Preview on Space 2009 Format 4:3 This story outlines the main missions ESA is planning this year. It will be a very busy and interesting year in many different fields. For example in Science Ariane will launch the spacecrafts Herschel and Planck to probe the invisible far infrared and microwave Universe. In Earth Observation GOCE will be launched to study the earth gravity field and later this year SMOS and Cryosat will be sent on orbit , new key missions to understand our fragile planet. 2009 will also be an important year in space for European astronauts since Frank De Winne and Christer Fuglesang will both stay aboard the International Space Station.