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N° 44–2013

Liftoff for ESA’s billion-star surveyor

19 December 2013

ESA’s Gaia mission blasted off this morning on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its exciting mission to study a billion suns. 

N° 43–2013

Call for Media: ESA Director General’s annual press breakfast

16 December 2013

On Friday, 17 January, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will meet the press at the traditional start-of-year briefing on the activities and challenges for 2014.

N° 42–2013

Call for Media: ESA’s Galaxy-mapping Gaia ready for launch

12 December 2013

The European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite is ready for launch on 19 December at 09:12 GMT (10:12 CET). The launch will be covered live from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana for broadcasters and on the web, and can be followed at local events in Europe.

N° 41–2013

UK centre stone-laying launches European space celebrations

05 December 2013

The first stones of ESA’s new establishment in the UK were laid in a ceremony today by Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, UK Minister of Universities and Science David Willets and the first ESA Director General, Roy Gibson.

N° 40–2013

Call for Media: Background briefing on Rosetta wake-up and year ahead

03 December 2013

Next year, on 20 January, after 957 days of hibernation in deep space, ESA’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is set to wake up automatically en route to the destination it has been travelling towards for nearly a decade.

N° 39–2013

ESA’s Swarm trio on its way to watch over our planet’s magnetic shield

22 November 2013

ESA’s three-satellite Swarm constellation was lofted into a near-polar orbit by a Russian Rockot launcher this afternoon. For four years, it will monitor Earth’s magnetic field, from the depth of our planet’s core to the heights of its upper atmosphere.

N° 38–2013

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano lands safely back on Earth

11 November 2013

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg returned to Earth today, landing in the Kazakhstan steppe.

N° 37–2013

GOCE gives in to gravity

11 November 2013

Close to 01:00 CET on Monday 11 November, ESA’s GOCE satellite reentered Earth’s atmosphere on a descending orbit pass that extended across Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica. As expected, the satellite disintegrated in the high atmosphere and no damage to property has been reported.

N° 36–2013

Call for Media: Follow the launch of ESA’s Swarm magnetic field mission

07 November 2013

ESA’s Swarm mission is ready for launch from Plesetsk, Russia on a Russian Rockot on 22 November at 12:02 GMT (13:02 CET). The three-satellite Swarm mission aims to unravel one of the most mysterious aspects of our planet: the magnetic field.

N° 35–2013

A fiery end to a perfect mission: ATV Albert Einstein

02 November 2013

ESA’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ferry,Albert Einstein, completed its five-month mission to the International Space Station by reentering the atmosphere today and burning up safely over an uninhabited area of the southern Pacific Ocean.

N° 34–2013

Last command sent to ESA’s Planck space telescope

23 October 2013

ESA’s Planck space telescope has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang and studying the evolution of stars and galaxies throughout the Universe’s history.

N° 33–2013

ESA’s GOCE mission comes to an end

21 October 2013

After mapping variations in Earth’s gravity with unprecedented detail for four years, the GOCE satellite has run out of fuel and the end of mission has been declared.

N° 32–2013

ESA drives forward with all-electric telecom satellites

16 October 2013

ESA is set to begin developing a new generation of satellites propelled by solar electric thrusters, following the signing of a contract with SES of Luxembourg for the next phase of the Electra project.

N° 31–2013

Call for Media: Taking 3D printing into the metal age

03 October 2013

ESA is set to showcase complex printed parts made of metal that can withstand temperatures at 1000°C – fit for space and the most demanding applications on Earth. Join an international panel of experts from the biggest consortium ever in ‘additive manufacturing’ in Europe on 15 October in the London Science Museum, UK.

N° 30–2013

ESA completes second instrument for James Webb Space Telescope

06 September 2013

ESA has completed the Near-Infrared Spectrograph, one of two instruments it is contributing to the international James Webb Space Telescope, a space observatory set for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket in 2018.

