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Bulletin 172 (4th quarter 2017)
Bulletin 172 (4th quarter 2017)
Bulletin 163 (3rd quarter 2015)
Published : 3rd quarter 2015
Editor(s) : Carl Walker
Issue : Bulletin 163
ISBN : 0376-4265

ESA astronaut Tim Peake will be the first Briton to live and work on the International Space Station when he makes ESA´s eighth long-duration space mission. Inside this ESA Bulletin, you´ll find some background to this flight.

‘On the shoulders of giants’ is about Tim Peake´s Principia mission – named after Newton´s book, Philosophaie Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Living and working on the Space Station for six months, Tim will be building on the work of previous European astronaut missions, while being supported by a huge team of scientists and engineers on the ground.

In ‘SOHO: Two decades of observing the Sun’, we look at the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory mission, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in orbit this December. Experts around the world have been using SOHO images and data for 20 years to help them understand the workings of the Sun´s core, its hot and dynamic outer atmosphere, the solar wind and its energetic particles.

These days everything from aircraft turbines to jewellery, surgical instruments to office buildings, is being produced by 3D-printing – also known as additive manufacturing (AM). ESA has been actively investigating AM. It offers the opportunity to lower the mass and cost of parts across a variety of scales, while being well suited to the kind of low production runs typical of the space sector, while delivering very high performance and reliability. Like many innovations, ESA´s research into AM and 3D-printing began with how to solve a problem in space. Find out how in ‘Joining the Third Industrial Revolution.’

In ‘For Students, by Students’, we describe the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO), a micro-satellite mission to low Earth orbit that is providing students with hands-on experience of building and operating space systems and hardware. ESEO is being developed, integrated, and tested by European university students, supported by ESA´s Education and Knowledge Management Office. This exciting project is bringing together young people from across Europe and encouraging them to gain an interest in science and technology, hopefully preparing well-qualified space engineers for Europe´s future workforce!

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Readers based in any of ESA´s 22 Member States or in Canada can subscribe to the print version of the ESA Bulletin for free. To subscribe, please send an email to

Readers outside these areas are asked to contribute to delivery costs:
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The ESA Bulletin is published four times a year to inform the space-interested public of ESA´s activities. Readers can now take out a yearly subscription to the Bulletin comprising four printed editions of the magazine.

The full archive of ESA Bulletins is available to read online at ESA´s Publications web site or via the ESA Bulletin App on the iTunes store.

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