N° 48–1996

ESA council meeting- 17/18 December 1996

18 December 1996

At this meeting, the ESA Council agreed an overall concept to meet the additional expenditure required to complete qualification of the Ariane-5 launcher, covering the continuation of work leading to the Ariane 502 and 503 launches in July and November 1997 (see joint ESA/CNES press release dated 17 December).

N° 47–1996

Continuation of Ariane-5 qualification

17 December 1996

Following the plan of action set in motion last September (see ESA-CNES press release of 26 September), ESA, CNES and the firms concerned have now established a detailed timetable for operations leading up to Ariane flight 502.

N° 46–1996

ENVISAT-1 Payload Data Segment development contract signed

09 December 1996

Mr Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of ESA, and Mr Alain Delecroix, Chief Executive of Thomson CSF/Services et Systemes Sol Spatiaux (T4S) at Thomson-CSF (F), signed the contract for development of the ENVISAT-1 Payload Data Segment (PDS) today at ESRIN, ESA's Earth Observation Missions Exploitation Centre in Frascati, Italy.

N° 45–1996

Towards a new Partnership for the 21st Century

09 November 1996

On 5-6 December 1996, ESA and Japanese representatives in charge of space policy convened in Tsukuba Science City to review the achievements of the ESA/Japan Ad Hoc Group. This Ad Hoc Group was created during the 20th ESA/Japan annual meeting in order to reflect a mutual will to increase the level of bilateral cooperation through the adoption, in 1996, of a joint recommendation for enhanced cooperation.

N° 44–1996

Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and ESA

07 November 1996

Mr Ivan Pilip, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of the Government of the Czech Republic, and Mr Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of ESA, today signed in Prague an Agreement concerning cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

N° 43–1996

New mobile satellite communications system becomes available in Europe

04 November 1996

The European Space Agency's EMS (European Mobile Services) payload has become operational following the official commissioning of the telecommunications satellite Italsat F2 (*) on 31 October at Nuova Telespazio in Rome. EMS is on board this Italian satellite and will now be used for operational voice and data communication links between mobile terminals and fixed Earth stations over western and eastern Europe, North Africa and Turkey.

N° 42–1996

Meteosat second generation

26 September 1996

ESA/Eumetsat Cooperation Agreement
Mr Jean-Marie Luton, the ESA Director General, and Mr Tillmann Mohr, the Director of Eumetsat, today signed a Cooperation Agreement on the procurement by ESA for Eumetsat of two further weather satellites of the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG-2 and MSG-3).

N° 41–1996

Qualification of Ariane-5 plan of action for a resumption of flights

11 September 1996

Mr Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of ESA, and Mr Alain Bensoussan, Chairman of CNES, today presented a plan of action drawn up in response to the report submitted in July by the Ariane 501 Inquiry Board (see ESA-CNES joint press release of 23 July).

N° 39–1996

Joint Press Release ESA/DLR

04 September 1996

SpaceOps 96: International Symposium on Mission Control The Fourth International Symposium on Space Mission Operations and Ground Control Systems will be held at the Forum der Technik near the Deutsches Museum in Munich, from 16 to 20 September 1996. The subject will be "Global Space Operations in the next Century".

N° 38–1996

Scientists discuss EUROMIR 95 results

21 August 1996

Exactly one year after the start of the highly successful EUROMIR 95 mission, which saw ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter on board space station Mir for 180 days, a post-flight Investigators Working Group (IWG) meeting will take place on 3 and 4 September at ESA's European Astronaut Center (EAC) in Cologne.

N° 37–1996

ESA astronauts join 1996 Astronaut Class at NASA

14 August 1996

On Monday 12 August, ESA astronauts Pedro Duque and Christer Fuglesang arrived at NASA's Johnson Space Center to begin training as members of the 1996 Astronaut Class.

N° 36–1996

Space again on show at Farnborough 96

14 August 1996

The European Space Agency, the British National Space Centre and the UK Industrial Space Committee will be jointly presenting a Space Pavilion at the Farnborough International Air Show (2 to 8 September).

N° 34–1996

ESA and Portugal sign Cooperation Agreement

24 July 1996

An Agreement on Space Cooperation for peaceful purposes was signed today in Paris between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government of the Portuguese Republic The Portuguese Government was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Gama, who signed and by the Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Mariano Gago, and ESA by its Director General, Jean-Marie Luton.

N° 33–1996

Ariane 501 - Presentation of Inquiry Board report

23 July 1996

On 4 June 1996 the maiden flight of the Ariane 5 launcher ended in a failure. Only about 40 seconds after initiation of the flight sequence, at an altitude of about 3700 m, the launcher veered off its flight path, broke up and exploded.

