ESA Bulletin: a window on the Universe

30 May 2012

A special introduction to the 150th edition of the ESA Bulletin by ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.

The 150th edition of the ESA Bulletin promises to be something special and it indeed deserves a special tribute.

The Bulletin, now published four times a year, is a window on the Universe: it portrays our activities almost day by day, and it lives because of the ESA specialists whose written contributions reach out to the international space community of decision-makers, industry, academics, students and the space-interested general public.

As well as a wide range of in-depth articles on various disciplines, from space science to telecommunications, from satellite navigation to Earth observation, from launchers to human spaceflight, from operations to technology, every issue provides an overview of ESA’s ongoing programmes – a useful tool to keep abreast of the status of major space projects in our agency.

The Bulletin faithfully reports the many achievements that have crowned the history of European space activities in the last 40 years, as well as a few of the obstacles we have encountered in an ever-changing world.

If you wish to anticipate the world of 2024, read the Bulletin

Through the Bulletin, ESA tells its great story, a history of pioneering success and technical excellence; the story of its staff and contractors who ‘make’ ESA, the story of a community of European scientists and engineers engaged in outstanding research, and the story of decision-makers and politicians struggling to make the best use of the resources allocated to space activities in Europe.

We are one of the few space agencies worldwide that operate across the entire field of play in space, making scientific discoveries, performing technical development and boosting industrial competitiveness, at the same time as enabling operational services that improve the lives of European citizens.

Since its issue No. 1 in 1975, the Bulletin has marked the most exciting milestones and has kept its readership informed of ESA’s developments.

The circulation of the publication, which is free of charge, has increased from the original handful of copies to today’s 9900 copies, without forgetting that many more readers see the Bulletinon the Internet.

I will not be Director of ESA when the 200th issue is published in 2024, but I am sure that the ESA of 2024 will not be the same ESA we know today. Preparing the world of 2024 is what we are doing today at ESA, and I am sure that the world of 2024 will be different also thanks to what we are reporting today in the Bulletin. If you wish to anticipate the world of 2024, read the Bulletin.

The agency of 2024 will have grown far beyond the 19 Member States that today make up its strength. By that time, space will have been recognised even more as one of the few sectors where Europe is both a world leader and a model: a leader in the commercial market, in technology and in the provision of services, and a model for using space to benefit the citizens of Europe and the world, and as a reliable partner in international cooperation.

However, I definitely count on reading that issue of the Bulletin. Most probably it will not be a printed document, but rather a virtual ‘e-publication’ that we download on our 3D holographic tablets. But no matter how it looks, I invite you not to miss any issue, because the Bulletin will, I am sure, continue to inspire, inform and be the lively ‘reporter’ of ESA life; because the Bulletin is a look into the future.

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