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N° 84–2003

Merry Christmas from Mars

25 December 2003

Mars Express enters orbit around the Red Planet - Contact awaited with Beagle 2 on the surface

This morning, after a journey lasting 205 days and covering 400 million km, the European Mars Express space probe fired its main engine at 03:47 CET for a 37-minute burn in order to enter an orbit around the Mars. This firing gave the probe a boost so that it could match the higher speed of the planet on its orbit around the Sun and be captured by its gravity field, quite like climbing in a spinning merry-go-round. This orbit insertion manoeuvre was a complete success.

N° 83–2003

Mars Express releases Beagle 2

19 December 2003

This morning, ESA's Mars Express flawlessly released the Beagle 2 lander that it has been carrying since its launch on 2 June this year. Beagle 2 is now on its journey towards the surface of Mars, where it is expected to land early in the morning of 25 December. Mars Express, Europe's first mission to Mars, has passed another challenging milestone on its way towards its final destination.

N° 82–2003

Christmas on Mars: be there with ESA

15 December 2003

Launched on 2 June 2003, after a six-month cruise at an average speed of about 10 kilometres per second and covering a distance of about 400 million kilometres, ESA’s Mars Express will arrive at Mars on Christmas Day. After a very complicated and challenging series of operations during the night of 24/25 December 2003, the probe will be injected into an elliptical orbit near the poles of the Red planet, while the Beagle 2 lander – released from the mother craft six days earlier – is expected to touchdown on the surface of Mars.

N° 81–2003

Mars is just around the corner

09 December 2003

After a journey of 400 million km, ESA's Mars Express is now approaching its final destination. On 19 December, the spacecraft is scheduled to release the Beagle 2 lander it has been carrying since its launch on 2 June.

N° 80–2003

European Space Policy Institute founded in Vienna

26 November 2003

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Austrian Space Agency (ASA), on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) of the Federal Republic of Austria, today founded the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna.

N° 79–2003

"Europe lands on Mars" - Media event at ESA/ESOC

25 November 2003

ESA Mars Express probe is scheduled to arrive at Mars at Christmas : the Beagle 2 lander is expected to touch down on the surface of the Red Planet during the night of 24 to 25 December.

N° 78–2003

The space industry meets to exchange views

21 November 2003

Over 600 representatives of more than 320 European companies will gather at ESA’s research and technology centre (ESTEC) on 24-26 November for Industry Space Days.

N° 77–2003

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security: 4th Forum in Baveno (Italy), 26-28 November 2003

18 November 2003

The overall aim of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative is to support Europe’s goals regarding sustainable development and global governance, by facilitating the provision of quality data, information, and knowledge.

N° 76–2003

ESA and the EU: the start of a new partnership

12 November 2003

Negotiations on a framework agreement for structured cooperation between ESA and the European Community have been concluded. Today the ESA Council adopted the agreement, which had already been endorsed by the EU Council on 20 October.

N° 75–2003

Critical decisions on Cosmic Vision

07 November 2003

At its 105th meeting, on 5/6 November, ESA's Science Programme Committee (SPC) made important decisions concerning the Cosmic Vision programme. Due to the current financial exigencies and an outlook with no budget increase or other relief, the SPC was forced to cancel the Eddington mission and rescope the BepiColombo mission.

N° 74–2003

Are you ready for Mars? - Main media events surrounding the arrival of ESA’s Mars Express at Mars

06 November 2003

ESA’s Mars Express probe is scheduled to arrive at Mars at Christmas: the Beagle 2 lander is expected to touch down on the surface of the Red Planet on the night of 24 to 25 December.

N° 73–2003

ESA and Rosaviakosmos sign up for two Foton flights

04 November 2003

A procurement order for two unmanned Foton capsule flights was recently (21 October) signed at the European Space Agency’s Moscow Office by ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight, Mr Jörg Feustel-Büechl, and Mr V.I. Kozlov, Head of the Automatic Vehicle and Ground Control Department at Rosaviakosmos. The outcome of a year of extensive negotiations, this order will cover the Foton-M2 and -M3 missions, which will have 660 kg of ESA-supplied scientific payloads onboard.

