After a busy 2010, the upcoming year will also be interesting for space activities. Indeed 2011 will mark the anniversary of the first human space flight: it will be 50 years since Youri Gagarin made his historical orbits around our planet. Now Cosmonauts and Astronauts are living together in the International Space Station. Among them Paolo Nespoli from ESA, due to return in May, for the 3rd European long duration stay. He will later be joined by Roberto Vittori aboard one of the last Shuttle missions.
Other important ESA missions in 2011 are the second ATV cargo, planned for launch by Ariane 5 in February. Later, Europe's space port in French Guyane will see the inauguration launches of both Soyuz and Vega, completing the performances of Ariane and re-inforcing Europe's access to space. ESA is also expecting interesting results from its Earth Observers satellites.