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N° 49–2006

ESA’s pair of astronauts back on earth

23 December 2006

Space Shuttle Discovery landed in Cape Canaveral, Florida tonight at 23:32 CET (22:32/GMT), completing one of the most complex assembly missions to the International Space Station to date, and bringing back ESA's two astronauts, Christer Fuglesang and Thomas Reiter.

N° 48–2006

ESA polls stakeholders to inform its long-term exploration strategy

19 December 2006

On 8 and 9 January, in the historic city of Edinburgh, ESA and BNSC are to hold a workshop to kick off the first in a series of consultations with key stakeholders. The aim is to define European long-term strategy for space exploration and set the scene for the decisions to be taken at the ESA Council meeting at ministerial level scheduled for 2008.

N° 47–2006

Europe looks forward to COROT launch

19 December 2006

On 27 December, COROT is to be launched into space on a unique astronomy mission: its twin goals are to detect exoplanets orbiting around other stars and to probe the mysteries of stellar interiors as never before. COROT is a French national space agency (CNES)-led mission to which the European Space Agency and European partners are adding a particularly strong international flavour.

N° 46–2006

New Director of Resources Management named at ESA

14 December 2006

Meeting on 12 December at the Agency’s headquarters in Paris, the ESA Council appointed Mr Ludwig Kronthaler, of German nationality, to the post of Director of Resources Management for a four-year term.

N° 45–2006

Mars Express scientists find a different Mars underneath the surface

13 December 2006

With results that the Principal Investigator of the Mars Express MARSIS radar, Giovanni Picardi, of the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, describes as unprecedented, Mars is showing scientists that it has an older, craggier face buried beneath its surface. The results were obtained by MARSIS, the pioneering sounding radar onboard ESA’s Mars Express orbiter, and provide important new clues about the still-mysterious geological history of Mars.

N° 44–2006

ESA’s Swedish Astronaut Christer Fuglesang Reaches Orbit

10 December 2006

Christer Fuglesang was launched last night onboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission to proceed with the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS) and to bring back to Earth another ESA astronaut, Thomas Reiter, who has been working in the orbital outpost for five months.

N° 43–2006

Explore planet Earth in near-real time

05 December 2006

Have you ever wanted to track natural events such as fires, floods and volcanic eruptions as they are happening, or simply explore planet Earth through the eyes of a satellite? ESA has created a website, MIRAVI, which gives you access to the most recently acquired images from Envisat, the world’s largest Earth observation satellite.

N° 42–2006

Successful Firing of Vega’s First-Stage Motor in Kourou

30 November 2006

The largest European mono-segment filament-wound case solid propellant motor ever developed came to life at 12:30 Kourou time today (16:30 Paris) time when it was ignited for its first static firing test at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guiana.

N° 41–2006

ESA’s first Swedish astronaut to fly to the ISS

30 November 2006

ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang is about to become the first Swedish and the first Nordic astronaut in space. During the night of 7/8 December, he will board NASA’s Shuttle Discovery as Mission Specialist on flight STS-116. With his six crewmates, he will fly to the International Space Station on a mission to add a new section to its truss structure and to reroute electrical power supply and thermal control from its new set of solar arrays and radiators.

N° 40–2006

New Hubble Servicing Mission to upgrade instruments

31 October 2006

After more than a decade of fascinating discoveries, the Hubble Space Telescope will soon be given the new beginning it deserves. Today, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has given the green light for a Shuttle mission to repair and upgrade the permanent space-based observatory.

N° 39–2006

ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang gets ready for next Shuttle mission - Opening of media accreditation for NASA sites

24 October 2006

With NASA’s launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on flight STS-116 scheduled for the night of Thursday 7 to Friday 8 December at 01:38 GMT (02:38 CET) at the earliest, ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang of Sweden is set to become the first citizen of a Nordic country to fly to the International Space Station. Fuglesang is currently undergoing intensive training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to prepare for the mission.

N° 38–2006

Europe’s new MetOp weather satellite reaches polar orbit

19 October 2006

For 28 years, Europe has been operating its famous Meteosat weather satellites in geostationary orbit. Today, they were joined by the first of a brand new generation of meteorological satellites. MetOp is designed to provide a closer view of the atmosphere from low earth orbit, delivering data that will improve global weather prediction and enhance our understanding of climate change.

N° 37–2006

European space loses leading figure

16 October 2006

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Michel Bignier, which occurred on 12 October.

