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If we ever want to put down roots beyond our home planet, we will need a way to grow food out there. Pre-packaged meals will only get us so far. The EDEN ISS project has set out on a four-year mission dedicated to plant cultivation on the International Space Station. Its work could help to remove one of the barriers standing between us and thriving colonies on Mars.
Published: 2 February 2016
About 1 000 active satellites are currently circling the Earth and they have to withstand incredibly hostile conditions. EU-funded researchers have designed a forecasting system to help satellite operators prepare for severe space weather and thus reduce the risk of damage.
Published: 14 January 2016
Farmers and forest managers need to monitor vital land management activities and changes in vegetation. They are just two potential end-users of a comprehensive new satellite-based earth monitoring system providing free, full and open mapping data to boost management and protection of the environment.
Published: 7 January 2016
The TIME SCALE project is investigating the feasibility of growing food crops in space and whether this might provide astronauts with long-term supplies of food and oxygen. The findings could lay the foundations for a manned mission to Mars and also lead to more sustainable production back on Earth.
Published: 24 December 2015
You can't see it, you can't touch it, nor is it something you could hear, taste or smell. Dark matter is all around us, and its mass produces measurable gravitational effects. Other than that, it interacts with the visible universe even less than previously thought, according to the results of recent EU-funded research.
Published: 16 December 2015
When we look at galaxies far, far away, we don't see them as they are today. We see them as they were a long time ago, because their light takes a while to reach us. These images could easily fade on their epic journey, but "natural telescopes" in their path enable astronomers to study some of these postcards from the distant past.
Published: 20 November 2015
Today's most ambitious planetary and lunar exploratory missions pin their hopes on rovers to capture scientific data. Getting the rover to move around is complex and can rely among other technologies, on a harmonic drive. Crucial to positioning, this special gear is light in weight, compact and accurate.
Published: 9 November 2015
An EU-funded project has developed a forecasting model for biotoxic algal blooms. The project aimed at providing aquaculture farmers early warnings of approaching dangerous 'phytoplankton' - allowing them to take effective action to keep fish and shellfish from algae-induced contamination - and protect their livelihoods.
Published: 5 November 2015
The ability to observe very high energy gamma radiation has opened a new window on the universe, and researchers around the world are keen to seize the new opportunities it offers. As part of an EU-funded project, they have created an international alliance to move beyond current experimental instruments towards a major telescope array for this new type of observation.
Published: 8 October 2015
The TeraComp project has developed a state-of-the-art 'terahertz receiver' that may help detect traces of life in space. The technology could be used in a 'sub-millimetre spectrometer' for measuring wavelengths of light during the first ESA mission to Jupiter's moons, planned for launch in 2022.
Published: 2 October 2015