ESA Bulletin 151 (Aug 2012)

31 August 2012

On the cover this month, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (IT) is seen during spacewalk training in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston.
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In July, Samantha was assigned to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2014 as part of Expedition 42/43. After astronaut Luca Parmitano (IT) and Alexander Gerst (DE), she is next in the European line-up joining crews for long-duration missions to the ISS.

'A Journey to Earth's Core' tells a story more exciting than classic science-fiction writer Jules Verne could have imagined when he created his fictional expedition to the centre of Earth. Essential for life on our planet, Earth's protective magnetic shield is weakening. Launched later this year, ESA’s Swarm mission will help us understand what is happening to this vital shield.

'All the space you can use' looks at one of the most ambitious space projects ever undertaken - the ISS. The first results from this amazing structure are now coming to light, but this is only the beginning, because the ISS will continue to operate for at least another eight years.

Europe has guaranteed access to space and offers services to customers worldwide through a versatile family of launchers: Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. But while this approach has been successful so far, the risk is that it becomes less sustainable economically later down the line. In 'A Boost for Europe', we analyse the evolution of the European launcher business sector.

Although we think that people are aware of space activities, and that businesses in different sectors know about space-based services, the truth is that many do not. 'Making the Connection' looks at the growing network of ‘IAP Ambassadors’ (IAP stands for Integrated Applications Promotion), who are engaging with new user communities who neither know nor care much about space technology. Their challenge is to persuade people from these sectors that the space industry can do something useful for them.

The ESA Bulletin is published four times a year to inform the space-interested public of ESA’s activities. In addition to a wide range of articles, every issue provides an overview of the status of ESA's major space projects.

The full archive of Bulletins is also available at ESA's Publications web site, www.esa.int/publications.

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