Proba-3: Dancing with the stars


Dancing is probably the oldest human artform – and now ESA’s Proba-3 precision formation-flying mission intends to extend the art of dance to space.

Like dancers, a pair of minisatellites will move around each other, their relative positions maintained to millimetre-scale precision, as if they were both parts of one giant spacecraft.

Their mission is to cast a shadow from one minisatellite onto another, in order to form an artificial total solar eclipse in space – then study the fine details of the Sun’s wispy atmosphere, the solar corona.

Franco Ongaro, ESA Director of Technical and Quality Management; Frederic Teston, Head of System and Cost Engineering; Andrea Santovincenzo, ESA engineer and the project’s manager Agnes Mestreau-Garreau, explain how to go about teaching a space mission to dance.

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  1. Il semble que la grande majorité des ingénieurs de çe projet soient français. Vu leur inaptitude totale à parler l'anglais, peut-être serait-il judicieux de les faire parler leur langue puis de sous-titres la vidéo en anglais.

  2. не понимаю зачем для этого создавать спутники? заморачиваться на столь сложный проект, разве не тот же самый результат можно получить, просто поставив круг перед солнцем, например космонавт держа в руке непрозрачный круг, или установить перед иллюминатором космической станции круг, в чем принципиальная разница?

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