N° 31–1996

ESA astronaut named to sixth Shuttle-Mir docking mission

12 July 1996

ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy has been named by NASA to the crew that will make the sixth scheduled docking of the American Space Shuttle Atlantis to the Russian space station Mir. This mission, STS-84, is scheduled for May 1997. It is part of NASA's Phase One Program for the International Space Station.

N° 30–1996

Signature of two Agreements between ESA and Canada

08 July 1996

Mr John Manley, Canadian Minister for Industry, and Mr Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), met in Ottawa on Wednesday 10 July to discuss relations between Canada and ESA, in the presence of Mr. W. Mac Evans, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Mr Luton and Mr Mac Evans signed two Agreements on participation by Canada in two ESA programmes : the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) and the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems Programme (ARTES).

N° 29–1996

Presentation of Inquiry Board findings

12 July 1996

(Joint ESA/CNES press release) Professor Jacques-Louis Lions and Dr Lennart Lübeck, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Ariane 501 Inquiry Board, accompanied by Mr Jean-Marie Luton, the Director General of ESA, and Alain Bensoussan, the Chairman of CNES, will present the findings of the Inquiry Board set up after the Ariane 501 launch failure (see ESA/CNES press releases of 6 and 10 June) at a press conference at ESA Headquarters on Monday 22 July at 1500 hours.

N° 27–1996

ESA -Japan cooperative relations at an historical turning point

02 July 1996

During the 21st ESA/Japan Annual meeting, a review of current and potential cooperative areas was performed. This review covered the preliminary conclusions reached in the framework of the ESA/Japan Ad Hoc Working Group which was created during the 20th Annual meeting to reflect the mutual will to increase the level of bilateral cooperation.

N° 26–1996

Europe provides Satellite Navigation Services

28 June 1996

The European Space Agency, the European Commission and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) are jointly developing EGNOS, Europe's augmentation system for satellite navigation. This ECU 150 million project will provide civil GPS or GLONASS users - on land, at sea or airborne - with improved accuracy, integrity and availability. Working together, the three entities are known as the European Tripartite Group (ETG).

N° 25–1996

Ariane-5 and Cluster update

27 June 1996

At its meeting on 25 and 26 June 1996, the ESA Council was informed in detail of the measures taken after the Ariane 501 failure and of the proposed approach to revive the scientific objectives of the Cluster mission. Council noted that following the Ariane 501 flight failure on 4 June, the ESA Director General, Jean-Marie Luton, and the CNES Chairman, Alain Bensoussan, set up an Enquiry Board to determine the causes, investigate whether the qualification and acceptance tests were appropriate and recommend corrective action to eliminate the causes of the anomaly and other possible weaknesses in the system(s) found to be at fault. At the same time, they decided to strengthen the investigative powers of the Launcher Qualification Review, in particular by setting up specialised audits (see ESA/CNES joint press releases N s. 21 and 22 of 10 and 14 June).

N° 24–1996

ESA Council elects new Chairman

27 June 1996

Hugo Ragnar Parr, currently Director General of the Research Department at the Norwegian Ministry of Industry and Energy, is the new Chairman of the ESA Council for the next two years.

N° 23–1996

European flavour to Space Shuttle flight

20 June 1996

N° 20–1996

Flight 501 failure- first information

06 June 1996

The first Ariane-5 launch took place on Tuesday, 4 June 1996, from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's Spaceport, at Kourou in French Guiana. The launcher was carrying the European Space Agencys four Cluster satellites, a science mission to study Earth-Sun interactions.

N° 19–1996

The first Ariane-5 flight did not result in validation of Europe's new launcher

04 June 1996

It was the first flight test of an entirely new vehicle each of whose elements had been tested on the ground in the course of the past years and months.

N° 18–1996

SOHO unmasks the sun Presentation of first results

23 April 1996

Five months after its launch (cf. ESA press release 63/95) SOHO has now reached its final position and the first results of this new sungazing spacecraft will be presented to the media by a team of scientists at 10h30 on Thursday 2 May at 10h30 at ESA Headquarters, 8-10 rue Mario Nikis, 75015- PARIS.

N° 17–1996

International STS-75 Shuttle crew visits ESA centers

05 April 1996

After their 15-day flight on the Columbia space shuttle from 22 February to 9 March 1996, European Space Agency astronauts Claude Nicollier and Maurizio Cheli and Italian Space Agency payload specialist Umberto Guidoni will accompany NASA astronauts Andrew Allen, Scott Horowitz, Franklin Chang-Diaz and Jeffrey Hoffman to various ESA and national Centres for public conferences, debriefings and encounters with the press.

N° 16–1996

EMS, an ESA high-performance communications payload, ready for launch on ITALSAT-F2

27 March 1996

The Special Administrator of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Mr. Silvano Casini, and the Director of Telecommunications of the European Space Agency (ESA), Mr. René Collette have today signed the Agreement giving the terms under which the European Land Mobile Services (EMS) payload developed by ESA is being embarked, launched and operated on the ITALSAT-F2 satellite developed by ASI.

