19 December 2000
The Vega Small Launcher Development programme and the P80 Advanced Solid Propulsion Stage Demonstrator programme were formally approved on 15 December by the participating States.
The Vega Small Launcher Development programme and the P80 Advanced Solid Propulsion Stage Demonstrator programme were formally approved on 15 December by the participating States.
At the end of November, the European Space Agency took further steps to enhance Europe's capacity to predict the evolution of the Earth's environment, under the influence of both natural variability and man's activities. Five new candidate space missions have been selected to undergo preliminary feasibility studies.
A year after launch, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory is fully living up to its promise with a steady stream of fascinating data. To mark the anniversary and to present the first sample of the mission's scientific results, the media are invited to a press conference to be held at European Space Agency headquarters in Paris on 6 December.
Today ministers representing the 15 Member States of the European Space Agency, gathered in Brussels at an extraordinary meeting of the ESA Council, have adopted a resolution that accompanies a joint ESA/EC document on a European Strategy for Space. A parallel resolution, based on the same document, has been endorsed by the European Research Council, also meeting today in Brussels.
Experiments in weightlessness will be flown on 21-23 November on the special "Zero-g" Airbus A300 during the 29th ESA parabolic flight campaign, conducted from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport. Three flights of 30 parabolas each are planned for the mornings of 21, 22 and 23 November. Organized by ESA, this campaign includes 11 experiments: four in physical sciences, four in life sciences, two experiments proposed by students and one serving educational purposes for the general public.
The second European conference on launcher technology is being organised by ESA, in collaboration with ASI, CNES, FiatAvio, ONERA, and La Sapienza University in Rome. It will be hosted at the university's Congress Centre from 21 to 24 November.
On 8/9 November, at Noordwijk in the Netherlands, the European Space Agency (ESA) will inaugurate the "European Project on the Sun" (EPOS), a travelling exhibition conceived and built by European youngsters who have spent the past eight months acting as solar scientists and communication experts working on various themes relating to the Sun.
Not so much an anniversary, more a consecration......Ariane 4 yesterday took Europe*Star, a communications satellite, to orbit. And took it there with the precision which has become its hallmark. So much so in fact that the event - awesome and yet strangely banal - could well have gone almost unnoticed. If that is the launcher had not been lifting off with a remarkable record onboard - the 100th launch of the Ariane 4 generation. This may not be the end of a career - some twenty more Ariane-
As from 1 November countries where a natural or technological disaster has occurred will be able to enlist emergency support from the space facilities of the European Space Agency (ESA), the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES, France) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) by simply calling a confidential telephone number.
ESA is inviting young people to take part in a competition to draw a flag to represent the Earth. The overall winner will fly to Kourou, in French Guiana, to see the launch of Envisat, the new advanced Earth observation satellite. The Ariane 5 launcher that will carry Envisat into space will bear the Envisat logo and the winning picture of the Earth flag. Prizes also include 16 sets of computers and printers: one for the winner from each of the 15 ESA Member States and from Canada, a contributor to the Envisat programme.
In March this year, ESA's Director General Antonio Rodotà asked a committee of three "wise men" to help him with independent advice on the evolution of ESA.
At its 147th meeting, held at the Agency's headquarters in Paris on 19 and 20 October, the ESA Council unanimously elected its new Director of Science for the next four years, Prof. David Southwood (UK), who takes over from Prof. Roger-Maurice Bonnet (F) on 1 May next year.
A World Class Test in a World Class Facility for a World Class Observatory
The European Space Agency's new web portal will be launched today. Very different from the present homepage in both look and content, it is geared towards the general public and the media. Readers will get the latest news on European space activities, covering major space-related issues.
The European Space Agency (ESA) and Chalmers University in Sweden have organised a conference entitled "ERS/Envisat Symposium - Looking down to Earth in the New Millennium". It will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden from 16 to 20 October 2000.
The ozone layer, protecting our planet from potentially harmful ultraviolet sunlight, is threatened by human activities, in particular by the steady release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere. In 1987 the leading industrial countries signed the Montreal Protocol in which they agreed to phase out the products responsible for ozone depletion.
On Friday 13 October, ESA's Director of Science Prof. Roger Bonnet will announce the next future scientific missions to be flown in the period 2008-2013.
The first resident, or Expedition, crew will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in a Soyuz capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, no earlier than 30 October 2000, to become the first permanent residents of the new research facility.
