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European Space Agency

  1. A Galaxy Far Far Away Is Smiling At You In This Hubble Telescope Image

    Well, okay, this galaxy cluster is made up of gaseous stars that have no mouths or emotions or sentience, so they are not smiling at you, specifically, because the universe is a cold unfeeling collection of objects floating around in nothingness. I mean, uh... look at how cute he is! Aww!

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  2. The Year In (Peer) Review: Nine Great Moments for Women In STEM From 2014

    And counting!

    Here are the moments from 2014 that made us laugh, cry, cheer and want to put on a ball gown in honor of the women and girls--both present and past--whose achievements in STEM are changing the world.

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  3. Here’s The “Sound” ESA’s Philae Probe Made When It Landed on a Comet

    Wheeee!

    In space, no one can hear you scream. But if you were going to land on a comet while equipped with special acoustic sensors, they would definitely be able to hear that—and it would probably sound a little something like this.

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  4. ESA’s Philae Detects Organic Compounds on Comet, Mission a Huge Success

    Still not aliens.

    Celebration over ESA's historic landing on a comet may have been temporarily put on hold when the Philae lander was determined to be in a poor position to use its solar panels and lost power, but data it sent back before then still holds potential for some amazing discoveries. Now, ESA has announced that the comet is indeed home to organic compounds—but still no actual organic organisms. Just one little robot. Sorry.

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  5. ESA Comet Lander’s Batteries Drained From Poor Landing Position Sunlight, but There’s Still Hope

    Philae, DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT.

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta spent about ten years flying to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, so to say the fact that its Philae lander unintentionally wound up in the shadow of one of the comet's cliffs when it finally touched down was "bad luck" is a bit of an understatement. The mission has been a huge success so far, but things are looking grim for Philae's future.

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  6. Lead ESA Scientist Says He “Made A Big Mistake”; Offers Emotional Apology For Sexist Shirt

    And that's the kind of intelligence that puts robots into space.

    During a livestream for the Rosetta landing earlier this week, lead ESA Scientist Matt Taylor unwittingly started a controversy when he chose to wear a bowling shirt covered in sexualized women while meeting with the press. But here's some good news that might help erase the fleshy travesty from our permanently damaged retinas: Matt Taylor is sorry. Like, really, really sorry.

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  7. ESA’s #CometLanding Broke the Internet More than Kim Kardashian, There Is Hope for Us All

    Inna final analysis...

    When you self-importantly declare that pictures of you will break the Internet, it's best to follow through. Best for you, that is—for the rest of us, it's much better that Rosetta and the #CometLanding event received more attention on Twitter than Kim Kardashian's #BreakTheInternet pictures.

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  8. [Updated] Hey Lead ESA Scientist, We Fixed Your Horribly-Sexist Lady Shirt For You

    There. Much better!

    Remember how a lead ESA scientist on the Rosetta livestream yesterday wore that awful shirt covered in sexualized women? Friend and TMS reader Rachel sent us this photo which goes ahead and fixes his look right up. What better way to wear your science pride on your sleeve than to rock a shirt covered in famous historical women in STEM?

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  9. Pilot Rosetta at Home to Land on a Comet and Study It With NASA’s Comet Quest Game

    If only the game tutorial told you how to fire Philae's harpoons.

    The European Space Agency made history yesterday when its Philae lander became the first spacecraft ever to make a soft landing on the surface of a comet. But you can get in on the action with NASA's Comet Quest game, which tasks you with piloting Rosetta, sending the Philae lander down to the surface of a comet, and studying the comet while avoiding its dangerous debris.

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  10. Spacecraft on Comet So far Unable to Fire Its Anchor Harpoons, Team Working on a Solution

    Hang in there!

    Philae made history today when it became the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on a comet, but the mission isn't over just yet. Contrary to initial reports, the spacecraft's anchor harpoons have yet to fire, and the team is working on a solution. The harpoons are needed to keep Philae on the surface of the giant spinning comet.

