24/7 Space News
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Europe space telescope's sight restored after de-icing procedure
Europe space telescope's sight restored after de-icing procedure
By Daniel Lawler
Paris (AFP) Mar 26, 2024

The vision of the Euclid space telescope has been restored following a delicate operation that successfully melted a thin layer of ice that had been clouding its sight, the European Space Agency announced on Tuesday.

There had been fears that the creeping ice could delay the mission of Europe's space telescope, which blasted off in July on the world's first mission to investigate the cosmic mysteries of dark matter and dark energy.

However a de-icing procedure to gently warm up an optimal mirror on the telescope "performed significantly better than hoped", the ESA said.

"After the very first mirror was warmed by just 34 degrees, Euclid's sight was restored," it added.

In November, scientists on the ground noticed that they were losing a little light coming into the telescope's visible light imager.

They determined that the problem was a layer of ice -- thought to be just the width of a strand of DNA -- building up on the telescope's optical surfaces.

There are heaters onboard that can warm up the entire spacecraft, a process that was carried out shortly after Euclid launched.

But heat expands many materials, and warming up the whole spacecraft now would require careful recalibration.

That had the potential to delay the telescope's mission by months, Euclid instrument operations scientist Ralf Kohley told AFP last week.

So the team opted instead to warm up single mirrors, hoping to clear up the problem without having to heat the whole spacecraft.

Kohley had said they would move through a number of different mirrors until they found the right one.

But the ESA emphasised they had solved the problem by heating up the very first mirror attempted.

- Wide view of the universe -

Keeping out water is a common problem for all spacecraft.

Despite best efforts on the ground, a tiny amount of water absorbed during a spacecraft's assembly on Earth can smuggle its way to space.

Faced with the cold vastness of space, the water molecules freeze to the first surface they can -- in this case Euclid's mirrors.

The ice was not Euclid's first setback.

The team on the ground previously fixed a software problem in which cosmic rays confused the spacecraft's guidance sensor.

Some unwanted sunlight also interfered with the telescope's observations, a problem solved by slightly rotating the spacecraft, Kohley said.

Euclid is not far from its fellow telescope, the James Webb, at a stable hovering spot around 1.5 million kilometres (more than 930,000 miles) from Earth.

In contrast to Webb's spectacularly long-distance sight, Euclid takes in a far wider view of the cosmos.

It will use this vision to chart one third of the sky -- encompassing a mind-boggling two billion galaxies -- to create what has been billed as the most accurate 3D map ever of the universe.

Scientists hope this will help shed more light on dark matter and dark energy, which are thought to make up 95 percent of the universe but remain shrouded in mystery.

Related Links
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters
Tweet

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
GMV Secures Contract for Development of Time-Keeping Systems for Revolutionary SKA Telescopes
London, UK (SPX) Mar 19, 2024
GMV has been selected to develop the Timescales for the Square Kilometre Array Observatory's (SKAO) innovative telescopes, positioning itself at the forefront of the next-generation radio astronomy. The SKAO, an international entity headquartered at the iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, is on a mission to revolutionize our comprehension of the cosmos through the construction and operation of state-of-the-art radio telescopes. These endeavors aim not only to enhance our understanding of the univ ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NanoAvionics Partners with Neuraspace for Advanced Space Traffic Management Solutions

Russia's Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft docks to ISS

Advanced Space Revolutionizes Moon Navigation with AI-Powered CAPSTONE Experiment

Xi tells Dutch PM Rutte 'no force can stop' China tech progress

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
TEXUS rockets propel scientific research with recent successful launches

SpaceX launches 23 satellites, completing 260th reflight of an orbital class rocket

Starship's Third Launch: A Glimpse into the future of reusable launch vehicles

Finishing touches for South Australia's first permanent spaceport ahead of Inaugural Launch

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Fascinated by Fascination Turret: Sols 4137-4138

Bipartisan Congressional call to ensure Mars Sample Return a success

Perseverance Pays off When Studying the Martian Atmosphere

Mars Express achieves 25,000 orbits

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Shenzhou 17 astronauts complete China's first in-space repair job

Tiangong Space Station's Solar Wings Restored After Spacewalk Repair by Shenzhou XVII Team

BIT advances microbiological research on Chinese Space Station

Chang'e 6 and new rockets highlight China's packed 2024 space agenda

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
AST SpaceMobile advances space-based cellular network with ASIC chip development

Dedicated Satellite Set to Broaden Internet Access in Argentina

Intelsat bolsters global connectivity through enhanced Eutelsat Group Partnership

Four veteran space industry leaders join Astrobotic as company turn to Griffin-1 project

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Lockheed Martin to develop advanced radar training system for USAF

Kayhan Space revolutionizes university space programs with Pathfinder Classroom

Uncovering nature's blueprint for invisibility and enhanced solar harvesting

UC San Diego Scientists Unveil Plant-Based Polymers that Biodegrade Microplastics in Months

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
ESA targets Enceladus in ambitious mission to Saturn

Webb opens new chapter in search for forming planets

Unveiling hydrogen's role in life's early energy mechanisms

Life Detection on Ice Moons Could Be Within Reach, New Study Shows

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
New study reveals potential "ice bombs" among Kuiper Belt Objects

Unlocking the Secrets of Eternal Ice in the Kuiper Belt

Hubble's Latest Gaze Reveals Jupiter's Dynamic Weather Patterns

NASA Armstrong Updates 1960s Concept to Study Giant Planets

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.