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N° 48–2014

Press Breakfast with ESA’s Director General

18 December 2014

On Friday, 16 January, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will meet the press to provide an overview of ESA’s achievements in 2014 and the opportunities ahead in 2015.

N° 47–2014

Johann-Dietrich Woerner to be Director General of ESA

18 December 2014

Today, the Council of the European Space Agency announced the appointment of Johann-Dietrich Woerner as the next Director General of ESA, for a period of four years starting on 1 July 2015.

N° 46–2014

Venus Express goes gently into the night

16 December 2014

ESA’s Venus Express has ended its eight-year mission after far exceeding its planned life. The spacecraft exhausted its propellant during a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit following the low-altitude aerobraking earlier this year.

N° 45–2014

Call for Media: Space Station year-long mission

12 December 2014

The partner agencies supporting the International Space Station will hold a press conference on 18 December to preview the upcoming year-long expedition and to discuss the future of the international laboratory.

N° 44–2014

Galileo satellite recovered and transmitting navigation signals

03 December 2014

Europe’s fifth Galileo satellite, one of two delivered into a wrong orbit by VS09 Soyuz-Fregat launcher in August, has transmitted its first navigation signal in space on Saturday 29 November 2014. It has reached its new target orbit and its navigation payload has been successfully switched on.

N° 43–2014

Media backgrounder for ESA Council at Ministerial Level

27 November 2014

The next Council at Ministerial Level (C/M 14) for the European Space Agency (ESA) takes place in Luxembourg on 2 December. The main topics for decision are reflected in three Resolutions: the Resolution on Europe’s access to space, which recognises the strategic and socio-economic value for Europe to maintain an independent, reliable and affordable access to space for institutional and commercial European customers and underlines the new governance principles related to the exploitation of Europe’s next launcher, Ariane 6, and of the evolution of Vega, Vega-C; the Resolution on Europe’s space exploration strategy, addressing ESA’s three destinations (low-Earth orbit (LEO), Moon and Mars) and, for the LEO destination, in particular the International Space Station (ISS) Programme; and, finally, the Resolution on ESA evolution.

N° 42–2014

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti arrives at Space Station

24 November 2014

The Soyuz spacecraft launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last night safely docked with the International Space Station this morning, delivering ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and her crewmates to the weightless research centre where they will live and work for five months.

N° 41–2014

Call for Media: ESA's GOCE mission continues serving Earth science

20 November 2014

Media are invited to a press briefing on the scientific results that continue to come from ESA’s gravity mission.

N° 40–2014

Call for Media: ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, Luxembourg, 2 December 2014

13 November 2014

Ministers in charge of space activities within the 20 ESA Member States and Canada will meet in Luxembourg on 2 December to take key decisions on Europe's launcher programmes, the European Participation in the ISS Exploitation Programme, the future European strategy for exploration and the evolution of ESA.

N° 39–2014

Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae probe lands on comet

12 November 2014

ESA’s Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.

N° 38–2014

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst returns to Earth

09 November 2014

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian commander Maxim Suraev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman returned to Earth today, landing in the Kazakh steppe.

N° 37–2014

Call for Media: Scientists and ESA astronauts present the science and technology results from the International Space Station

07 November 2014

ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations and former astronaut, Thomas Reiter, invites experts and media to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany on 19 November to join the astronauts and scientists that work on space science themselves for a day of presentations just as ESA Alexander Gerst returns to Earth while ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is set to leave on her long-duration missions to the International Space Station.

N° 35–2014

Google+ briefing: Rosetta science and countdown to comet landing

04 November 2014

Media and interested members of the public are invited to join Rosetta mission experts online on Friday, 7 November for a briefing ahead of the historic comet landing on 12 November.

N° 34–2014

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

28 October 2014

In a landmark agreement for Europe’s Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus ‘space component’ between 2014 and 2021.

N° 33–2014

‘Space for our future’ exhibition ready to open in Brussels

27 October 2014

The ‘Space For Our Future’ exhibition, created by ESA and the European Commission, will be formally opened on 28 October in Brussels by EC President José Manuel Barroso and ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.

N° 32–2014

Call for Media: Opportunities to follow Rosetta mission’s historic comet landing

16 October 2014

Members of the media are invited to attend events being held by ESA and the German and French space agencies on the occasion of the first ever attempt at landing on a comet.

N° 31–2014

ESA confirms the primary landing site for Rosetta

15 October 2014

ESA has given the green light for its Rosetta mission to deliver its lander, Philae, to the primary site on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November, in the first-ever attempt at a soft touchdown on a comet.