N° 29–2013

Andreas Mogensen set for Soyuz mission to Space Station in 2015

28 August 2013

ESA's Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen has been assigned to be launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in September 2015 for a mission to the International Space Station.

N° 28–2013

Call for Media: Delivery of James Webb NIRSpec flight instrument to NASA

27 August 2013

Media representatives are invited to see ESA’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument that will fly on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and to attend a briefing highlighting the European role in JWST before NIRSpec is shipped later this September to NASA for integration on the telescope.

N° 27–2013

Call for Media: don’t miss ESA’s largest scientific conference of the year devoted to Earth’s environment and climate

20 August 2013

Media representatives are invited to the Living Planet Symposium for the latest results from Europe’s satellites and achievements of ambitious Earth observation initiatives.

N° 26–2013

Flawless launch of Alphasat, Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecom satellite

25 July 2013

Alphasat, Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite, was launched into its planned orbit today from Kourou, French Guiana.

N° 25–2013


17 July 2013

The International Space Station partner agencies released a statement on Tuesday, 16 July on the benefits of the Space Station during natural disasters on Earth. 

Flying 400 km above the planet and circling it every 90 minutes, the orbiting outpost provides a unique vantage point from which images of Earth can play an important role in helping emergency responders know what areas are most in need during hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and other natural disasters.


N° 24–2013

The baseline configuration of Ariane 6 selected by consensus on the basis of decisions taken by ESA’s Ministerial Council of November 2012

09 July 2013

In November 2012, European Ministers responsible for space, meeting in Naples, Italy, approved the start of preparatory activities for Europe’s next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

N° 23–2013

Europe’s largest spaceship reaches its orbital port

15 June 2013

ESA’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle,Albert Einstein, completed a flawless rendezvous with the International Space Station on 15 June when it docked smoothly with orbital outpost at 14:07 GMT (16:07 CEST).

N° 22–2013

UPDATE 13 June: Call for Media: ESA at Paris Air & Space Show

10 June 2013

ESA will be present at the 50th Paris Air & Space Show at Le Bourget with a pavilion at its traditional and central place, near the full-size Ariane 5 and Ariane 1 mockups.

N° 21–2013

Europe’s heaviest cargo ship launched to Space Station

06 June 2013

ESA’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle,Albert Einstein, was launched into orbit last evening from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Europe’s autonomous supply ship will perform a series of manoeuvres to dock with the International Space Station on 15 June.

N° 20–2013

Ten years at Mars: new global views plot the Red Planet’s history

03 June 2013

New global maps of Mars released on the 10th anniversary of the launch of ESA’s Mars Express trace the history of water and volcanic activity on the Red Planet, and identify sites of special interest for the next generation of Mars explorers.

N° 19–2013

Call for Media: ATV-4 to deliver essential cargo to the Space Station

30 May 2013

ESA's fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ferry, Albert Einstein, is ready for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket to the International Space Station on 5 June from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The liftoff at 21:52 GMT (23:52 CEST) will be covered live from Kourou for broadcasters and on the web, and followed at events in Germany and Switzerland.

N° 18–2013

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano arrives at Space Station

29 May 2013

A Soyuz spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan last night safely docked with the International Space Station this morning, delivering ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and his crewmates to the orbital outpost where they will live and work for five months.

N° 17–2013

Call for Media: Celebrating 10 years of Mars Express discoveries

27 May 2013

Media representatives are invited to a briefing at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany on Monday 3 June, marking the tenth anniversary of the launch of ESA’s Mars Express. The event will highlight the key scientific discoveries of the mission and will unveil a new mineral atlas that charts the geological history of Mars.

N° 16–2013

ESA astronaut Timothy Peake set for Space Station

20 May 2013

ESA's Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, announced today that the ISS Multilateral Crew Operations Panel has decided on Friday, 17 May to accept his proposal to fly astronaut Timothy Peake to the International Space Station in 2015.