ESA's advanced communication satellite, Artemis, is ready to be shipped to Tanegashima space centre in Japan for its launch by a Japanese H2A rocket on 1 February next year. Before leaving Europe, it will undergo a final series of functional checkout tests at ESTEC, ESA's space research and technology centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. ESA invites the media on Tuesday 26 September to a background briefing on this challenging project at which they have the opportunity to see the state-of-the-art spacecraft in the cleanrooms.
Just as solar storms are brewing, the European-built space probe, Ulysses, is venturing over the Sun's south pole for the second time in its 10 year life. The intrepid spacecraft will pass 70o south on 8 September, shortly before the Sun's 11 year activity cycle is due to peak. Solar storms are already numerous and the high latitude solar wind (the stream of charged particles blowing away from the Sun) is chaotic and blustery.
On 12 September, Mrs Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Minister for Culture, Higher Education and Research of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Mr Antonio Rodotà, Director General of the European Space Agency, sign an agreement that will enable Luxembourg to participate in ESA's ARTES telecommunications programme.
The Cluster quartet, Salsa, Samba, Rumba and Tango, now flying in their final orbit around the Earth in tetrahedral formation, are ready to enter the scientific commissioning and operation phase. Thus Cluster is at last joining the SOHO spacecraft and making the first cornerstone of ESA's "Horizons 2000" programme a reality.
The second pair of Cluster satellites are now safely in separation orbit around the Earth after today's successful launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
After the successful launch of the first two Cluster satellites - Salsa and Samba - on 16 July, followed by a perfect insertion into their operational orbits, scientists around the world are eagerly awaiting the launch of the second Cluster pair from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The two-element International Space Station already in orbit docked successfully with the Zvezda service module early this morning, at 02:45 Central European Summer Time as planned. Zvezda's European computer system is set to take over control of the now three-element ISS.
The European Space Agency's Cluster II mission to explore the magnetosphere is now under way after today's successful launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Today, at 12:00 GMT (14:00 Central European Summer Time), the Italian mini-satellite MITA was launched from the Plesetsk Space Centre, some 800 km north-west of Moscow, on a Russian Cosmos launcher.
Farnborough International 2000 takes place from 24 to 30 July. Monday 24 is a press day, 25-28 are trade days and the Show is open to the public over the weekend of 29 and 30. ESA and BNSC share a 370 m² stand, in a building next to the media centre.
Only a few days remain before the start of the European Space Agency's Cluster II mission, a unique expedition to explore the magnetosphere and revolutionise our understanding of the interaction between the Sun and Earth.
ESA and UNESCO have prepared a joint report on the ethics of space. It will be presented to the media on 10 July in Paris by Professor Alain Pompidou, former Member of the European Parliament, and Antonio Rodotà, ESA's Director General .
Following a General Designer's Review held Monday in Moscow, the partners in the International Space Station announced that the Zvezda service module is set to be launched on Wednesday 12 July from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a modified Proton launcher. The first European hardware destined for the Space Station - Zvezda's central computing system - will be on board.
Today in Paris, Carl Bildt, Jean Peyrelevade and Lothar Späth meet Antonio Rodotà, ESA Director General, to start deliberations on ESA's evolution and enlargement.
From 10 to 15 July, Noordwijk (NL) will be the "Capital of the Moon" when ESA's establishment ESTEC hosts the 4th International Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon (ICEUM4). The Moon conference is organised by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG). "The purpose of the ICEUM4 conference", says Bernard H. Foing, current ILEWG chairman, " is to gather Lunar Explorers (young and old), scientists, engineers, industrial firms and organisations to review recent activities and prepare for the next steps on the Moon".
The European Space Agency, ESA, and the French Space Agency, CNES, signed a charter on 20 June 2000 to promote cooperation among space system operators in deploying their systems in the event of major natural or technological disasters. The charter was signed by Mr Antonio Rodotà, ESA's Director General, and Mr Gérard Brachet, Director General of CNES.
ESA welcomed Canada's Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, at a special ceremony held today at its Paris headquarters to celebrate the continuing partnership between Europe and Canada in space applications and technology. The Prime Minister met the Director General of ESA, Antonio Rodotà, and the heads of delegations representing ESA's 14 member states.
The European Space Agency will be at the 7th International Exhibition of Architecture taking place in Venice from 18 June to 29 October as part of the Biennale.
