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ESA's Proba-2 celebrates five years in orbit today. From technology demonstrator to solar observatory and now space weather platform, the mission has provided triple value to European scientists.
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Proba-2 sees large solar flares that threaten geomagnetic storm

A pair of unusually large solar flares early yesterday generated a Coronal Mass Ejection that will reach Earth around mid-day today. It will likely cause at least a strong geomagnetic storm that could affect satellites in space and trigger auroral displays.
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Proba-2 tracks stormy Sun



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ESA's space weather box Proba-2 tracks stormy Sun

Researchers gathered for European Space Weather Week have been presented with the latest results from ESA's own space weather station: the Proba-2 microsatellite.
The unpredictably stormy Sun drives space weather: surges of charged particles can damage satellites, impede space-based services and affect terrestrial power networks.
Less than a cubic metre, Proba-2 was launched on 2 November 2009 as a technology demonstrator but is now working as a science mission, having exceeded its two-year design life.

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ESA's Proba-2 microsatellite experienced a conjunction of the spheres on Tuesday, as the Sun, Moon and Earth all lined up in front of it.
As people on the ground observed the 4 January partial solar eclipse, Proba-2 provided a privileged top-of-atmosphere view - at least briefly.
Shortly after the Moon partially blocked Proba-2's view of the Sun, the Sun-watching satellite flew into Earth's shadow. At that point - when the video seen here goes dark - the Sun, Moon, Earth and Proba-2 were all on the same line in space.

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Proba-2 tracks Sun surging into space

Proba-2 is a small but innovative member of ESA's spacecraft fleet, crammed with experimental technologies. In its first eight months of life it has already returned more than 90 000 images of the Sun.
Less than a cubic metre in volume, Proba-2 carries a new generation of miniaturised science instruments, focused on the Sun and space weather, as well as 17 state-of-the-art technology payloads.

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Sun-watching Proba-2 keeps small eye on Earth
Argentina seen by Proba-2
X-Cam image of Argentina

While ESA's Proba-2 keeps its main instruments trained on the Sun, it is also looking back to its homeworld. This wide-angle view of Earth comes from an experimental camera that is smaller than an espresso cup.
The Exploration Camera (X-Cam) is carried on the underside of Proba-2, one of 17 new technologies being tested by the mini-satellite. Observing in the visible and near-infrared with a 100 field-of-view, its monochrome images resemble what an astronaut might see if elevated to Proba-2's 800 km orbit. The image shows southern Argentina including Buenos Aires (top left) and the Rio Negro river.

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Technology-testing Proba-2 opens new eye on the Sun

Packed with novel devices and science instruments, Proba-2 is demonstrating technologies for future ESA missions while providing new views of our Sun.
At a press conference on Tuesday at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, the team behind the small satellite declared themselves extremely happy with its first three months in orbit and unveiled Proba-2's first solar observations.

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Image1-7.jpg
Credit ESA




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One of smallest satellites ever flown by the European Space Agency (Esa) has returned its first images of the Sun.
On Tuesday, mission managers hailed the excellent performance of the Proba-2 technology demonstration spacecraft.
The PRoject for OnBoard Autonomy satellite is intended to test hardware and software that might be incorporated into future Esa missions.

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Proba-2's first achievements to be unveiled

Proba-2 is among the smallest spacecraft ever launched by ESA - less than a cubic metre - but it prepares technologies for future ESA missions, as well as giving scientists a new view of the Sun.
Launched on 2 November 2009, Proba-2 is the result of European collaboration, with Belgian industry as a major participant. The objective of the mission is to test new spacecraft and instrument technology in space.

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