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N° 48–2008

ESA presents European participants in Mars500 isolation study

05 December 2008

March 2009 will see two European participants entering a set of modules at the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. Together with four Russian participants, they will be sealed inside these isolation chambers for 105 days. This joint ESA IBMP campaign is a preparatory study leading up to the 520-day isolation study in the form of a full-fledged simulation of a mission to Mars that is due to start end-2009.

N° 47–2008

European Ministers inject new impetus to ensure space's role as a key asset in facing global challenges

26 November 2008

The Ministers in charge of space activities in the European Space Agency's 18 Member States and Canada today concluded a successful two-day Council meeting in The Hague, agreeing to undertake new initiatives in several fields and endorsing the next phases of a set of ongoing programmes.

N° 46–2008

New ISS crews: First European to become ISS Commander and next European long-term flight

21 November 2008

ESA astronaut Frank De Winne is set to become the first European Commander of the International Space Station. De Winne, from Belgium, will fly to the Station in a Soyuz spacecraft in May 2009 with Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, which will bring the total number of crew on the ISS up to six for the first time.

N° 45–2008

Small GEO Programme moves forward with contract-signing

20 November 2008

Today the European Space Agency (ESA) has signed the Small GEO Platform and Small GEO Mission contracts with the respective industrial primes, namely: OHB- System AG (Germany) and Hispasat S.A. (Spain).

N° 44–2008

Ministers meet to define the role of Space in delivering global objectives

18 November 2008

Ministers in charge of space activities within the now 18 ESA Member States and Canada will meet in The Hague (the Netherlands) on 25 and 26 November to implement the European Space Policy, setting out the start of future programmes and taking decisions on the next phases of on-going programmes.

N° 43–2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights flies into space

06 November 2008

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a sprit of brotherhood”, states Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

N° 42–2008

ESA Council meeting at ministerial level: The Hague, 25/26 November 2008

17 October 2008

The next ESA Council meeting at ministerial level will take place on 25/26 November in The Hague, the Netherlands, at the World Forum, Churchillplein 10, 2517 JW - The Hague (

N° 41–2008

Successful re-entry marks bright future for ATV

29 September 2008

Europe's first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Jules Verne successfully completed its six-month ISS logistics mission today with its controlled destructive re-entry over a completely uninhabited area of the South Pacific. Following a final deorbit burn at 14:58 CEST which slowed its velocity by 70 m/s, the ATV entered the upper atmosphere at an altitude of 120 km at 15:31 CEST. It broke up at an altitude of 75 km with the remaining fragments falling into the Pacific some 12 minutes later.

N° 40–2008

Ministers meet to take forward the European Space Policy

26 September 2008

Ministers in charge of space activities within ESA and European Union Member States met in Brussels today for the fifth Space Council (*).

N° 39–2008

ESA at IAC 2008, Glasgow

18 September 2008

The 59th International Astronautical Congress is taking place between 29 September and 3 October in Glasgow, Scotland. IAC 2008 is being organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). This year’s venue is the state-of-the-art Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre situated on the banks on the River Clyde.

N° 38–2008

Major European programme for the environment under the spotlight in Lille, France

09 September 2008

On 16 and 17 September, in the context of France's presidency of the EU, Lille will play host to "Forum GMES 2008" at the Grand Palais. The GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) programme has been set up to provide services relating to the environment, climate change, resource management, security and global issues. These services draw on data - mainly Earth observation data - from satellites and in-situ measurements, combined with socio-economic data, processed in such a way as to readily generate usable information for all citizens in Europe on a sustained basis.

N° 36–2008

ESA’s ATV successfully undocks from International Space Station

05 September 2008

At the end of a flawless six-month mission, Jules Verne, Europe’s first Automated Transfer Vehicle, undocked from the International Space Station today at 23:29 hours CEST. The ATV has now embarked on the last leg of its journey in space, which will end with a controlled destructive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on 29 September.