Europe commits to the operational phase of the International Space Station by procuring launch services for nine Automated Transfer Vehicles to re-boost and re-supply the Station. Contract signed today at ILA in Berlin.
The International Aerospace Exhibition ILA2000 opens its doors in Berlin from 6 to 12 June. The European Space Agency and Germany's Space Agency and space industry present their activities in a joint pavilion.
Following almost 12 years of successful operation, Eutelsat, the satellite's owner, has decided to retire ECS-5. ESA, who was responsible for its procurement and subsequent in-orbit control, has initiated re-orbiting, end-of-life testing and decommissioning activities through its dedicated control centre at the ESA ground station in Redu (Belgium). The spacecraft is expected to be decommissioned and placed in its "graveyard" orbit of at least 150 km above geostationary altitude by the end of May 2000, thus ensuring that no debris remains in this valuable orbit.
The European Space Agency has joined the fight against forest fires in British Columbia, Canada. On 13-14 May, a demonstration of REMSAT (Real Time Emergency Management via Satellite), a project initiated and funded by ESA, showed how the integrated use of three key space technologies could help bring a forest fire under control.
On 23 May, the "Zero-g" Airbus A-300 will take off from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in France on the first of a four-day campaign of parabolic flights designed to carry out experiments in weightlessness and test instruments and equipment before they are used in real spaceflight.
On Thursday, 18 May, the European Space Agency (ESA) will inaugurate the VIL-1 antenna that will be used for the Cluster II mission to the magnetosphere.
A test firing of an Ariane-5 solid rocket motor (MPS) is to take place on 16 May on the booster teststand (BEAP) at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's spaceport in Kourou, under the Ariane-5 Research and Technology Accompaniment programme.
On Wednesday 17 May over 20 astronauts from eight European countries will gather at ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, to celebrate the centre's 10th anniversary.
The Zvezda Service Module, the cornerstone of Russia's contribution to the International Space Station, is targeted for launch between 8-14 July 2000 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Today, as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC) opened the Galileo Programme Office, Antonio Rodotà, ESA Director General, said "this marks a step forward in one of Europe's most promising new space programmes" and Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy and Transport, added "the office is the first permanent physical link between the two main European institutions which are pressing ahead with work on our new satellite-based navigation, positioning and precision timing system, Galileo."
To mark the Hubble Space Telescope's tenth anniversary, ESA is hosting a press conference at the Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) in Munich on Thursday April 27.
The European Space Agency's Envisat satellite is currently undergoing integration and tests at the European Space research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands "This is the long-awaited moment when we put our flight spacecraft together in one piece. Even the engineers who have worked on it for years are impressed by the size and complexity of the satellite" says Peter Dubock, Envisat's Integration Manager.
At a ceremony to be held at Alenia Spazio in Turin, Italy, on Friday 14 April, in the presence of the ESA Director General Antonio Rodotà and Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Sergio de Julio, the Columbus flight structure will be handed over to ESA by ASI. On the same occasion, the Environmental Control and Life Support Subsystem (ECLSS) ownership transfer from ESA to ASI will be formalised.
A chance encounter between Ulysses, the joint ESA/NASA spacecraft, and a comet's tail is leading scientists to conclude that comet tails extend much further than anyone supposed - right to the edge of the solar system. Two papers published in Nature today report that on 1 May 1996, Ulysses flew through the tail of comet Hyakutake whose nucleus was more than 3.5AU (one AU equals the Sun-Earth distance) away at the time. "This makes it the longest comet tail ever recorded", says Geraint Jones from Imperial College, London who is a member of one of the two instrument teams that made the discovery.
A special workshop on Fundamental Physics in Space and related topics will be held at CERN in Geneva from 5 to 7 April 2000. Remarkable advances in technology and progress made in reliability and cost effectiveness of European space missions in recent years have opened up exciting new directions for such research. Moreover, recent technical advances in accelerator-based research can find promising applications in space research.
The very rapid growth of the internet, internet services and the world wide web has created high demand for communications bandwidth for fast access to web contents and also the need to design innovative network concepts harmonising satellite and terrestrial network technologies.
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) ) is organising a symposium on "Space and education" in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the International Space University (ISU), and with the assistance of other agencies, representatives of the space industry, teachers, pupils and students. Speakers will include space experts from all parts of the world.
