quarters of the history of the Universe.

    Scientists hope to solve key problems in our understanding of the evolution and fate of our expanding cosmos: the roles played by ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’.

    NASA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ESA outlining its contribution to the mission. The US agency will provide 20 detectors for the near-infrared instrument, which will operate alongside a visible-wavelength camera. The instruments, telescope and spacecraft will be built and operated in Europe.

    NASA has also nominated 40 US scientists to become members of the Euclid Consortium, who will build the instruments and analyse the science data returned from the mission. The consortium already includes almost 1000 scientists from 13 European countries and the US.

    ‘NASA is very proud to contribute to ESA’s mission to understand perhaps the greatest science mystery of our time,’ said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.”

    See the full article here.

    ESA Space Science Banner

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.


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    • SpaceFriday 9:35 pm on January 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on SpaceFriday and commented:
      Dark matter, unlike most of our own planet’s little “mysteries,” is a real enigma with big potential.

      Like

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