N° 35–2008

Rosetta spacecraft meets asteroid Steins

25 August 2008

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will make a historic encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins on 5 September 2008. The doors of ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, will be open to the media as of 18:00 on 5 September to follow the fly-by events. First images and results will be available for presentation to the media during a press conference which will be held at ESOC the following day, Saturday 6 September at 12:00 CEST.

N° 34–2008

GOCE Earth Explorer satellite to look at the Earth’s surface and core

22 August 2008

The European Space Agency is about to launch the most sophisticated mission ever to investigate the Earth’s gravitational field and to map the reference shape of our planet – the geoid - with unprecedented resolution and accuracy.

N° 33–2008

The International Space Station, a test-bed for future space exploration

17 July 2008

Joint statement by the International Space Station Heads of Agency

N° 32–2008

Czech Republic accedes to the ESA Convention

08 July 2008

The Agreement on the Czech Republic’s accession to the ESA Convention was signed on 8 July in Prague, by Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, and Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.

N° 31–2008

Space agency leaders to gather in Paris

07 July 2008

On 17 July ESA will host an ISS Heads of Agency meeting at which leaders of the space agencies participating in the International Space Station programme (ESA for Europe, NASA for the US, CSA for Canada, JAXA for Japan, Roscosmos for Russia) will take stock of the ISS status and decide on future activities. The meeting will take place at ESA Headquarters in Paris and will be followed by a press briefing at 13:00 hours.

N° 30–2008

Mars Sample Return: the next step in exploring the Red Planet

02 July 2008

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) will be co-hosting, in cooperation with NASA and the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG), an International Conference on July 9-10 in the Auditorium of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris* to discuss the next step in the exploration of Mars.

N° 29–2008

Ulysses, the end of an extraordinary mission

04 June 2008

After more than 17 years relentlessly exploring the effects of solar activity on the space that surrounds us, the Ulysses mission is now approaching its end. Representatives of the media are invited to a joint ESA/NASA press conference on 12 June 2008 taking place at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France, to hear about the achievements that will form the Ulysses legacy.

N° 28–2008

EarthCARE satellite contract signed

27 May 2008

The European Space Agency and Astrium GmbH have today signed a contract worth €263m to provide the EarthCARE satellite, the sixth Earth Explorer mission of ESA’s Living Planet Programme. As prime contractor, Astrium GmbH is responsible for the satellite’s design, development and integration.

N° 27–2008

Berlin Air Show ILA2008: space showcased all under one roof

15 May 2008

As it does every two years, Berlin will soon be showcasing European and international space activities at the ILA2008 Air Show from Tuesday 27 May to Sunday 1 June. In Hall 9, an International Space Village spanning over 2500m2 will be exclusively devoted to space, presenting the entire range of activities, products and services available in Europe and elsewhere.

N° 26–2008

GIOVE-B transmitting its first signals

07 May 2008

Following a successful launch on 27 April, GIOVE-B began transmitting navigation signals today 7th of May. This is a truly historic step for satellite navigation since GIOVE-B is now, for the first time, transmitting the GPS-Galileo common signal using a specific optimised waveform, MBOC (multiplexed binary offset carrier), in accordance with the agreement drawn up in July 2007 by the EU and the US for their respective systems, Galileo and the future GPS III. These GIOVE B signals, locked on-board to a highly stable Passive Hydrogen Maser clock, will provide higher accuracy in challenging environments where multipath and interference are present, and deeper penetration for indoor navigation. It demonstrates that Galileo and GPS are truly compatible and interoperable and that positioning services will benefit all users worldwide.

N° 25–2008

ESA’s most advanced navigation satellite launched tonight

27 April 2008

A further step towards the deployment of Europe’s Galileo global navigation satellite system was taken tonight, with the successful launch of ESA’s second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element (GIOVE-B) satellite, carrying the most accurate atomic clock ever flown into space.

