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Solar System exploration sets its sights on Mars and Mercury

7 December 2004

Mercury close up

Ariane 5 booster on the test stand

17 November 2004

ARTA - guaranteeing launcher reliability

All launchers have to be qualified before going on the market. But qualification work doesn’t end with the first commercial launch. Throughout its operating life, all the critical elements of the Ariane launcher undergo regular testing to maintain its qualification status. Conducted as part of the ARTA* programme, these tests concern all kinds of elements—from the smallest, weighing only a few kilograms, to the largest, like the MPS.

Soyuz nearing French Guiana

10 November 2004

Two new versions

CNES and Aquitaine Regional Council join forces for atmospheric re-entry programmes

8 November 2004

Two experimental projects

Initiated by CNES, Pre-X is an experimental vehicle designed to demonstrate for the first time in Europe the ability to re-enter the atmosphere using a gliding trajectory, like an aircraft.

Parasol prepares to enter the dance

18 October 2004

HELIOS II, a new generation of military satellites

8 October 2004

A new generation

In December 2004, after a final series of checks and adjustments, the Helios IIA satellite is scheduled to join its 2 predecessors, Helios IA and IB, in orbit.

Megha-Tropiques takes a step forward

10-ton Ariane 5 all ready to go

5 October 2004

HETE surveys a violent Universe

4 October 2004

Gamma-ray bursts reveal violent phenomena

24 September, the HETE-2 satellite detected an intense burst of gamma radiation characteristic of the most violent phenomena in the Universe. It located the event within just 14 seconds and relayed the information to observatories on the ground.

First findings from Cassini-Huygens

29 September

New satellites

During its first orbital revolutions around Saturn, Cassini’s observations of the planet’s satellites whetted the appetite of mission scientists in expectation of the more in-depth studies to come, which should tell us more about these celestial objects and their history.