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Science for the benefit of space exploration does not only happen off planet. While some studies require the weightless isolation of the International Space Station, another location provides the right conditions for investigating the consequences of spaceflight, and it is right here on Earth.

The 2018 crew of Concordia research station in Antarctica recently returned to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne to wrap up their time as researchers and subjects at Earth’s most remote outpost. 

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New maps that use information from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite reveal emissions of nitrogen dioxide along a Siberian natural gas pipeline that connects the Urengoy gas field – the second-largest gas field in the world – with Europe.

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What does a space mission sound like? Well, aside from the roaring of engines, the hum of the Space Station and the voices of space to ground, it sounds a bit like ESA’s new podcast, ESA Explores.

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With its rocky, sandy terrain and buoyant salt water, the bottom of the ocean floor has more in common with the lunar surface than you might imagine. That is why this week two members of NASA mission NEEMO 23 are testing ESA’s latest prototype to rescue astronauts on the Moon.

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 ‘Comet Interceptor’ has been selected as ESA’s new fast-class mission in its Cosmic Vision Programme. Comprising three spacecraft, it will be the first to visit a truly pristine comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar System.

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Technology image of the week: this organically-styled part for an Ariane 5 has been 3D printed in metal as part of ESA’s R&D into future launcher technology
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Photo highlights from ESA’s exhibition at the Paris Air and Space Show 2019 at Le Bourget
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Live on Friday from 18:00 CEST: join three astronauts as they look back on their Space Station mission and discuss the future of exploration
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Human and robotic exploration image of the week: ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and fellow NEEMO crew strike a pose
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ESA will join the world in celebrating the anniversary of the first human Moon landing this summer as European Space Talks take on a lunar theme. Fifty years ago, people were inspired by space as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the Moon. Now our plans to go forward to the Moon and take on dozens of other challenging tasks can inspire a whole new generation. That’s where you come in!

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