N° 24–2008

GMES Sentinel-2 satellite contract signed

17 April 2008

The European Space Agency and Astrium today signed a €195 million contract to provide the first Sentinel-2 earth observation satellite, devoted to monitoring the land environment, as part of the European GMES programme. As prime contractor, Astrium is responsible for the design, development and integration of the satellite, which will perform a high-end multi-spectral optical imaging mission.

N° 23–2008

Recruitment and assignment of Directors at ESA

16 April 2008

Meeting in restricted session yesterday at ESA’s Head Office in Paris, the Council of the European Space Agency appointed the new Directors that will assist the Director General in the coming years, following a process of selection that started in November 2007.

N° 22–2008

Contract signed for ESA’s Sentinel-3 earth observation satellite

14 April 2008

The European Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space today signed a €305 million contract to provide the first Sentinel-3 earth observation satellite, devoted to oceanography and land-vegetation monitoring, as part of the European GMES programme. As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for the satellite’s design, development and integration.

N° 21–2008

ESA to recruit new European astronauts

10 April 2008

With ESA astronauts working in the Columbus laboratory onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and the first of ESA’s new ATV cargo ships having delivered fresh supplies to the station, ESA’s human spaceflight activities have entered a new era. It is now time for ESA to seek out new talent to bolster its Astronaut Corps for future manned missions to the ISS, the Moon and beyond.

N° 20–2008

Europe’s automated ship docks to the ISS

03 April 2008

The ATV Jules Verne, European Space Agency’s first resupply and reboost vehicle, has successfully performed a fully automated docking with the International Space Station (ISS). This docking marks the beginning of the Jules Verne’s main servicing mission to deliver cargo, propellant, water, oxygen and propulsion capacity to the Station, as well as ESA’s entry into the restricted club of the partners able to access the orbital facility by their own means.

N° 19–2008

Follow live Jules Verne ATV's first attempt to dock with the International Space Station

28 March 2008

After several days spent in a parking orbit 2000 km ahead of the ISS, Jules Verne ATV is now ready to join up with the International Space Station. This first docking attempt can be followed live on 3 April 2008 from 15:30 CEST onwards from one of the European participating centres.

N° 18–2008

Endeavour brings ESA astronaut back to earth

26 March 2008

Returning from its 16-day STS-123 mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s Shuttle Endeavour has safely returned to earth, with a crew of seven onboard, including ESA astronaut Léopold Eyharts of France, who spent nearly 49 days in space on a mission to dock and commission Europe’s Columbus laboratory. Landing took place at 01:39 CET on 27 March, at the Kennedy Space Center shuttle landing strip at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

N° 17–2008

GOCE Media day at ESA/ESTEC

20 March 2008

ESA’s Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite is designed to provide unique models of the Earth’s gravity field and of the geoid, on a global scale and with unprecedented accuracy and spatial resolution.

N° 16–2008

Spanish Chair for ESA Council

14 March 2008

Maurici Lucena, Director General of CDTI (the Spanish Innovation Agency, which belongs to the Ministry of Industry Tourism and Trade) will chair the ESA Council for the next two years effective from 1 July.

N° 15–2008

Europe launches its first re-supply ship – Jules Verne ATV – to the ISS

09 March 2008

Jules Verne, the first of the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV), a new series of autonomous spaceships designed to re-supply and re-boost the International Space Station (ISS), was successfully launched into low Earth orbit by an Ariane 5 vehicle this morning. During the coming weeks, it will manoeuvre in order to rendezvous and eventually dock with the ISS to deliver cargo, propellant, water and oxygen to the orbital outpost.

N° 14–2008

Jules Verne ATV launch rescheduled to 9 March

03 March 2008

Arianespace and the European Space Agency confirm today that the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, is delayed 24 hours due to a technical concern about the ATV/Ariane 5 launcher separation system.

N° 13–2008

Follow the launch of ATV 'Jules Verne' live from ESA sites across Europe

29 February 2008

With ESA’s Columbus laboratory successfully attached and operating on the International Space Station, the time has now come for another European milestone mission to leave for the ISS - that of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), named 'Jules Verne'.