N° 72–2003

i-WEAR Fashion Show in Paris

31 October 2003

The “i-WEAR“ Fashion Show will present the latest developments in intelligent clothing to European consumers in three major cities: Paris, Barcelona and Berlin. The project takes place in the framework of the European Science and Technology Week, part of the European Union’s research programme to inform the public about the latest science and technology developments and trends. The event in Paris takes place on 5 November at 18:00 at Atelier Richelieu 60, rue de Richelieu (Palais de Richelieu).

N° 71–2003

Another giant solar explosion follows Tuesday’s enormous solar flare

30 October 2003

Since Tuesday 28 October, explosive events originating from the Sun have been bathing the Earth and its surroundings in high energy radiation. Although 150 million kilometers away, the Sun is still capable of causing major disruption here on Earth to a range of systems that we depend on in everyday life. These include communication and navigation systems, aircraft and spacecraft operations and the distribution of electricity at high latitudes.

N° 70–2003

Cervantes mission concludes with Soyuz TMA-2 landing

28 October 2003

ESA astronaut Pedro Duque from Spain landed in the command module of the Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft near the town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at 08:40 local time, 03:40 Central European Time (CET), this morning, thus concluding the successful 10-day Cervantes mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

N° 69–2003

Nuna II breaks all records in the World Solar Challenge!

22 October 2003

The Dutch solar car Nuna II, using ESA space technology, finished first in the World Solar challenge, a 3010 km race right across Australia for cars powered by solar energy. Having set off from Darwin on Sunday 19 October, Nuna II crossed the finish line in Adelaide on Wednesday 22 October in a new record-breaking time of 31 hours 5 minutes, beating the previous record of 32 hours 39 minutes set by its Dutch precursor Nuna in 2001.

N° 68–2003

ESA astronaut flies Cervantes mission to ISS

18 October 2003

The Cervantes mission, with European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque, and the ISS Expedition 8 crew lifted off today in Soyuz TMA-3 on flight 7S to the International Space Station. The launch took place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11.38 local time ( 07.38 Central European Summer Time).

N° 67–2003

From Darwin to Adelaide, the length of Australia, 3010 kilometres, without fuel!

17 October 2003

On 19 October 30 cars will be jostling for position at the start of the 7th World Solar Challenge in Darwin, Australia. After winning in 2001 with Nuna I, the Nuon Solar Team, from the Netherlands, will be bidding to retain their title.

N° 66–2003

Galileo Concession: shortlisting to proceed

17 October 2003

The Galileo Joint Undertaking is officially issuing a first invitation to tender for the Galileo Concession. The invitation is published today in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the GJU website (

N° 65–2003

Return to space for Spanish ESA astronaut

16 October 2003

On 18 October the Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:37 local time, 07:37 Central European Summer Time, will be carrying the European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz flight 7S, accompanied by the two members of ISS Expedition 8 crew.

N° 64–2003

ESA Director General salutes China’s first human space flight

15 October 2003

“Our warmest congratulations to the People’s Republic of China on this outstanding achievement” said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain soon after the successful Shenzou launch.

N° 63–2003

Launch of Ariadna to boost Advanced Space Research in Europe

13 October 2003

Will spacecraft travelling through interplanetary space be able to determine their positions by using signals from dead stars as astronomical clocks?

N° 62–2003

Follow the Cervantes launch and docking with the International Space Station from one of ESA’s establishments

09 October 2003

The launch of ESA's Cervantes mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is currently scheduled for 18 October at 11:37 local time (05:37 GMT - 07:37 Central European Summer Time). Docking with the ISS is scheduled for 20 October at 11:11 Moscow time (07:11 GMT - 09:11 CEST).

N° 61–2003

Euro from Space - a unique ESA initiative to support the International Space Station Education Programme

08 October 2003

Starting on Monday 20 October donations will be accepted to bid for three very special sets of euro banknotes and 15 national sets of euro coins: all were flown on board the International Space Station (ISS) during the Belgian Soyuz mission Odissea in October 2002.

