N° 53–1993

Endeavour returns from Hubble servicing

17 December 1993

The first Hubble Space Telescope (*) servicing mission ended this morning with a nighttime landing at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. The space shuttle Endeavour emerged from the Florida night sky and touched down at 0h26 a.m EST (06h26 a.m. CET).

N° 52–1993

Meteosat-6 : Acceptance-testing continues

10 December 1993

N° 51–1993

Hubble refurbished and ready for release

09 December 1993

The Hubble Space Telescope spread its wings this morning clearing the way for the release of the orbiting observatory. The telescope's twin European solar arrays slowly unfurled as shuttle Endeavour passed 593 kilometres above the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

N° 50–1993

Hubble gets new ESA-supplied solar arrays

06 December 1993

The Hubble Space Telescope was fitted with a new set of solar arrays after a 6.5-hour spacewalk by Tom Akers and Kathy Thornton. These unique power-generating wings, supplied by the European Space Agency, will power the telescope for at least the remainder of the decade.

Derek Eaton, ESA project manager, was overjoyed with the success of the day's spacewalk.

"To build two such massive arrays some years apart to such tight tolerances and have one replace the other with so few problems is a tribute to the design and manufacturing skills of ESA and British Aerospace, the prime contractor for the arrays", he said. "The skill of Kathy and Tom contributed greatly to this success".

N° 49–1993

Hubble Space Telescope Servicing begins.

05 December 1993

The servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope(*) began today with an eight-hour spacewalk. One of the telescope's twin solar arrays was successfully rolled-up at the end of the day but the second array, which had one supporting beam that was bowed and twisted, failed to retract. The astronauts will jettison the troublesome right-hand wing and then proceed with replacement of the arrays as normal.

N° 48–1993

Endeavour blasts-off on ambitious mission

02 December 1993

The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off in a blaze of light this morning on the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission(*). The spectacular pre-dawn lift-off, visible for hundreds of miles, occurred at 04h27 a.m. EST (10h27 a.m. CET). The launch was delayed from yesterday due to high crosswinds but the weather co-operated today and the shuttle lifted off on time into a clear, moon-lit sky.

N° 47–1993

Meteosat-6 acquires first weather image

29 November 1993

The Meteosat-6 satellite acquired its first weather image on Monday 29 November 1993 at 14h25. A preliminary assessment has revealed that the image is of good quality and the radiometer, the satellite's principal instrument, is in perfect working condition.

N° 46–1993

Meteosat-6 successfully launched

20 November 1993

Meteosat-6 was successfully launched by Ariane V61 at 01h17 GMT (02h17, Paris time) on 20 November 1993. The spacecraft was placed into the planned geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and ESA's European Space Operations Center (ESOC) established radio contact with the satellite soon after injection into GTO.

N° 45–1993

Media arrangements for Meteosat-6 launch

12 November 1993

The launch of the Meteosat-6 satellite by Ariane V61 is currently scheduled for the night of 19 to 20 November 1993 at 01h17 GMT (02h17 in Paris). The launch window is 45 minutes.

N° 43–1993

ESA confirms ROSETTA and FIRST in its long-term science programme

08 November 1993

At its 68th meeting on 4/5 November 1993, ESA's Science Programme Committee endorsed the recommendation of the Space Science Advisory Committee to implement ROSETTA, a comet rendezvous mission, as the third cornerstone and FIRST (the Far Infrared Space Telescope) as the fourth cornerstone of the Horizon 2000 programme. The launch dates will be 2003 and 2006, respectively. However, FIRST would return its scientific data earlier than ROSETTA, as the travel time to the comet is rather long.

N° 42–1993

Joint statement on potential Russian involvement in the Space Station

18 October 1993

The United States, Canada, Japan and Member States of the European Space Agency have been working together, on the basis of the Intergovernmental Agreement of 29 September 1988 on the Permanently Manned Civil Space Station, to design and develop a space station as the next milestone in the exploration of space.

N° 41–1993

ESA signs its 10000th industrial contract

01 October 1993

On 4 October ESA's Director General, Jean-Marie Luton, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Italian company Alenia Spazio, Andrea Pucci, will sign - in the presence of Minister Umberto Colombo - the 10000th ESA industrial contract in Rome at the Ministry of Universities and Scientific and Technological Research.

N° 40–1993

OLYMPUS: End of mission

26 August 1993

As indicated in the press release of 17 August, 1993, service from the Agency's experimental OLYMPUS satellite was interrupted during the night of 11/12 August when, for reasons which are not yet understood, the satellite lost earth pointing attitude and began spinning. This event, and the subsequent recovery actions, used the last few kilograms of fuel remaining on the satellite. An assessment of the situation indicated that it would be impossible to re-establish service. It has therefore been decided that the Olympus mission should be terminated and the satellite removed from the geostationary orbital ring.

