The first laser node of the European Data Relay System was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan atop a Proton rocket on 29 January at 22:20 GMT.Dubbed the ‘SpaceDataHighway’, EDRS will uniquely provide near-realtime Big Data relay services using cutting-edge laser technology. It will dramatically improve access to time-critical data, aiding disaster response by emergency services and maritime surveillance.The first node, EDRS-A, was launched as a hosted payload on Eutelsat-9B, a commercial telecom satellite operated by Eutelsat. EDRS is a public–private partnership between ESA and Airbus Defence and Space.Watch Launch of EDRS-A, the first SpaceDataHighway laser node.
Rosetta is making the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. It is following Comet 67P on its journey through the inner Solar System, measuring the increase in activity as the icy surface is warmed up by the Sun. Philae, a small lander, was released onto the surface in November 2014.