N° 36–2006

Colloquium on space, defence and European security (Kourou, French Guiana)

25 September 2006

On 19-22 September 2006, the WEU Assembly and the European Interparliamentary Space Conference joined forces to hold a colloquy on Space, Defence and European Security in Kourou (French Guiana) in association with the European Space Agency (ESA), France’s national centre for space studies, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and Arianespace. The event brought together over a hundred Members of Parliament from European nations along with Members of the European Parliament and senior executives from ESA, CNES, Arianespace and the space industry in Europe.

N° 35–2006

Space, defence and European security discussed at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana

18 September 2006

The WEU Assembly and the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) are jointly holding a conference on space, defence and European security in Kourou, French Guiana from 19-22 September 2006, at the invitation of the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency (CNES) and Arianespace. Numerous members of the national parliaments of European countries, as well as representatives of the European Parliament and the EU Military Staff and Satellite Centre, will be attending, alongside leading figures from Europe’s space industry. The conference will address the various aspects of a European Space Policy having regard to security and defence, with a particular focus on the technological and industrial capacities needed to achieve such a policy.

N° 34–2006

ESA astronauts, including Thomas Reiter live from space, meet the press at the European Astronaut Centre

15 September 2006

For Europe, the spotlight is currently on the International Space Station. With construction of the ISS once more under way, a press conference has been organised at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany for 22 September to highlight present and forthcoming European human spaceflight missions to the Station. There will be missions involving four ESA astronauts in 2006/07, together with the launch of two ISS modules built in Europe, the Columbus laboratory and Node 2. The Columbus laboratory is one of the cornerstones of Europe’s contribution to the Station, along with the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) - the European ISS cargo spacecraft - also due for launch in 2007. The press conference will highlight the important role of Germany and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and more specifically of the Columbus Control Centre at Oberpfaffenhofen; this is at present supporting the European Astrolab mission on the ISS with ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany, and will become the command and control centre for the European Columbus laboratory once the latter has been launched.

N° 33–2006

New launch date for Europe’s first polar-orbiting weather satellite

14 September 2006

MetOp-A, the first in a new European series of three meteorological operational satellites designed to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere from polar orbit, is now to be launched on Saturday 7 October from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It will complement Europe’s already highly successful Meteosat satellites positioned in geostationary orbit and will form the European part of an integrated system to be deployed jointly with the USA to provide better weather and climate information.

N° 32–2006

ESA at the IAC in Valencia, Spain

13 September 2006

Every year, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and its associates, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL).

N° 31–2006

Impact landing ends SMART-1 mission to the Moon

03 September 2006

Early this morning, a small flash illuminated the surface of the Moon as the European Space Agency’s SMART-1 spacecraft impacted onto the lunar soil, in the ‘Lake of Excellence’ region. The planned impact concluded a successful mission that, in addition to testing innovative space technology, had been conducting a thorough scientific exploration of the Moon for about a year and a half.

N° 30–2006

Europe rediscovers the Moon with SMART-1

16 August 2006

Now Europe too can say it has been to the Moon. In the early morning of 3 September this year (at 07:41 Central European Summer Time, as currently estimated), the European Space Agency’s SMART-1 mission will end its exploration adventure through a small impact on the lunar surface.

N° 29–2006

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter’s 3 August spacewalk from the International Space Station

28 July 2006

On 3 August at 15:55 hours CEST, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter will step out of the International Space Station to begin a 6½ hour spacewalk (extra-vehicular activity). During this time, he and fellow NASA crew member Jeff Williams will install items of hardware in preparation for future ISS assembly work and will also set up for deployment a number of instruments and experiments mounted on the outside of the Station. This will be Reiter’s third EVA, having already carried out two spacewalks on his EuroMir 95 mission in 1995.

N° 28–2006

ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel assigned to European Columbus laboratory mission to the ISS

20 July 2006

ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel of Germany has been named today to fly on the Space Shuttle mission that will deliver the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station in September/October 2007. ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain announced the assignment on the occasion of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official visit to ESA’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

N° 27–2006

German Chancellor Angela Merkel to hold live in-flight call with ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter on board the ISS

18 July 2006

On Thursday, 20 July, German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister of Germany’s Hesse region, Roland Koch, will address ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, currently on board the International Space Station (ISS), from ESA's operations centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. This first live “Space-to-Earth discussion” between Chancellor Merkel and Thomas Reiter will start at 12:30 CEST and last 20 minutes.