N° 12–2008

Space Sentinels: new ‘tools’ in space to improve European environment and security policies

28 February 2008

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and European Commission Director General for Enterprise & Industry Heinz Zourek today signed in Brussels an agreement which establishes the allocation of an EC budget of €624 million to ESA as a contribution to the implementation of the GMES Space Component (GSC). This will be provided in two stages: €419 million for Segment 1 and €205 million for Segment 2 of the GSC programme. Segment 2 will be submitted for subscription by ESA’s Member States at next November’s ministerial-level Council meeting.

N° 11–2008

Galileo satellite GIOVE-B presented at ESA/ESTEC

26 February 2008

Europe is building its own satellite navigation system, Galileo, which will deliver a new, advanced global civil positioning service for the benefit of citizens in Europe and throughout the world.

N° 10–2008

After successfully delivering Columbus, Atlantis is back on earth

20 February 2008

NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis, which successfully delivered ESA’s Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station, has safely returned to earth with its crew of seven. Landing took place at 15:07 CET on 20 February on the shuttle landing strip of Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

N° 9–2008

ESA astronaut Frank De Winne to spend six months on the ISS in 2009

11 February 2008

With the Columbus mission well under way, the space station programme has assigned crews for the next flight opportunities. Belgian ESA astronaut Frank De Winne joins Expedition 19 and will spend six months on the ISS in 2009. In May 2009, he will fly together with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS.

N° 8–2008

Jules Verne ATV launch approaching

11 February 2008

After the successful launch of ESA’s Columbus laboratory aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on Thursday (7 February), it is now time to focus on the next imminent milestone for ESA: the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to be sent to the International Space Station. The 20-tonne European resupply and space-tug module will be carried into orbit by a special version of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. The launcher, operated by Arianespace, is now scheduled to lift off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 8 March at 01:23 local time, 05:23 CET.

N° 7–2008

Europe’s Columbus laboratory leaves Earth

07 February 2008

Columbus, ESA’s advanced science laboratory in space, has just been launched into orbit and is now on its way to dock with the International Space Station (ISS).

N° 6–2008

The European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Spain, ESA’s new scientific heart, inaugurated by Spanish royalty

07 February 2008

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Asturias inaugurated this afternoon ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), located on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain.

N° 5–2008

Follow the launch of ESA’s Columbus space laboratory live at ESA and DLR

22 January 2008

With NASA’s recent confirmation of the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on Thursday 7 February, ESA astronauts Hans Schlegel, of Germany, and Leopold Eyharts, of France, are set to deliver ESA’s Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station.

N° 4–2008

Programme managers meet the Press in Paris as launch of “Jules Verne” Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) approaches.

22 January 2008

The launch of the first ATV “Jules Verne” is rapidly approaching. The 20 ton re-supply and space-tug module will be carried into orbit by a special version of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle called the Ariane 5 Evolution Storable (ES). The launcher is scheduled to lift-off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, not earlier than 22 February next.

N° 3–2008

BepiColombo mission to be presented to the media

10 January 2008

The European Space Agency and Astrium jointly invite the media to attend a press conference on the occasion of the industrial contract signature of BepiColombo, the first European mission to Mercury. The event will be held at Astrium Friedrichshafen on 18 January 2008.

N° 2–2008

ESA Director General to meet the press in Paris

03 January 2008

On Monday 14 January ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will meet the press at ESA Headquarters in Paris. The gathering will start at 08:30 with breakfast, followed at 09:00 by a press briefing to review the Agency’s activities in 2007 and look ahead to those of 2008, a year set to be full of events and marked by several major launches (ATV, Giove-B, GOCE, Herschel and Planck, SMOS, Vega), as well as a major programmatic milestone for ESA: the Council meeting at ministerial level in late November.

N° 1–2008

Overview of ESA communication activities in 2008 relevant to the media

03 January 2008

Press conferences, exhibitions, launches, political rendezvous and much more ... the list of the main communication activities that ESA will be involved in this year is a long one, but not an exhaustive one. You should pencil these dates into your diaries.