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Research and public service in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space.

 ‘Comet Interceptor’ has been selected as ESA’s new fast-class mission in its Cosmic Vision Programme. Comprising three spacecraft, it will be the first to visit a truly pristine comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar System. As with Rosetta, the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) will also play an important role in this comet mission. The launch is foreseen at the earliest in 2027.

We are experiencing a period in which the population is crying out for 'Action for the Climate'. We believe that it is our role as scientists to support the debate with objective scientific information, and also that it is our role, as a conscientious citizen, to contribute to the reflections on how we can adapt our lifestyle and our way of working to contribute to a climate-neutral society, and to translate these reflections into action.

Today, the prestigious journal Nature publishes two papers describing the first results of the Belgian NOMAD instrument on board ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. New evidence of the impact of the recent planet-encompassing dust storm on water in the atmosphere, including the first vertical measurements of semiheavy water on Mars, and a surprising lack of methane, are among the scientific highlights of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s first year in orbit. Principal Investigator of the NOMAD instrument, Ann Carine Vandaele at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy is delighted with these results.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, the Danish ASIM experiment was installed on the outside of the European Columbus module of the ISS International Space Station. The instrument gives us insight into the luminous phenomena that take place over violent thunderstorms. The Belgian B.USOC is responsible for the infrastructure and operations of ASIM.

Two years after its launch, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) finally settles in its final orbit around Mars. The satellite, which carries the instrument NOMAD of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) on board, has just completed one year of atmospheric deceleration and is now circling around Mars every 2 hours, some 400 km above the Martian surface.
The precise measurement of the solar spectrum outside the atmosphere and its variability are fundamental inputs for solar physics (Sun modeling), terrestrial atmospheric photochemistry and the Earth's climate (climate 's modeling).