N° 26–2006

Europe to launch its first polar-orbiting weather satellite

10 July 2006

MetOp-A, the first member of a new family of European satellites designed to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere from low Earth orbit, is to be launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 17 July. It will complement Europe’s already highly successful Meteosat satellites in geostationary orbit and form part of an integrated system to be run with the USA to provide better weather and climate information.

N° 25–2006

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter reports for duty onboard the ISS

06 July 2006

Thanks to the resumption of Space Shuttle flights, the permanent crew of the International Space Station is now back up to three. Joining Russian commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA flight engineer Jeffrey Williams onboard is ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter.

N° 24–2006

A journey of space discovery at the Farnborough International Air Show

06 July 2006

The European Space Agency (ESA), together with the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and UK space industry, will exhibit in the International Space Pavilion at Farnborough International Air Show from 17 to 23 July.

N° 23–2006

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter on his way to his new home in space

04 July 2006

As the Shuttle returns to flight and prepares the way for the resumption of International Space Station assembly, a European astronaut is - for the first time ever - heading for the orbital outpost to take up duty as a member of its permanent crew. His mission, dubbed Astrolab, is planned to last through to the end of the year.

N° 22–2006

ESA donates mosaic of global images taken by its Envisat satellite to United Nations as a testimony to the state of our planet

27 June 2006

The European Space Agency today donated a composite satellite image of global land cover provided by its Envisat satellite to the United Nations in Geneva, as a testimony to the current state of our planet, to be handed down to future generations.

N° 21–2006

Vega’s Second Stage Motor Roars to Life

26 June 2006

ESA’s Vega small satellite launch vehicle has made a new step toward its maiden flight, late next year, with the success of the first firing test on its second stage motor, the Zefiro 23.

N° 20–2006

Reappointment of ESA Director General and other Directors

22 June 2006

Today the Council of the European Space Agency announced the renewal of the mandate of Mr Jean-Jacques Dordain as Director General of ESA for a further period of four years.

N° 19–2006

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli assigned to crew for Shuttle flight STS-120

19 June 2006

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, of Italian nationality, was today assigned to the crew of the Space Shuttle flight which in summer 2007 will launch Node 2, an Italian-built U.S. connecting module, to the International Space Station.

N° 18–2006

First ESA long-duration mission onboard the ISS given 1 July start

17 June 2006

With NASA’s announcement today of the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on 1 July, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, from Germany, is set to spend six to seven months in space as a member of the permanent crew of the International Space Station.

N° 17–2006

Contract for the innovative flexible broadband satellite HYLAS

15 May 2006

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Avanti Screenmedia Group PLC (Avanti) have announced the signature at the Case for Space Conference, in London, UK this 15 May of a contract for the implementation of HYLAS (Highly Flexible Satellite).

N° 16–2006

Discover European space with a stroll around the “International Space Village” at ILA2006

26 April 2006

From Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 May 2006, ESA will participate in the ILA2006 International Air Show in Berlin, together with the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR (German Aerospace Centre) and the German Space Industries Association, BDLI.

N° 15–2006

European Columbus laboratory for the International Space Station ready for delivery

24 April 2006

The Columbus laboratory is Europe’s cornerstone contribution to the International Space Station. Final integration has been successfully completed in Bremen. Columbus will be shipped to Cape Canaveral at the end of May, from where it will be flown on a Space Shuttle to the ISS in the second half of 2007.

N° 14–2006

MetOp satellite shipped to Baikonur on 18 April

19 April 2006

The first MetOp meteorological satellite arrived yesterday at its launch site, the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, following shipment from the industrial prime contractor, EADS Astrium in Toulouse, on board an Antonov-124 transport plane.

N° 13–2006

Europe Scores New Planetary Success: Venus Express Enters Orbit around the Hothouse Planet

11 April 2006

This morning, at the end of a 153-day and 400-million km cruise into the inner solar system beginning with its launch on 9 November 2005, ESA’s Venus Express space probe fired its main engine at 09:17 CEST for a 50-minute burn, which brought it into orbit around Venus. With this firing, the probe reduced its relative velocity toward the planet from 29,000 to about 25,000 km/h and was captured by its gravity field. This orbit insertion manoeuvre was a complete success.

N° 12–2006

Venus within ESA probe reach

31 March 2006

After its five-month, 400 million kilometre journey inside our solar system following its lift-off on 9 November 2005, ESA’s probe Venus Express will finally arrive on 11 April at its destination: planet Venus.

N° 11–2006

European Robotics under the spotlight

23 March 2006

The European Robotic Arm (ERA), one of ESA's most important contributions to the International Space Station, will be delivered to Russia this summer in preparation for a launch to the ISS in 2007. ESA and Dutch Space have organised the European Robotics Media Day for 5 April 2006 to provide the media with the opportunity to become acquainted with ERA and the engineers behind this ambitious project (see attached programme).

N° 10–2006

600 metre frieze of planet Earth around UNESCO

17 March 2006

A frieze depicting planet Earth – made up of 1:1000000 scale satellite images – will be unfurled around UNESCO’s Paris headquarters building from 29 March to 4 November. The “Belle île en ciel” exhibition, organised by UNESCO as part of its 60th birthday celebrations, will be officially opened on 29 March (at 5 p.m.) in the presence of UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Parc Européen du Volcanisme ‘Vulcania’ President Jean Mallot.

N° 9–2006

Joint Statement International Space Station Heads of Agency 2 March 2006, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

02 March 2006

The heads of space agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 2, 2006, to review International Space Station (ISS) cooperation and endorse a revision to the ISS configuration and assembly sequence. At today’s meeting, the Heads of Agency were also briefed on the status of ongoing ISS operations and flight hardware development activities across the partnership. The partners reaffirmed their agencies’ commitment to meet their mutual obligations, to implement six person crew operations in 2009, and an adequate number of Shuttle flights to complete the assembly of ISS by the end of the decade. The partners also affirmed their plans to use a combination of transportation systems provided by Europe, Japan, Russia, and the United States in order to complete ISS assembly in a timeframe that meets the needs of the partners and ensures full utilization of the unique capabilities of the ISS throughout its lifetime.

N° 8–2006

ESA confirms CryoSat recovery mission

24 February 2006

At the latest meeting of the European Space Agency's Earth Observation Programme Board, which took place at ESA’s Headquarters in Paris on 23 and 24 February, ESA received the green light from its Member States to build and launch a CryoSat recovery mission, CryoSat-2.

N° 7–2006

ESA pays tribute to former Director General Antonio Rodotà

24 February 2006

Former ESA Director General Antonio Rodotà has died in Rome on Thursday 23 February aged 70.

N° 6–2006

First long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut onboard the International Space Station

23 February 2006

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter from Germany will soon become the first European to undertake a long-duration mission onboard the International Space Station following his dispatch on the next Shuttle mission (STS-121), currently scheduled for May. That mission, which is due to last six to seven months, will mark many important milestones for European astronauts, European science and European control centres.

N° 5–2006

ESA joins forces with Japan on new infrared sky surveyor

22 February 2006

A high-capability new infrared satellite, ASTRO-F, was successfully launched last night by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). In a collaborative effort involving ESA and scientists across Europe, the spacecraft is now being prepared to start its mapping of the cosmos. Orbiting the Earth, ASTRO-F (to be renamed Akari (light) now that it is in orbit) will make an unprecedented study of the sky in infrared light, to reveal the distant phenomena hidden from our eyes that tell the story of the formation and evolution processes taking place in the universe.

N° 4–2006

Contract for in-orbit validation of Galileo system

13 January 2006

After the successful launch of the GIOVE-A satellite on 28 December 2005 and the acquisition of the first “Galileo” signal on 12 January 2006, Galileo is now well on its way with the signing of the contract for the development and in-orbit validation of the constellation's first four satellites.

N° 3–2006

First Galileo signals transmitted by GIOVE-A

12 January 2006

The GIOVE-A satellite is in good health and started transmitting the first Galileo signals from medium earth orbit on 12 January.

N° 2–2006

ESA Director General meets the Press

04 January 2006

On Monday 16 January, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will meet the Press at ESA Headquarters in Paris. Starting at 08:30 with breakfast, the gathering will be followed at 09:00 by a press briefing to take stock of the Agency's activities in 2005 and announce the main events for 2006.

N° 1–2006

Overview of ESA communication activities in 2006 relevant to the media- Status of 12 September 2006

03 January 2006

Press conferences, exhibitions, launches, and much more. Here is the list of the main communication activities ESA will be involved in this year. Pencil them in into your diaries.