N° 60–2003

SMART-1 leaves Earth on a long journey to the Moon

28 September 2003

SMART-1, Europe’s first science spacecraft designed to orbit the Moon, has completed the first part of its journey by achieving its initial Earth orbit after a flawless launch during the night of 27/28 September.

N° 59–2003

ZARM Drop Tower becomes ESA External Facility

25 September 2003

The European Space Agency is to declare the “Zentrum für Angewandte Raumfahrt Microgravitation” ZARM Drop Tower in Bremen an ESA External Facility. This prestigious title will be conferred at a ceremony at ZARM on 2 October, beginning at 12:45, attended by the Mayor of Bremen and President of the City Senate Dr Henning Scherf, Prof. Dr Hans J. Rath, ZARM Director General, Dr Hans Kappler, ESA Director of Industrial Matters and Technology Programmes, and Mr Gaele Winters, ESA Director of Technical and Operational Support.

N° 58–2003

ESA’s SMART-1 satellite ready for lift-off

23 September 2003

Follow the SMART-1 launch from an ESA or Arianespace establishment.

N° 57–2003

Aurora: the future of space exploration - Press briefing at IAF in Bremen

23 September 2003

The European Space Agency will be represented at the 54th International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Congress, at the Fair and Congress Centre in Bremen (Germany) from Monday 29 September to Friday 3 October, by a group of expert lecturers on several disciplines, scientists and astronauts (for the complete programme and more information see

N° 56–2003

Inauguration of the "China-Europe Global Navigation Satellite System Technical Training and Cooperation Centre" (CENC)

18 September 2003

Europe and China share a common interest in cooperating to bring the benefits of satellite navigation and Galileo in particular to transport, science, land management, disaster prevention and other user sectors. Sharing research results, encouraging education, joint projects and industrial contacts are important means towards such goals.

N° 55–2003

Hubble assists Rosetta comet mission

05 September 2003


Results from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have played a major role in preparing ESA’s ambitious Rosetta mission for its new target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Hubble has been used to make precise measurements of the size, shape and rotational period of the comet. Information that is essential if Rosetta is to rendezvous with the comet and then drop down a probe, something never before attempted and yet a major step towards elucidating the origins of the solar system.

N° 54–2003

ESA Director General comments on Columbia Accident Investigation Board report

28 August 2003

Commenting on the Columbia accident report delivered to NASA by the independent Investigation Board, Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency, said:

N° 53–2003

SUCCESS 2002 Student Contest award ceremony

28 August 2003

Today, at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, the outcome of the SUCCESS 2002 Student Contest was announced to contestants eagerly waiting to see if their proposed experiment had won a prize in this competition organised every two years by the European Space Agency (ESA).

N° 52–2003

ESA contributes to development of Digital and Electronic Cinema in Europe

28 August 2003

The Italian Presidency of the European Union has organised a Seminar of European Union Ministers of Culture, to be held in Venice from 28 to 31 August, in conjunction with the 60th Venice International Film Festival.

N° 51–2003

25 Years of Human Spaceflight in Europe

22 August 2003

2003 is a year for Europe to commemorate a number of “firsts” in human spaceflight.

N° 50–2003

Europe’s first Moon probe prepares for launch

08 August 2003

Europe’s first probe to the Moon, SMART-1, is about to begin a unique journey that will take it into orbit around our closest neighbour powered only by an ion engine, which Europe will be testing for the first time as main spacecraft propulsion.

N° 49–2003

Summit agrees to improve coordination of global Earth observation

07 August 2003

High-level delegates from 30 countries and 22 international organisations agreed at the Earth Observation Summit held last Thursday in Washington to improve cooperation on Earth observation and to remove barriers to the exchange of information between countries and organisations.

