My Dreams #withariane
Space has always fascinated us and, thanks to satellites, is giving us more answers every day. Since the first satellite image was sent back in 1959, space has captured the imagination and given us the urge to explore. We take photos, carry out analysis and take samples to try to understand our solar system. As real explorers, we are forever seeking to investigate new horizons.
One small step from microscope to telescope
Ariane 5 has been instrumental in many space exploration missions. For example, the Rosetta space probe was launched by an Ariane 5 G+ variant. This probe flew through space for 10 years, passing by the Šteins and Lutèce asteroids and taking photos of them. It then went on to meetup with the comet with the most unpronounceable name in the galaxy: “67P/Tchourioumov-Guérassimenko”. Rosetta went into orbit around the comet, and woke up its passenger, Philae. Philae was a small lander designed to land on the comet to glean information, which it did for three days. Thanks to these two metal and electronic astronauts, we were able to gather data that are crucial if we are to understand the formation of comets and the creation of the Universe. Even today, astrophysicists around the world are basing their work on this research. So let’s give a big thank you to Rosetta, Philae and Ariane 5!
The future is already here!
Always eager to take part in the most challenging scientific missions, Ariane 5 has been selected for the BepiColombo and James Webb Space Telescope missions! What’s their purpose? The first mission is BepiColombo. Set for for launch in October 2018, its goal is to observe the planet Mercury, a planet that we still don’t know much about. Two probes are to be launched by Ariane and will go into orbit around the planet after a seven-year voyage. That’s a distance of almost 100 million kilometres to cover, or 2,500 times the Earth’s circumference! The probes will send us back lots of information about the closest planet to the Sun and teach us more about the formation of the solar system. The other extraordinary mission is the James Webb Space Telescope to replace the Hubble telescope that’s eager to retire after more than 30 years of loyal service. The new telescope will be much more powerful than Hubble with a mirror having nearly 6.25 times the light collecting area! It will allow us to observe the oldest stars and galaxies that were formed after the Big Bang. We can’t wait until early 2021, for liftoff on board an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana!