ESA Bulletin 149 (February 2012)

8 March 2012

On the cover of this month's Bulletin is Vega, ESA’s new launch vehicle, ready to operate alongside the Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers after its first flight from French Guiana on 13 February.
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And with another launch coming up, that of ESA's third Automated Transfer Vehicle, so European Hat-trick describes the preparations for the flight of ATV Edoardo Amaldi to the International Space Station. Even with the completion of ESA’s second ATV mission still fresh in our minds, the latest in the series of European space freighters is ready to go.

Next to Galileo, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is one of the two European Union flagship programmes in space, and another example of how space policy can contribute to improving European citizens’ lives. In this article, we look at the GMES Space Component getting ready for operations and how decision-makers need to see the benefits that GMES can create for national and local communities.

In Hylas-1: Satellite broadband for Europe, we look at how Hylas has validated a new way of operating in the satellite telecommunications sector – where ESA and satellite operators join forces and shares resources, to provide more rapid access to space for new products and technologies.

Next is a triple feature from ESA's Education Office, showing how students can fly their experiments to the edge of space (REXUS/BEXUS), how operators of educational spacecraft gain access to their satellites via the internet (GENSO), and how engineering and science students can benefit from a unique training opportunity - the GEOID/HumSAT project.

This issue of the Bulletin is rounded off with a gallery of just a few of the highlights of 2011, showing some amazing and unusual views of our activities, our planet and our Universe.

The 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.

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