N° 48–2003

ESA fund to give students hands-on experience of International Space Station and space

06 August 2003

28 August will be an important day for ESA: not only will the SMART-1 spacecraft be launched into space heading for the Moon, but a launch of a different kind will take place at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. Leading figures from industry, government, science and education across Europe, representatives of international organisations and European astronauts will be pledging their support and opening the new ISS Education Fund to external participation.

N° 47–2003

Airbag to keep windsurfer safe on 8000 km voyage

05 August 2003

Extreme sports adventurer Raphaëla Le Gouvello is about to windsurf 8000 km across the Pacific Ocean - from Peru to Tahiti in 80 days. Her board incorporates a new ‘anti-capsize’ airbag system, the first result of an ESA technology transfer initiative to improve safety for small boats at sea.

N° 46–2003

Golden legacy from ESA's observatory

22 July 2003

Scientists are celebrating the thousandth scientific publication from ESA's Infrared Space Observatory. ISO is fast becoming one of the world's most productive space missions, even though its operational life ended in 1998.

N° 45–2003

ESA to build a deep space ground station in Cebreros (Spain)

18 July 2003

Communicating with ESA’s spacecraft such as Mars Express, or SMART-1, Rosetta and Venus Express - yet to be launched - will be even easier and more effective when the new Cebreros ground station, near Avila (Spain), becomes operational in September 2005.

N° 44–2003

Farewell to the Earth and the Moon -ESA's Mars Express successfully tests its instruments

17 July 2003

A unique view of our home planet and its natural satellite – the Moon - is one of the first data sets coming from ESA's Mars Express. “It is very good news for the mission,” says ESA's Mars Express Project Scientist, Agustin Chicarro. These and other data, such as those recording the major consituents of Earth as seen from space, are the actual proof that the instruments on board Mars Express, launched 2 June 2003, are working perfectly.

N° 43–2003

Galileo: contracts for the first satellites

11 July 2003

The contracts for the first Galileo satellites were signed on Friday 11 July at ESTEC, the European Space Agency’s research and technology centre.

N° 42–2003

Antenna anomaly may affect SOHO scientific data transmission

24 June 2003

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft expects to experience a blackout in the transmission of its scientific data during the week of 22 June 2003. This is estimated to last for about two and a half to three weeks.

N° 41–2003

Europeans Say “Yes” to a Strong Europe in Space

24 June 2003

The four-month consultation on the Green Paper on European Space Policy came to a close in Paris today, with EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, European Space Agency Director General Antonio Rodotà and other leading players in the space sector calling for a significant increase in European efforts in space research and an upgraded institutional framework. Claudie Haigneré, French Minister for Research and New Technologies, and Letizia Moratti, Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Scientific Research, also attended to propose key measures to drive forward the space ambitions of Europe. Other priorities outlined at the conference included better co-ordination between all sectors at EU and international levels, guaranteed independent access to space for Europe and a flexible system of programme funding. Participants stressed the need to develop space technology, such as Internet by satellite and security applications. The Conference provided important input for the forthcoming EU White Paper on Space Policy, due to be published by the European Commission in October this year.

N° 40–2003

ESA welcomes setting-up of Galileo Joint Undertaking

17 June 2003

The appointment of Rainer Grohe as Director of the Galileo Joint Undertaking marks a further key step forward for Galileo, the first civil global satellite navigation programme.

N° 39–2003

An added dimension for Europe in space (Paris, 24 June 2003)

12 June 2003


Philippe BUSQUIN, European Commissioner responsible for research and space

Antonio RODOTÀ, Director General, European Space Agency

Claudie HAIGNERÉ, Minister for research and new technologies, France

Letizia MORATTI, Minister for education, universities and scientific/technological research, Italy

Edelgard BULMAHN, Minister for education and research, Germany

N° 38–2003

ESA’s XMM-Newton makes the first measurement of a dead star’s magnetism

11 June 2003

Using the superior sensitivity of ESA’s X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, a team of European astronomers has made the first direct measurement of a neutron star’s magnetic field. The results provide deep insights into the extreme physics of neutron stars and reveal a new mystery yet to be solved about the end of this star’s life.

