A long time ago (in 2008), in a place far, far above our heads, the SOLAR instrument, fixed on the outside of the International Space Station, started the mission it was designed for: to measure the radiation from the Sun from outside Earth’s atmosphere for a duration of 18 months, in order to compile a reference solar spectrum that is necessary for many fields of scientific research.
We are happy to announce we have received the ICOS label for the Maïdo station on Reunion Island. The station is now officially a part of the extensive ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) network of measurement stations, which aims to provide long term observations of greenhouse gases for research, policy-making and the general public.
Michel Kruglansli, head of B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operations Centre) at BIRA-IASB was interviewed by the french-speaking RTBF News about the Starliner test flight.
The Starliner was developed by Boeing, with the intention of replacing the Russian Soyuz rockets. The Soyuz are currently being used to bring astronauts to the International Space Station, and this costs the NASA and ESA quite a lot of money.
Although the unmanned Starliner capsule has not reached the ISS, it has safely landed back on Earth. A positive sign for the future!
The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy wishes you happy holidays!
Space-based measurements indicate that Central Africa is a global hotspot of formaldehyde (H2CO). This is due to biomass burning and to the emissions of the vegetation itself. African megacities also suffer from poor air quality associated with the widespread use of domestic combustion for cooking and old car fleets.
The methane mystery on Mars has had many twists and turns in recent years with unexpected detections and non-detections alike. Most recent is the detection in June by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which reported the highest burst of methane recorded yet. However, neither ESA’s Mars Express nor the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter recorded any signs of the elusive gas, despite flying over the same location at a similar time.