N° 15–1996

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter back from Russia

22 March 1996

N° 14–1996

International Shuttle mission ends

11 March 1996

The 15-day international flight of the space shuttle Columbia came to an end on Saturday 09 March 1996 with a successful landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During the mission, the crew of seven, which includes three European astronauts, deployed the Italian tethered satellite and watched over a variety of microgravity experiments.

N° 13–1996

Astronaut Reiter lands, ending longest ESA manned mission

29 February 1996

The record-breaking six-month EUROMIR 95 mission of ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter came to an end today with the successful landing of the Soyuz TM-22 spacecraft. Thomas Reiter and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Avdeev have been aboard the Mir space station since September 1995. The highlights of the mission included the first spacewalks by an ESA astronaut, a docking by the space shuttle Atlantis and extensive scientific research. The EUROMIR missions are an important step for international cooperation in view of ESA's participation in the International Space Station programme.

N° 12–1996

Start of the Ariane-5 campaign for the 501 flight

22 February 1996

Preparations for the launch campaign for the first Ariane-5 qualification flight (501) are under way in Europe and at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's spaceport. The main launcher elements (cryogenic main stage, storable propellant stage, vehicle equipment bay, Speltra and fairing) arrived in Kourou on 14 February on board the Toucan. The solid booster stages are assembled on site in Guiana.

N° 11–1996

Columbia lifts off with three European on board

22 February 1996

With a thundering roar, the space shuttle Columbia lifted off today, carrying three Europeans and four Americans into space on an ambitious mission to test for a second time the Italian Tethered Satellite System (TSS). The 75th space shuttle mission began on 22 February at 09.18 p.m. CET after a flawless four-day countdown.

N° 10–1996

ESA astronauts to fly on Tethered Satellite System mission

12 February 1996

ESA astronauts Claude Nicollier and Maurizio Cheli will fly as mission specialists on board Space Shuttle Columbia for flight STS-75. The launch is scheduled to take place on 22 February 1996. Lift-off is set for 15:18 hrs EST at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida (21:18 hrs Central European Time).
During the 14 day long mission the modified Tethered Satellite System (TSS) will be redeployed and the US Microgravity Payload (USMP) will be flown for the third time. Landing is scheduled for 7 March 1996 at KSC in Florida.

N° 9–1996

ESA astronaut back from second spacewalk

09 February 1996

The second spacewalk carried out by Thomas Reiter, ESA's astronaut on board Mir for almost six months as a crew member on the EUROMIR 95 mission, went smoothly. It started on schedule on Thursday 8 February at 15:07 hrs Central European Time with a sortie starting from the airlock located at the end of Mir's Kvant-2 module.

N° 8–1996

Second spacewalk for ESA astronaut

02 February 1996

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is to step into space for a second time during his 180-day mission aboard the Russian Mir space station. In October last year, Reiter became the first ESA astronaut to perform a spacewalk, when he installed a European experiment outside the station, as part of the EUROMIR 95 mission.

N° 7–1996

Early results from ISO

31 January 1996

N° 6–1996

Status of ERS-2 nine months after launch

23 January 1996

On the occasion of the first presentation of scientific results derived from GOME data, the media were also briefed on the status of the ERS-2 mission, 9 months after the satellite's launch on 21 April 1995.

N° 4–1996

SOHO, an early start, a long lifetime

24 January 1996

SOHO, the international mission led by the European Space Agency is the most comprehensive space observatory to study the Sun that has been flown to date. Thanks to a highly accurate launch it will start its scientific investigations earlie than planned and will be able to operate much longer than expected. SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) will probe the interior of the Sun and address many fundamental questions about our daylight star.

N° 3–1996

Europe opens new Control Centre and Space Museum in French Guiana

11 January 1996

Preparation works proceed full speed at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's space port in Kourou (French Guiana), where the new launch complex ELA 3 and integration buildings are ready for the maiden flight of Ariane 5, Europe's new launcher, scheduled for 7 May 1996.

N° 2–1996

Completion of Ariane-5 on-the-ground propulsion tests

08 January 1996

On Saturday 6 January the second and final qualification test (Q2) on the cryogenic main stage of Europe's Ariane-5 launcher was carried out on the ELA-3 launch site at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guiana.

N° 1–1996

Presentation of the first results of the Global Ozone

08 January 1996

Monitoring Experiment (GOME) onboard the ERS-2 satellite ESA launched GOME, the most advanced instrument for Ozone and atmospheric trace gas monitoring in space, onboard ERS-2 on 21 April 1995. Its commissioning is about to be concluded.