N° 37–2003

ESA at the 2003 Paris Air Show, le Bourget

06 June 2003

From Sunday 15 to Sunday 22 June, ESA will be present at the 2003 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget with a special pavilion dedicated to the European space programmes. Visitors will not have difficulty finding it, as it will be in its usual place between the life-size models of Ariane 1 and Ariane 5, just beside the Air and Space Museum.

N° 36–2003

Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

02 June 2003

The European Mars Express spaceprobe has been placed successfully in a trajectory that will take it beyond the terrestrial environment and on the way to Mars – getting there in late December. This first European Space Agency probe to head for another planet will enter an orbit around Mars, from where it will perform detailed studies of the planet’s surface, its subsurface structures and its atmosphere. It will also deploy Beagle 2, a small autonomous station which will land on the planet, studying its surface and looking for possible signs of life, past or present.

N° 35–2003

Securing Europe’s access to space, now and for the future

27 May 2003

Ministers in charge of space affairs in Europe, meeting in Paris today, agreed on steps to put Ariane 5 back on track and set up development of future launchers within a reorganised launcher sector, free funds for the International Space Station and strengthen relations between ESA and the European Union, while Galileo has become a reality for Europe.

N° 34–2003

First EGNOS signal in space

26 May 2003

After several years of initial definition, detailed design, production and deployment activities, the EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) system started its first signal transmission tests in April. This system is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation and by early next year will deliver the first European Satellite Navigation service. It will augment the two military satellite navigation systems now operating, the US GPS and Russian GLONASS, making them suitable for many mass market applications such as car navigation, bus and truck fleet management, but also for specific applications such as assisting blind people when walking in an unknown area. In addition, after a certification process, EGNOS will be used for safety-critical applications such as flying aircraft or navigating ships through narrow channels.

N° 33–2003

Galileo becomes a reality for Europe

26 May 2003

The European Space Agency is now able to finalise the conditions for participation in the Galileo navigation programme and to approve the Galileo Joint Undertaking foundation act to be soon signed by ESA and the European Union.

N° 32–2003

Follow the Mars Express launch from one of ESA’s establishments

21 May 2003

On 2 June at 19:45 CEST (Central European Summer Time, 17.45 GMT/UTC) ESA's Mars Express satellite will be launched by a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

N° 31–2003

ESA’s Cluster solved an auroral puzzle

20 May 2003

ESA’s four Cluster spacecraft have made a remarkable set of observations that has led to a breakthrough in understanding the origin of a peculiar and puzzling type of aurora.

N° 30–2003

Telemedicine via Satellite in the Information Society

16 May 2003

The European Space Agency is organising a telemedicine symposium, ‘Telemedicine via Satellite in the Information Society’, to be held at ESRIN, Frascati, Italy, on 23 and 24 May 2003.

N° 29–2003

ESA Council Meeting at ministerial level : Paris 27 May 2003

14 May 2003

The ninth ESA Council meeting at ministerial level will take place on Tuesday 27 May 2003 at ESA Head Office, 8-10, rue Mario Nikis, 75015-Paris, France.

N° 28–2003

ESA's Mars Express ready for launch

05 May 2003

Just before midnight on 2 June (23:45 local time, 19:45 CEST) a Soyuz rocket operated by Starsem will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and Mars Express will be on its way. The spacecraft was given the green light to launch following completion of a successful flight readiness review on 3 May.

N° 27–2003

New Director of Launchers named at ESA

25 April 2003

Meeting today at the Agency’s headquarters in Paris, the ESA Council appointed Mr Antonio Fabrizi, an Italian, to the post of Director of Launchers, for a four-year term.

N° 26–2003

ESA signs contract with CNES for Automated Transfer Vehicle Control Centre

14 April 2003

On Thursday 17 April ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, Mr Jörg Feustel-Büechl, will sign a contract with the French space agency (CNES), represented by its President Yannick d’Escatha, for the development and operations of the Automated Transfer Vehicle Control Centre in Toulouse, France.

