Monday, March 28, 2022

ESA Vigil Space Weather Mission | European Space Agency

Vigil Space Weather Mission | European Space Agency

It is the first mission of its kind, set to monitor our active and unpredictable Sun and to help protect us from its violent outbursts–and it has a new name.

The European Space Agency’s upcoming Vigil space weather mission will help protect Earth’s infrastructure, satellites, inhabitants and space explorers from unpredictable but violent solar events like solar flares and ‘coronal mass ejections’.

In Latin, ‘vigilis exceptus’ means sentry, or guard, while ‘vigilia’ means wakefulness and the act of keeping a devoted watch, which resonates with the mission’s role—a devoted guardian, keeping constant watch over the Sun, for Earth.

Protecting Modern Life, and Life Itself

Solar storms can damage power grids, disrupt telecommunications and threaten satellites and the vital services they provide. At the same time, as we launch ever-more satellites into orbit we are creating increasing amounts of debris—dramatically increasing the risks of collision for current and future missions.

These satellites have changed our lives and enlarged our perspective on Earth, but they—and the technologies they make possible on which modernity relies—are vulnerable.

The protection of space assets is at the heart of ESA’s Vision for the future. To do this, the new Protect ‘accelerator’ proposes the development of ‘air traffic control for space’, as well as an early warning system to help us prepare for hazardous solar activity. 

Learn more about Vigil here:

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

Duration: 3 minutes, 23 seconds

Release Date: March 28, 2022

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