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  11. Lead ESA Scientist Wears Shirt Covered in Gratuitous Sexy Chicks For Comet Landing Livestream

    My eyes hurt now.

    This is Matt Taylor, the lead project scientist of the European Space Agency's Rosetta project—which, if you'll remember, involves soft landing a space probe that's been in orbit for 10 years onto the surface of a comet for the first time in history. He is, presumably, very intelligent. He is also wearing a shirt covered in cartoonishly sexy women. So. You know.

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  12. Watch Live Now as the ESA Lands a Spacecraft on the Surface of a Comet

    History is happening currently.

    Rosetta has one chance to make history by landing Philae on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and the procedure is starting up in space right now. You can watch along with the ESA's live stream overnight and into tomorrow when Philae will finally touch down on the comet's surface.

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  13. The European Space Agency’s Not-So-Crazy Plan to 3D Print a Base on the Moon

    Do you want to build a moon base?

    Architectural firm Foster + Partners produced this video along with the European Space Agency showing how a lunar base could be constructed by 3D printing robots and an inflatable dome. 3D printing the base out of lunar dust would cut down the cost significantly by removing the need to launch a heavy housing structure from Earth and put a Moon base within reach.

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  14. ESA Releases Another Adorable Rosetta Video, Prepares for First Ever Soft Landing On Comet’s Surface

    67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, Philae's going to walk on your face!

    Never stop personifying space robots, ESA. Also never stop doing awesome things like sending space robots to land on the surface of a comet, because that's amazing, and Philae is almost ready to do just that on November 12. (Details on the landing after the jump.)

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  15. The ESA’s Rosetta Spacecraft Has Shared A 3D Image Of Its New Comet Home

    Alright Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up.

    Rosetta has upped its space porn game with this 3D look at the comet, compiled from two pictures taken on August 7th when the craft was 65 miles from its destination.

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  16. Rosetta Becomes First Spacecraft to Orbit a Comet, Sends Back Amazing Pictures

    "Are we there yet?" "Yes!"

    Just a few hours ago, the European Space Agency's Rosetta became the first satellite to orbit a comet! Now that she's close enough, the spacecraft is sending back amazing, high resolution images of what the comet's nucleus really looks like as she prepares to send her little brother, Philae, down to land on the surface.

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  17. Sticky-Footed Spider Robot Could Help Out on Space Missions (And Also Haunt Our Dreams)

    Can he swing from a web? No he can't. He's a robot.

    If there's one thing we can agree about regarding space, it's that it doesn't have enough robots in it yet. Scientists at Simon Frasier University in Canada feel this way as well, so they're working on a bot that can climb walls vertically to aid human astronauts on space missions. Let's just hope it never achieves sentience and begins to resent us.

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  18. Fly over the Surface of Mars in 3D with the Most Complete Imagery to Date

    This is the closest we've ever gotten to actually looking down at the surface of Mars ourselves.

    We might have a rover driving around Mars, investigating the soil, and spawning parody Twitter accounts, but the European Space Agency's Mars Express Spacecraft is no slouch. It has made a full orbit of Mars almost 12,000 times, which has enabled it to map a significant portion of martian terrain, and now we can watch a really accurate 3D flyover.

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  19. The ESA’s Rosetta Is About To Complete Its’ Ten-Year Mission

    To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations... wait, no, wrong thing.

    The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft is boldly going where no man has gone before - into comet territory. After being placed in a space-coma for a whole decade, the Rosetta is finally scheduled to wake up and complete the task for which is was made - in just 100 days.

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  20. Astronauts Survive Crazy Spaceflight Training In A Cave

    The ESA has got to be trolling with this training.

    Six astronauts have survived an unorthodox new method of spaceflight training: marathon team spelunking! Spending almost a week underground, the training is designed to expose future astronauts to the isolation and danger awaiting them in outer space. I'm not sure if this makes me want to be an astronaut way more, or way less.

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