N° 25–2003

ESA at GNSS 2003 in Graz: highlights on Satellite Navigation for Europe

14 April 2003

The European Space Agency will be joining forces with the European Commission in a major contribution to GNSS 2003, the seventh in a series of international conferences devoted to global satellite navigation systems, to be held in Graz, Austria, from 22 to 24 April.

N° 24–2003

First European Node for the International Space Station passed acceptance review

08 April 2003

Node 2 will be formally delivered to the European Space Agency by ASI, the Italian Space Agency in mid-May 2003. Last week the first activity related to that delivery, the Acceptance Review, was successfully conducted at the Alenia Spazio facility in Turin, with the participation of ESA, ASI and NASA.

N° 23–2003

The European Space Agency and Hungary to develop closer relations

04 April 2003

On Monday 7 April, in Budapest, H.E. Mr Kálmán Kovács, Hungarian Minister of Informatics, and Mr Jean-Pol Poncelet, ESA Director of Strategy and External Relations, on behalf of the Director General, Mr Antonio Rodotà, will sign a "European Cooperating State Agreement", the first of a series.

N° 22–2003

New opportunities for business in space – ESA commercialisation and technology transfer at Hanover Fair 2003

02 April 2003

At the Hanover Fair 2003, ESA, together with partners DLR and BEOS, will present the wide range of opportunities for commercial utilisation and technology transfer created by Europe’s involvement in space. Exhibits will display the many technologies that are now available for commercial use on Earth and present the new opportunities for business on board the International Space Station.

N° 21–2003

Searching for habitable planets with Eddington

31 March 2003

The scientific community involved in the search for habitable planets will meet in Palermo (Italy) on April 9-11 to take an important step towards the discovery of other worlds which might harbour life.

N° 20–2003

ESA to sign contract with DLR for Columbus Control Centre

26 March 2003

On 31 March at Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, Germany, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight Mr Jörg Feustel-Büechl will sign a EUR 37.7 m contract with DLR, the German national agency for aerospace research and spaceflight, to develop the Columbus Control Centre for the European Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS).

N° 19–2003

ESA Studies Missions to Safeguard the Earth

26 March 2003

Early on the morning of 30 June 1908, the vast forest of western Siberia was illuminated by a strange apparition: an alien object streaking across the cloudless sky. White hot from its headlong plunge into the Earth’s atmosphere, the intruder exploded about 8 km above the ground, flattening trees over an area of 2000 square kilometres.

N° 18–2003

Pasteur: Payload Opportunities to Search for Life on Mars

24 March 2003

Are we alone, or is there life beyond Earth? Has life ever existed on Mars? The European Space Agency (ESA) is now offering scientists a rare opportunity to answer these fundamental questions that have intrigued mankind for centuries.

N° 17–2003

ESA presents SMART-1 - Europe to the Moon, the Moon for Europe

19 March 2003

The European Space Agency will present its SMART-1 lunar mission to the press on 3 April 2003. The event will take place at the European Space Technology Research Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands and will place the mission in its correct scientific, technological and European framework.

N° 16–2003

Artemis relays first images for Envisat

19 March 2003

The first satellite-relayed images from Envisat have been received, via the Artemis data-relay spacecraft in geostationary orbit, at ESA's data processing centre at ESRIN, near Rome.

N° 15–2003

European astronomers observe first evaporating planet

12 March 2003

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have, for the first time, observed the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet evaporating into space. Much of this planet may eventually disappear, leaving only a dense core. It is a type of extrasolar planet known as a 'hot Jupiter'. These giant gaseous planets orbit their stars very closely, drawn to them like moths to a flame.

N° 14–2003

ESA's first deep space ground station opens in Western Australia

05 March 2003

The inauguration ceremony for the European Space Agency’s first deep space ground station was held today in New Norcia, 150km north of Perth.

N° 13–2003

ESA reschedules European participation in Soyuz flights in a spirit of solidarity with International Space Station partners

28 February 2003

The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to six-month postponements of the Soyuz flights by two members of its astronaut corps planned for April and October 2003. The agreement is based on an understanding between ESA, the Russian Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) and NASA, in close cooperation with the Spanish and Dutch authorities concerned. The purpose of the agreement is to allow the April Soyuz flight to be used for an International Space Station crew rotation.

