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Need to retrieve a few tonnes of cargo from Mars? Send some seriously heavy gear into deep space? Fly out sufficient mass to deflect an asteroid? Current spacecraft would not be nearly big or powerful enough, say EU-funded researchers who have looked into a possible next-generation design based on nuclear electric propulsion.
Published: 14 May 2018
Published: 7 May 2018
A mini satellite launched by an EU-funded project is demonstrating a range of cutting-edge technologies to improve the performance, cost, stability and longevity of small space-based platforms for applications such as atmospheric monitoring, Earth imaging, communications and aerospace research.
Published: 12 January 2018
Space exploration demands high performance on-board computers with low power requirements that can survive the rigours of aggressive radiation. The EU-funded APEX project has developed the advanced technologies needed to design an ultra-reliable processor for future space missions as far away as Saturn and Jupiter.
Published: 11 September 2017
Published: 31 January 2017
Heading out beyond Jupiter, the light from our sun gets very dim. And even close to home, space exploration can't always draw power from the rays - e.g. on Mars, at night or during the planet's fierce dust storms. Another option involves generating electricity from an inbuilt heat source. EU-funded research has combined acoustic waves and electromagnetism to do so.
Published: 26 October 2016
Published: 24 October 2016
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
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
Thriving settlements on Mars, mining operations on the moon, exploration teams heading out into the universe - humankind may one day be able to establish a presence far beyond its home planet. The EU-funded SR2S project strives to remove one of the main obstacles by developing a magnetic shield to protect astronauts from radiation in deep space.
Published: 18 May 2015