N° 31–2014

ESA bestätigt den bevorzugten Landeplatz für Rosetta

15 October 2014

Die ESA hat bei der Rosetta-Mission für das für den 12. November geplante Aufsetzen des Landegeräts Philae auf dem bevorzugten Landeplatz auf dem Kometen 67P/Tschurjumow-Gerassimenko grünes Licht gegeben. Es wird der weltweit erste Versuch einer weichen Kometenlandung sein.

N° 30–2014

Call for Media: Signing of MetOp-SG industrial contract

08 October 2014

Members of the media are invited to ESA headquarters in Paris, France, on 16 October at 16:30 CEST to witness the signing of the industrial contract for the MetOp Second Generation (MetOp-SG) series of meteorological satellites with Airbus Defence and Space.

N° 29–2014

Rosetta to deploy lander on 12 November

26 September 2014

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will deploy its lander, Philae, to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November.

N° 28–2014

'J' marks the spot for Rosetta's lander

15 September 2014

Rosetta's lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites.

N° 27–2014

Call for Media: Rosetta landing site announcement

03 September 2014

Members of the media are invited to ESA Headquarters in Paris, France, on 15 September for the announcement of the primary landing site for Rosetta’s lander Philae, where in November it will attempt the first soft touchdown in history on a comet.

N° 26–2014

Soyuz Galileo Launch : injection anomaly

23 August 2014

Following the announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission.

N° 25–2014

Galileo has started its operational deployment phase

22 August 2014

The next pair of Galileo satellites, Galileo 5 and 6, has been successfully delivered into orbit today. This launch marks the start of a new phase in the European satellite navigation programme where the full constellation will be deployed with short intervals between launches.

N° 24–2014

Call for Media: Press briefing on launch of Galileo satellites 5- 6

14 August 2014

The next satellites in Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system will be launched on 21 August, ushering in the system deployment phase and paving the way for the start of initial services. Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on Wednesday, 20 August.

N° 23–2014

Rosetta arrives at comet destination

06 August 2014

After a decade-long journey chasing its target, ESA’s Rosetta has today become the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration.

N° 22–2014

Last ATV lifts off to supply the Space Station

30 July 2014

The fifth and final mission of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle got off to a flying start today with its launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, heading for the International Space Station.

N° 21–2014

Call for Media: Rosetta’s comet rendezvous

18 July 2014

On 6 August, after a decade-long journey through space, ESA’s Rosetta will become the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. Members of the media are invited to join ESA at its European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, to mark this momentous occasion.

N° 20–2014

Call for Media: Last ATV ends an era and opens new chapter of human space exploration

15 July 2014

The fifth and last Automated Transfer Vehicle is scheduled to lift off during the night of 24 July (25 July 01:43 GMT, 25 July 03:43 CEST, 24 July 22:43 local time) from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on an Ariane 5ES rocket. It will dock with the International Space Station on 12 August and undock up to six months later for reentry into the atmosphere, bringing the programme to a fiery end.

N° 19–2014

Call for Media: ESA at Farnborough International Airshow

08 July 2014

ESA will be present over the week of 14–20 July in the dedicated Space Zone in Hall 3 of the Farnborough airshow’s international aerospace exhibition. Media and the public can learn about the activities of ESA in the different domains of space, try hands-on demonstrations and learn from experts about the latest developments.

N° 18–2014

Call for Media: first results from ESA’s Earth’s magnetic field mission

06 June 2014

The first set of high-resolution data on Earth’s magnetic field from ESA’s Swarm mission will be unveiled at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on 19 June. Media representatives are invited to the event to find out more.

N° 17–2014

Call for Media: The new view on climate change

04 June 2014

Media are invited to a briefing on climate change monitoring with Earth-observing satellites, to be held on 13 June at the Royal Society in London.

N° 16–2014

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst arrives at Space Station

29 May 2014

A Soyuz spacecraft launched last night from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan docked with the International Space Station in the early hours of this morning. Onboard were ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and his Expedition 40/41 crewmates, who will now live and work in space for the next six months.

N° 15–2014

Call for Media: ESA astronaut ready for launch to International Space Station

19 May 2014

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst will lift off from the Russian Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 20:56 GMT (21:56 pm CEST) on 28 May, heading to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. This will be the start of his six-month ‘Blue Dot’ mission as a scientist and flight engineer on the Station’s Expeditions 40 and 41.

N° 14–2014

Call for Media: ESA at ILA Berlin Air & Space Show

15 May 2014

ESA will be present at the ILA international air and space show that takes place on 20–25 May at Berlin ExpoCenter Airport.

N° 13–2014

Call for media: Copernicus Sentinels serving society and the environment

30 April 2014

Members of the media are invited to the conference on Copernicus Sentinels Serving Society and the Environment in Athens, Greece, on 12–13 May.