The AP2000 Millennium Conference on Antennas and Propagation is an exceptional reunion of worldwide resonance organised in Davos by the European Space Agency, ESA, in cooperation with EUREL (Convention of National Societies of Electrical Engineers of Europe) and with the EU COST Framework (Coopération Scientifique et Technique).
Our skies could soon be home to special airships able to provide local to regional telecommunication services, Earth observation services, atmospheric science and astronomical observations. The European Space Agency, together with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace of Germany, Lindstrand Balloons Ltd. of the United Kingdom and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, have completed a first assessment of a concept for High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) aerostatic craft, positioned in the stratosphere at about 20km altitude - in a region of space where no aircraft or satellites fly - and with an operational lifetime ranging from months to years.
Six proposals, ranging from a visit to the Asteroid Belt to amazingly sensitive gyroscopes, will undergo close examination during the next six months, as the European Space Agency's science advisors move towards the selection of flexi-missions for launch between 2005 and 2009. Science working groups and the Space Science Advisory Committee have chosen them from 49 ideas submitted in response to a call for proposals last October.
The continued monitoring of ozone is assured well towards the end of the next decade through a 38.3 million Euro contract signed today in Florence, Italy for three new Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME-2) instruments.
Physics is everywhere. The laws of physics govern the Universe, the Sun, the Earth and even our own lives. In today's rapidly developing society, we are becoming increasingly dependent on high technology - computers, transport, and communication are just some of the key areas that are the result of discoveries by scientists working in physics.
The European Space Agency, the European Commission and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), are together making concrete progress in the development of a Global Positioning and Navigation Satellite System, dubbed GNSS.
Over the fortnight from 16 to 27 October this year an ESA parabolic flight campaign will give some 30 international student teams of researchers (approximately 120 students in all) the chance to experience near-zero gravity (weightlessness). The campaign will use a specially adapted Airbus A-300 that will take off from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in France to carry out experiments in weightlessness and test instruments and equipment prior to spaceflight.
German astronaut Gerhard Thiele landed back on Earth yesterday (Tuesday, 22 February 2000) with his five international colleagues after a ground-breaking Space Shuttle mission that will change the way we look at the Earth.
NASA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) announced today that the next component of the International Space Station (ISS) - the Zvezda service module - is scheduled to be launched between 8 and 14 July from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The International Space Station Partners are expected to formally approve the timing of the Zvezda launch in accordance with the Space Station Control Board process within the next several weeks.
Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off into a clear blue Florida sky today (12:43 EST - 17:43 GMT - 18:43 CET) with ESA astronaut Gerhard Thiele (Germany) aboard on his maiden spaceflight. Originally scheduled for 31 January, the launch had been postponed due to bad weather and a Shuttle technical problem.
Ms Loyola de Palacio, EC Vice-President and Commissioner responsible for Relations with the European Parliament, Transport and Energy, and Mr Philippe Busquin, Commissioner responsible for Research, today visited ESTEC, the European Space Agency's Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
In high-speed-approach landings on distant planets having an atmosphere, space probes are usually protected by rigid heat shields, while their descent is slowed down by parachutes to reduce the impact. In recent years, new technologies have been developed to replace these bulky heat shield and parachute systems.
The European Space Agency's X-ray space observatory has taken its very first pictures giving new views on the Universe. The commissioning images confirm that the XMM spacecraft, its X-ray telescopes and science instruments are functioning perfectly, to the great satisfaction of all involved.
On 31 January, the Space Shuttle Endeavour will lift off on the first Space Shuttle flight of the year which will drastically alter the way we look at Earth. ESA astronaut Gerhard Thiele, from Germany, will be one of the six crewmembers on board.
The European Space Agency is contributing to the world's biggest field campaign to measure ozone amounts and changes over the Arctic. The aim of this international campaign is to obtain a better understanding of the low ozone values observed over the Arctic region during recent winter/spring seasons and their possible link to long-term ozone depletion over Europe. The campaign, based above the Arctic Circle in the Kiruna area, Sweden, started last November and continues until the end of March.
Digital media can work wonders in the classroom. On 12 January Espresso for Schools, a project developed in the framework of ESA's multimedia programme, won the Award for Innovation at BETT 2000, one of the most prestigious events in the UK's educational calendar.
The devastation caused in parts of Europe by recent storms is being surveyed using the radar and optical observation satellites ERS and SPOT of the European Space Agency and the French national space agency CNES.