Proba-3: Dancing with the stars

Watch in

en

Released

20/03/2015

Length

00:04:30

Copyright

ESA

Description

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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