Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
Discovery of abundant oxygen in a comet by Rosetta
The renowned scientific journal Nature published a perplexing discovery on Thursday October 29th: the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has discovered – for the first time ever – the presence of oxygen gas O2 in the atmosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Moreover, oxygen turns out to be a major component, constituting up to 10% of the comet atmosphere.
Belgian Operations Center gets the ISS rotated
For the very first time, the International Space Station (ISS) will be rotated for science objectives in December 2012. It was the Belgian Operations Center B.USOC that managed to get this scoop. B.USOC is responsible for the SOLAR platform, which is mounted on the exterior of the European Columbus Module. SOLAR carries three Sun observing instruments, of which one, SOLSPEC, was developed at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) in collaboration with the French LATMOS.