NASA's Kepler mission has achieved another success in the challenge to find another “Earth” by confirming the discovery of the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star: Kepler-452, a system located 1400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.
On 16 July the Industrial Policy Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA) approved the award of the €350.8 million contract to Airbus Defence & Space (France), whichhas been selected as the prime industrial contractor for ESA’s Juice mission to Jupiter and its icy moons.
The formal contract signing will take place after the summer break and meanwhile work will start by the end of this month.
Rosetta’s investigations of its comet are continuing as the countdown has started in the last month to perihelion – the closest point to the Sun along the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko's orbit – when the comet’s activity is expected to be at its highest: on 13 August.
As of today, 1 July 2015, ESA has a new Director General: Johann-Dietrich Woerner, who has taken up duty at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France.
“I am in the favourable position to nurture the seeds of Jean-Jacques Dordain’s work”, said Mr Woerner during a recent media briefing at the Paris Air Show, expressing his thanks to the parting Director General.