N° 39–1993

New Agreement with Finland

25 August 1993

An agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Finland was signed today, Wednesday 25 August 1993, at ESA Headquarters in Paris by His Excellency Matti Hakkanen, Finnish Ambassador to Paris, and Mr Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of ESA.

N° 38–1993

Loss of service from Olympus

17 August 1993

During the night of 11/12 August 1993, service from ESA's experimental Olympus telecommunications satellite was interrupted by an incident where the satellite lost its normal Earth pointing attitude and began slowly spinning. The reasons for this anomaly are not yet understood but a team of ESA and industry specialists is analyzing all available data.

N° 37–1993

Hipparcos: mission accomplished

17 August 1993

After more than three years of efficient and successful operations, communications with ESA's scientific satellite Hipparcos were terminated on 15 August 1993. The Hipparcos satellite, a purely European undertaking, and the first space experiment dedicated to the highly accurate measurements of star positions, distances, and space motions, was launched in August 1989. Targeted for an operational lifetime of two and a half years, more than three years of high quality star measurements were eventually accumulated, and all of the original scientific goals of the mission have been fully accomplished.

N° 36–1993

ESA at Moscow Aerospace '93: exhibition, presentations and visit to Star City

30 July 1993

ESA will participate in the Moscow Aerospace '93, the international specialized trade fair for Aerospace and Airport equipment, open from 31 August to 5 September 1993. Leading aerospace companies from the CIS, the USA, Eastern and Western European countries, as well as national and international organisations, will gather on the fair grounds of "Krasnaja Presnja" in Moscow for a six day open window on planes, space, avionics, aircraft equipment, helicopters, propulsion and Research and Development.
Several hundred thousand visitors are expected to attend this event that also includes a presentation of aircraft at the Central Airport of Moscow and flying displays at the Airport of the Institute Lii at Zhukowsky (65 Km from Moscow).

N° 35–1993

International Space University students to talk to shuttle astronauts in orbit

17 July 1993

Students attending the International Space University's (ISU) 1993 Summer session in Huntsville, Alabama, will have the opportunity to ask questions to the astronauts on board Space Shuttle Discovery (mission STS-51) on Monday July 19, 1993.

N° 34–1993

ESA and NPO Energia sign contract for Mir precursor flights

08 July 1993

On Wednesday 7 July 1993, with its signature by Yuri Semenov, Director General of NPO Energia, and Fredrik Engstr.m, Director of Space Station and Microgravity at ESA, the agreement between ESA and NPO Energia concerning the missions to be undertaken by European astronauts on board the Mir space station in 1994 and 1995 was concluded.

N° 33–1993

109th ESA Council meeting: Decisions on the Earth observation and data relay programmes

25 June 1993

At its 109th meeting held in Paris on 23/24 June, the ESA Council decided to go ahead with the polar platform programme, Envisat mission, Metop preparatory programme and work on the DRS data relay satellite over the period 1993-1995.

N° 32–1993

Election of a new Chairman of the ESA Council

24 June 1993

At its 109th meeting, held at the Agency's headquarters in Paris on 23 and 24 June 1993, the ESA Council unanimously elected its new Chairman for the next two years. Mr Pieter Gaele Winters (Netherlands) will take over from Professor Francesco Carassa (Italy), whose term of office ends on 30 June.

N° 31–1993

ESA Director General reacts to President Clinton's announcement on Space Station Freedom

18 June 1993

Following the announcement by President Clinton that the United States were confirming their commitment to take part in developing a modular space station derived from the original Freedom concept, the ESA Director General Mr Jean- Marie Luton has expressed his satisfaction at this in a letter sent to Mr John Gibbons, the President's advisor on science and technology affairs.

N° 30–1993

Ulysses breaks latitude record

09 June 1993

On 9 June 1993, ESA's Ulysses spaceprobe became the first spacecraft to reach a latitude of more than 32 degrees relative to the Sun's equator. In doing so, Ulysses broke the existing record held by Voyager 1, which is currently exploring the depths of space beyond the solar system at a distance of more than 50 AU from the Sun (1 astronomical unit (AU) = 150 million km).

N° 29–1993

20 June set as new launch date for the STS-57 Shuttle mission to retrieve EURECA

09 June 1993

Space Shuttle Endeavour is now scheduled to lift-off from Kennedy Space Centre on 20 June 1993 for a 7 day mission highlighted by the retrieval of ESA's EURECA satellite. The launch window on June 20 opens at 9:38 hrs local time (15:38 hrs Paris time) and will extend for 1 hour and 11 minutes. In the nominal case, EURECA would be grappled and retrieved in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday 23 June.