N° 15–2013

Call for Media: Inauguration of ESA’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre at ESRIN

15 May 2013

Media representatives are invited to the inauguration of ESA’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre at ESRIN (Frascati, Italy). This is the second centre to be opened under the Agency’s Space Situational Awareness programme after the Space Weather Coordination Centre that was inaugurated in Brussels last month.

N° 14–2013

ESA opens its doors in UK

14 May 2013

David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, today unveiled the Agency’s first UK facility: ECSAT, the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, located at the Harwell Oxford campus.

N° 13–2013

ESA’s next Earth Explorer satellite

07 May 2013

ESA’s Earth Observation Programme Board has selected ‘Biomass’ to become the seventh Earth Explorer mission. The innovative satellite aims to map and monitor one of Earth’s most precious resources.

N° 12–2013

ESA’s Vega launcher scores new success with Proba-V

07 May 2013

The second flight of ESA’s newest launch vehicle has been completed from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Two Earth observation satellites, ESA’s Proba-V and Vietnam’s VNREDSat‑1A, were released into different orbits, demonstrating the rocket’s versatility. Estonia’s first satellite, the ESTCube‑1 technology demonstrator, was also released into orbit.

N° 11–2013

Herschel closes its eyes on the Universe

29 April 2013

ESA's Herschel space observatory has exhausted, as planned, its supply of liquid helium coolant, concluding over three years of pioneering observations of the cool Universe.

N° 10–2013

Second Vega launch postponed by 24 hours

25 April 2013

To carry out additional checks on the mobile gantry system used on the Vega launch complex (SLV) at the CSG, Europe’s Spaceport, ESA and Arianespace have decided to postpone the Vega launch VV02 for 24 hours.

N° 9–2013

Call for Media: Conference on space debris risks and mitigation

11 April 2013

The 6th European Conference on Space Debris, to be held 22-25 April at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, will provide a forum for leading scientists, engineers, managers, space operators, industry, academia and policy makers from all major spacefaring nations.  Media are kindly invited to attend the event.

N° 8–2013

Call for Media: Inauguration of ESA’s Space Weather Coordination Centre

25 March 2013

Media representatives are invited to the inauguration of ESA’s Space Weather Coordination Centre, the first such centre to be opened under the Agency’s Space Situational Awareness programme.

N° 7–2013

Planck reveals an almost perfect Universe

20 March 2013

Acquired by the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope, the most detailed map ever created of the cosmic microwave background – the relic radiation from the Big Bang – was released today revealing the existence of features that challenge the foundations of our current understanding of the Universe.

N° 6–2013

ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions

14 March 2013

The European Space Agency and the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, have signed a formal agreement to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions in 2016 and 2018.

N° 5–2013

Call for Media: First cosmology results from ESA’s Planck mission

12 March 2013

Media representatives are invited to a briefing on the first cosmology data release from ESA’s Planck mission. The new results include Planck’s first all-sky map of the cosmic microwave background.

N° 4–2013

Galileo fixes Europe's position in history

12 March 2013

Europe’s new age of satellite navigation has passed a historic milestone – the very first determination of a ground location using the four Galileo satellites currently in orbit together with their ground facilities.

N° 3–2013

ESA pays tribute to Mr André Lebeau

05 March 2013

ESA pays tribute to Mr André Lebeau who passed away on Tuesday 26 February, shortly before his 81st birthday. Mr Lebeau, of French nationality, was the Deputy Director General of ESA and Director of Planning and Future Programmes (D/PFP) between 1975 and 1980.

N° 2–2013

ESA pays tribute to Mr Erik Quistgaard

05 March 2013

ESA pays tribute to Mr Erik Quistgaard who passed away on 11 February, aged 91. Mr Quistgaard was ESA’s second Director General, serving from May 1980 to August 1984.

N° 1–2013

ESA activities in 2013 of interest to media - Update 25 April 2013

25 April 2013

Expected key events of the year (check the ESA website at for the final dates):