In the framework of its 80th anniversary, CNRS organizes from the 25th to the 27th October an outreach event at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris, on the topic “New World(s)”. Our laboratory has been invited to participate to this event, and proposes virtual reality experiences and a series of talks on space exploration.
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ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission has completed its test campaign in Europe and is now being packed ready for its journey to Cape Canaveral at the end of this month, ahead of launch in February 2020.
The PILOT instrument took off on the morning of the 24th of September from Timmins airport (Ontario, Canada). This third flight of this instrument, on board of a stratospheric balloon, lasted for 25 hours, among which three hours to rise to the ceiling altitude, one hour dedicated to the instrument tuning, and 20 hours of scientific observations at the ceiling (about 38km on daytime and 34km during night). All flight systems and the scientific instrument behaved nominally, and the data produced by the instrument are of very good quality.
On October the 5th and the 6th, IAS will contribute to the « Sciences sur mesure » outreach event organized by CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette. During this event, researchers, engineers, and technicians from CNRS laboratories will explain the importance of measurements in sciences. This event is organized in the framework of the 80th anniversary of CNRS and of the annual « Fête de la Science » science festival, and follows the recent redefinition of some of the fundamental measurement units.
« Hello, JUICE ? - Hi MAJIS, nice to meet you ! Let’s have fun ! ;-) »: This is the first message that ADS (Airbus Defense and Space), prime contractor of the ESA JUICE satellite, sent to the MAJIS (Moons And Jupiter Imaging Spectrometer) team, hence validating the EM (Engineering Model) stage of the MAJIS spacecraft.
On the occasion of its 80th anniversary, CNRS organizes on 14 and 15 September in Gif-sur-Yvette an outreach event called "Face à l'Univers" (In Front of the Universe). IAS participates to the organization of this event, and will present there many space instruments.
The CLASP-2 telescope was successfully launched on April 11th 2019 by a sounding rocket from White Sands Missile Range (New Mexico, USA). The objective of the CLASP (Chromospheric LAyer SPectropolarimeter) project is to measure the magnetic field in the solar chromosphere using spectro-polarimetric measurements in the ultraviolet.
The “Planetary and Solar System Sciences” Division of EGU (European Geophysical Union) has awarded to John Carter, associate astronomer at IAS, its 2019 “Oustanding Early Career Scientist” medal for his discoveries on the composition of the martian surface, in particular hydrated minerals and their implications on the climate history of Mars, and for his contributions to the interpretation of orbital spectral data.
On Monday, March 12th, IAS delivered the flight model of the in-flight calibration system (Calibration Unit, CU) of the VIS instrument of the Euclid mission. Euclid is the M2 mission of the ESA Cosmic Vision programme, whose scientific objective is to map the Universe to explain the cause of the acceleration of its expansion. It will achieve this by looking up to 10 billion years in the past and by closely tracking the shape and distribution of galaxies the Universe contains.
This critical operation, performed on February 22, 2019, constituted the most complex and risky part of the ISAS/JAXA Japanese mission: it required to bring the entire spacecraft in contact with the surface of Ryugu, entirely covered with boulders of all sizes. Its success demonstrates and translates an extraordinary and unique control of space operations by ISAS/JAXA engineers. A second sample collection could be performed in a few months, prior to the return to Earth: Hayabusa2 should leave Ryugu in December 2019, to land on Earth a year later. Our laboratories should thus get in 2021 samples collected at the very surface of one of the most ancient solar system objects, rich in particular of organics which might have played a major role in the evolution towards life on Earth.