N° 12–2014

Call for Media: Sentinel-1 first images and demonstration of applications

29 April 2014

Media representatives are invited to a presentation of some of the early images from the Copernicus programme’s leading satellite.

N° 11–2014

Europe lofts first Copernicus environmental satellite

03 April 2014

The ability of European citizens, policymakers and service providers to access key environmental data on a routine basis will take a major step forward following the launch today of ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite.

N° 10–2014

ESA and CERN sign cooperation agreement

28 March 2014

ESA, the European Space Agency, and CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, signed a cooperation agreement on 28 March to foster future collaborations on research themes of common interest.

N° 9–2014

Call for Media: Launch of the first Sentinel satellite

25 March 2014

The first satellite of Europe’s Copernicus programme is set for launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 3 April at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST). Media representatives are invited to follow the launch online or attend the main launch event at ESA’s ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

N° 8–2014

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will fly to the International Space Station in 2016

17 March 2014

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet has been assigned to a long-duration mission on the International Space Station, it was announced today. 

The assignment of the French-born astronaut was announced by ESA’s Director General Jean Jacques Dordain in the presence of the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, and the President of the French space agency, CNES, Jean-Yves Le Gall.

The announcement was made in coordination with the international partners of the International Space Station.

With Thomas Pesquet’s assignment, all six ESA astronauts from the class of 2009 will have flown to the Station on missions within seven years of graduation.

The Director General noted: “Thomas’ mission assignment concludes the first phase for our newest members of the ESA astronaut corps which was to make each of them assigned to a spaceflight.

“This is a clear demonstration of the reputation of ESA among the international partners of ISS as well as of ESA astronauts among the international community of astronauts. The flight experience gained by this new class of ESA astronauts is providing a solid ground for ESA Member States to contribute to further international human exploration missions ."

Born in Rouen, France, Thomas will be the 10th Frenchman to go to space, following  Léopold Eyharts who supported the commissioning and first utilisation of ESA’s Columbus microgravity laboratory on the Space Station.

As a partner in the Station, ESA is entitled to use its resources, which include supporting missions of European astronauts.

During Thomas’ mission, an atomic clock will be installed on the Station to connect with other atomic clocks on Earth to test Einstein’s theory of relativity and allow even more accurate world timekeeping. The results could double the accuracy of satellite navigation, allowing us to pinpoint our location on Earth with even higher precision.

Thomas studied as an aerospace engineer before working as a commercial airline pilot.

ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations and former astronaut, Thomas Reiter, says: “I remember this exciting moment of mission assignment very well, and I’m very happy that Thomas Pesquet is now in this situation.

“There is an exciting road ahead for Thomas, learning all the systems of the International Space Station and the unique scientific experiments that he will conduct in space.”

Thomas comments on his assignment: “I am happy to have been selected for a mission but this is just the start of a new phase for me – there is a lot of work to do and a lot to learn before my flight.

“I will consider my dream complete when I am working on the International Space Station.”

N° 7–2014

Neosat boosting Europe’s telecommunications by satellite

20 February 2014

ESA is forging ahead with the Neosat next-generation satcom platform, planning the first flights within five years. The goal is for European satellite builders to capture at least half of the world’s satcom market in 2018–30 through innovation and efficiency, generating €25 billion in sales.

N° 6–2014

ESA selects planet-hunting PLATO mission

19 February 2014

A space-based observatory to search for planets orbiting alien stars has been selected today as ESA’s third medium-class science mission. It is planned for launch by 2024.

N° 5–2014

New information update (*): DeSIRE II Cooperation

06 February 2014

Through their 2011 Administrative Arrangement and active policy and programmatic coordination, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency (ESA), have today agreed to pursue their cooperation in the domain of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) with the signature of the DeSIRE II Project Arrangement.

N° 4–2014

French space agency President visits ESA’s largest establishment in the Netherlands

21 January 2014

Today Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of the French space agency CNES, visited the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, ESA’s largest establishment in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

N° 3–2014

Rosetta, ESA’s ‘sleeping beauty’ wakes up from deep space hibernation

20 January 2014

It was a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter in the story of the Rosetta space mission this evening as ESA heard from its distant spacecraft for the first time in 31 months.

N° 2–2014

ESA activities in 2014 of interest to media

16 January 2014

Expected key events of the year (check the ESA website’s media section at for updates)

N° 1–2014

Call for Media: Rosetta wake up event

13 January 2014

On 20 January 2014, ESA’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is set to wake up from 957 days in deep-space hibernation. Members of the media are invited to join ESA at its European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, to mark this momentous occasion.