N° 28–1993

INTEGRAL confirmed as next scientific mission

04 June 1993

ESA's Science Programme Committee, meeting at the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk (the Netherlands) on 3 and 4 June 1993, has accepted the recommendations of the Space Science Advisory Committee and confirmed INTEGRAL (International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) as the second "medium sized" mission (M2) within the framework of the "Horizon 2000" scientific programme (see also ESA Information Note to the Press nr. 07-93 of 22 April 1993).

N° 27–1993

EURECA retrieval delayed at least two weeks

28 May 1993

N° 26–1993

First ESA/ECSL workshop on intellectual property rights in outer space - Madrid, 26 May1993

19 May 1993

The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL), created by ESA in 1989, after having studied the legal protection of remote sensing satellite data, initiated in 1992 a second research on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR's) in Outer Space. This study will be presented at a Workshop jointly organised by ECSL and the Spanish Centre for Space Law, in Madrid on 26 May 1993.

N° 25–1993

EURECA, the European retrievable carrier ready to be brought back

18 May 1993

After 10 busy months in orbit at an altitude of about 500 km, the European Space Agency's Eureca satellite will be retrieved from Space by NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour, on the fourth day of the STS-57 mission currently scheduled for launch on 3 June 1993 (provisional launch window 2217h -2330h GMT = 0017h -0130h Paris time on 4 June). Physical contact between Endeavour's remote manipulator system (the robot arm in the Shuttle's cargo bay) and Eureca is planned to occur at 2324h GMT on 6 June (= 0124h Paris time on 7 June).

N° 24–1993

Selection of ESA astronauts for Mir Precursor flights in 1994 and 1995

07 May 1993

Mr Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of ESA, has today, Friday 7 May, selected the four ESA astronauts from among whom two will be chosen to take part in the precursor flights to Mir-1 scheduled in 1994 and 1995.
They are Pedro Duque and Ulf Merbold for the ESA/Mir flight in September 1994 (mission 17), which will last 30 days, and Christer Fuglesang and Thomas Reiter for the ESA/Mir flight in August 1995 (mission 19), which will last 135 days.
This selection was made on the recommendation of the ESA European Astronaut Centre, following a series of physical and medical tests.

N° 23–1993

International Colloquium - Paris, 10-13 May 1993 From optical to radar: SPOT and ERS applications .

05 May 1993

Following seven years of using the SPOT system (the third satellite in the series, SPOT-3, will be launched in September this year), and two years after the launch of ERS-1, the French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are holding an important colloquium with the title From optical to radar: SPOT and ERS applications.

N° 22–1993

Advanced Video-conferencing via satellite :

04 May 1993

Affordable - Operational - Efficient

N° 21–1993

Spacelab D-2 in orbit

27 April 1993

After a successful lift-off on 26 April 1993 at 14:50 hrs, (UT) the second German Spacelab mission D-2 on board Space shuttle Columbia has reached orbit and operations have started as scheduled. On this occasion, ESA has sent up to space facilities hosting a number of European experiments to further expand the knowledge of basic phenomena in fluid physics and material sciences, and particularly to perform for the first time an integrated medical screening of the human body in the absence of gravity.

N° 20–1993

INSAR - The third dimension of Earth observation from Space

26 April 1993

An exciting and promising technique for using remote-sensing data is that of Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry, or INSAR. Using INSAR, it is possible to produce, directly from satellite data, detailed three-dimensional relief maps of the Earth's surface with an accuracy of better than ten metres. Moreover, an extension of the basic technique, known as Differential INSAR, allows the detection of very small (centimetre-scale) movements of land-surface features. Both techniques open up many new potential areas of application in cartography, volcanology and crustal dynamics (earthquake prediction).

N° 19–1993

Users of ESA's Olympus satellite report on the outcome of their experiments

22 April 1993

"Today Europe's space telecommunications sector would not be blossoming as it now does, had OLYMPUS not provided a testbed for the technologies and services of the 1990s". This summarises the general conclusions of 135 speakers and 300 participants at the Conference on Olympus Utilisation held in Seville on 20-22-April 1993. The conference was organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).

N° 18–1993

UN/ESA joint training course on satellite applications to be held in Italy, 19-30 April

19 April 1993

The United Nations and the European Space Agency (ESA) are jointly organising a training course on the applications of satellite data gathered by the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-1), to be held in Frascati, Italy, from 19 to 30 April. The training course will discuss the applications of satellite data concerning natural resources, renewable energy and the environment.