N° 12–2003

A step closer to safer aviation in Africa

27 February 2003

Between 24 and 26 February, a number of trial flights into Dakar using the EGNOS (European Global Navigation Overlay Service) Test Bed system were carried out to show how the planned provision of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) services over Central Africa could be implemented.

N° 11–2003

Signature of contracts for full development of Vega small launcher and P80 advanced solid propulsion stage and demonstrator

25 February 2003

Today ESA signed a contract with the ELV company for completion of the development phase of the Vega European small launcher programme, and CNES signed, on behalf of ESA, a contract with FiatAvio for development of the P80 advanced solid propulsion stage and demonstrator.

N° 10–2003

ESA chairs the International Living With a Star programme

20 February 2003

ESA is providing the first chairman for the International Living With A Star (ILWS) programme. ILWS is an unprecedented initiative in which space agencies worldwide are getting together to investigate how variations in the Sun affect the environment of Earth and the other planets, in the short and long term. In particular, ILWS will concentrate on those aspects of the Sun-Earth system that may affect mankind and society. It is a major collaborative initiative between Europe, the United States, Russia, Japan, and Canada.

N° 9–2003

New Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between ESA and the Russian Federation

11 February 2003

Today at ESA Headquarters the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr Igor Sergeevich Ivanov, and the Director General of the European Space Agency, Mr Antonio Rodotà, signed the Agreement between ESA and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation and Partnership in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.

N° 8–2003

A day of loss and deep sorrow for the whole Space world

01 February 2003

The European Space Agency shares in the grief that struck NASA and the whole space community today.

N° 7–2003

Artemis finally reaches operational orbit

31 January 2003

Artemis has finally reached geostationary orbit, some 36 000 km above the Earth, at 21.5°E. This announcement would, if all had gone to plan, been made just a few days after lift-off on 12 July 2001. Now, eighteen months and some serious brainstorming further on, the most advanced ESA telecommunications satellite ever commissioned, is on station, ready to play its part in the development of new telecommunications services.

N° 6–2003

The European Commission and ESA launch debate on a space policy for the Union

21 January 2003

Today in Brussels, European Research Commissioner, Philippe Busquin, introduced the Green Paper on EU Space Policy. The Paper, prepared in co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA), looks into Europe’s assets and weaknesses in this sector. As a basis for a broad consultation, the report tackles key issues such as the EU’s independent access to space, scientific excellence in this field, the industrial and technological base, relevant markets, human resources, the legal and institutional framework, international co-operation and environmental and security aspects.

N° 5–2003

ESA payloads feature on Space Shuttle research mission

15 January 2003

European scientists will be ‘turning off’ the effects of gravity during the STS-107 Space Shuttle research mission this month in order to gain a better understanding of processes in medicine, technology and science. Their investigations will be among some 80 experiments performed during a 16-day mission in Earth orbit to be launched from Cape Canaveral tomorrow.

N° 4–2003

Rosetta launch postponed

14 January 2003

Having considered the conclusions of the Review Board set up to advise on the launch of Rosetta, Arianespace and the European Space Agency have decided on a postponement.

N° 3–2003

ESA Director General to meet the press in Paris

14 January 2003

On Monday 20 January 2003, ESA Director General, Antonio Rodotà will be meeting the media at ESA Headquarters in Paris. The gathering will start at 08:30 with breakfast, followed at 09:00 by a press conference to take stock of the Agency's activities in 2002 and to announce those planned for 2003.

N° 2–2003

Call for press: Status of the Rosetta mission

10 January 2003

As already indicated in previous information to the press from both Arianespace and ESA, a final decision on the launch of ESA’s Rosetta mission will be known on Tuesday 14 January.

N° 1–2003

Main Press and Communication activities for 2003

07 January 2003

In 2003 ESA will be involved in a series of international events. The major ones are listed below and can already be pencilled into your diaries.