N° 17–1993

First European Space Debris Conference ends today

07 April 1993

At the initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA), the First European Space Debris Conference was held in Darmstadt, Germany, from 5 to 7 April 1993 gathering together 251 world experts from 17 countries including China, India, Japan, Russia and the USA.

N° 16–1993

Environment, Telecommunications and Crewed Spaceflight

26 March 1993

ESA Council takes positive decisions

The European Space Agency's Council, meeting in Paris on 24 and 25 March 1993, unanimously approved a Resolution that will allow the start-up of programmes decided on by the Council meeting at ministerial level at Granada in November 1992. These are the environmental programme, with the Envisat missions (for observation of the Earth and its environment) and Metop missions (in meteorology and climatology) and the telecommunications programme, which includes the data relay and technology mission (DRTM); this has two elements 1/2 the Artemis technology mission and the DRS data relay system, together with work on the Hermes programme.

N° 15–1993

Spacelab D2 crew back in Houston

23 March 1993

As announced by NASA, the Shuttle Columbia has had an aborted launch on Monday 22 March and it is presently expected that the countdown for the Spacelab D2 mission will not be resumed before three weeks.

N° 14–1993

Wubbo J. Ockels appointed Professor

22 March 1993

The ESA astronaut Dr Wubbo J. Ockels, has been appointed to the ESTEC Professorial Chair in the faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University, Delft. This University is the only Dutch University with a separate faculty in aerospace engineering.

N° 13–1993

Searching for gravity waves in space

19 March 1993

Three interplanetary spacecraft, ESA's Ulysses and NASA's Mars Observer and Galileo, now quietly heading towards separate destinations (the poles of the Sun, Mars and Jupiter respectively), may soon prove the existence of waves in the universe's gravitational field by bobbing on ripples in space like corks bobbing on ripples in a pond.

N° 12–1993

ESA takes part in Earth observation and space science experiments on board the Space Shuttle

16 March 1993

With the countdown for the forthcoming D-2 mission on the Space Shuttle still running, ESA and European scientists are already preparing for ATLAS-2, the Shuttle's next mission. ESA sees its participation in this second flight of the "Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science" as a further step in preparing for utilisation of the Columbus Attached Laboratory.

N° 11–1993

Spacelab D-2 ready for launch

15 March 1993

March 21, 1993 has now been set as the launch date for Shuttle Mission STS-55. Shuttle Columbia and her seven- member crew will fly the second German Spacelab mission (D-2) on a nine day space journey dedicated to fundamental research in the fields of life sciences, material sciences, Earth observation and robotics.
The launch window opens at 15h52, Paris time (9h52 local time at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida).
This Spacelab flight- the 7th for the ESA developed manned orbiting laboratory- will carry 92 experiments. 32 of them have been developed with ESA's funding. The responsibility for the complete scientific programme is in the hands of DLR- the German Aerospace Research Establishment- which from its D-2 dedicated space operation control centre in Oberpfaffenhofen (Munich, Germany) will perform all payload operations.

N° 10–1993

First European Conference on Space Debris

09 March 1993

The European Space Agency (ESA) will organise the first European Conference on Space Debris between 5 and 7 April 1993 at its European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The French (CNES), Italian (ASI) and German (DARA) space agencies and the British National Space Centre (BNSC) co-sponsor the first event ever on the studies carried out in Europe under the leadership of ESA. This international forum will be a unique opportunity for experts from the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan and Europe to take stock of the activities undertaken as space debris is becoming a growing concern for manned and unmanned space activities.

N° 9–1993

ESA at the Paris Air Show, Le Bourget 10/20 June 1993

25 March 1993

The European Space Agency (ESA) will be putting on a quite exceptional display at this year's fortieth Paris Air Show, which is being held from 10 to 20 June at Le Bourget airport, on the outskirts of Paris.
In a 1500 m2 pavilion, ESA will be presenting the range of Europe's space programmes around three main themes: Man, Earth and Space.

N° 8–1993

European weather satellite moves closer to United States

24 February 1993

A new era of international cooperation in the sharing of weather data was marked today when a European weather satellite completed a move to 75 degrees west longitude at 22,500 miles (36,000 km) above the equator. The satellite now provides weather images spanning both East and West Coasts of the United States, Central and South America.

N° 7–1993

First Ariane-5 solid booster test scores well

23 February 1993

N° 4–1993

ESA's Spacelab once again in space for Europe

25 January 1993

N° 2–1993

EURECA mission Progressing towards Retrieval

18 January 1993

N° 1–1993

ESA at the starting blocks of 1993

13 January 1993

The calendar of space activities for 1993 is, like every year, full of events and activities taking place all over the world. ESA will again play a chief role in or will be present at the following events at European and at international level.