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N° 3–2008: BepiColombo mission to be presented to the media

10 January 2008

The European Space Agency and Astrium jointly invite the media to attend a press conference on the occasion of the industrial contract signature of BepiColombo, the first European mission to Mercury. The event will be held at Astrium Friedrichshafen on 18 January 2008.

After a competitive phase started in 2001, ESA has awarded Astrium the prime contract to build BepiColombo. The contract signature ceremony will take place in presence of the Prime Minister of Baden Württemberg (Germany), Dr. Guenther Oettinger, and will mark the kick-off of the industrial development of the spacecraft.

BepiColombo will be launched in 2013. It consists of two spacecraft - an orbiter for planetary investigation, led by ESA, and one for magnetospheric studies, led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The satellite duo will reach Mercury in 2019 after a six-year journey towards the inner Solar System, to make the most extensive and detailed study of Mercury ever attempted.

The press event will feature a thorough presentation of the mission and its objectives, as well as the technical challenges that Astrium will have to address. Such challenges derive from the difficulty of reaching, surviving and operating in the harsh environment of a planet so close to Sun, making of BepiColombo one of the most complex long-term planetary projects undertaken by ESA so far.

Media interested to attend are invited to register by the reply form attached below.

Visit of Prime Minister Guenther Oettinger

and BepiColombo Contract Signature

Event programme

18 January 2008, h 10:30

Astrium Friedrichshafen, Germany

Claude-Dornier-Straße, 88090 Immenstaad

Building 8, Room "Meersburg"

10:30

Check-in

11:00

Welcome and introduction, Uwe Minne, Astrium, Director of Earth Observation and Science, Head of Friedrichshafen Site

11:05

BepiColombo in the context of the ESA Science Programme, Jacques Louet, ESA Head of Science Projects Departments

11:10

BepiColombo's scientific objectives, Johannes Benkhoff, ESA, BepiColombo Project Scientist

11:20

The BepiColombo mission, Jan van Casteren, ESA, BepiColombo Project Manager

11:30

BepiColombo's technical challenges, Rainer Best, Astrium, BepiColombo Project Manager

11:40

Q&A

12:00

Buffet lunch

13:00

Arrival of Prime Minister Guenther Oettinger, welcomed by Evert Dudok, CEO Astrium Satellites, Uwe Minne and Dr. Johannes v. Thadden, Astrium, Head of Political Affairs

13:05

Astrium at Friedrichshafen and its experience and heritage in scientific satellites, Uwe Minne, Head of Friedrichshafen Site

13:15

Astrium in Baden-Württemberg, and the importance of satellite Manufacturing, Evert Dudok, CEO Astrium Satellites

13:25

The ESA Science Programme and Germany’s involvement,David Southwood, ESA Director of Science

13:35

Contract Signature of BepiColombo, D. Southwood, ESA / E. Dudok,Astrium - J. Louet, ESA / U. Minne, Astrium

13:45

Speech of Guenther Oettinger, Prime Minister of Federal State of Baden-Württemberg: “Baden-Württemberg: a high-tech Country”

14:05

Transfer to Satellite Cleanroom 14:10

Visit Satellite Manufacturing

14:30

End of event

Reply form

Visit of Prime Minister Guenther Oettinger

and BepiColombo Contract Signature

at Astrium Friedrichshafen,

Room Meersburg

18 January 2008 at 10:30 a.m.

( ) I will participate in this press event

( ) I regrettably can't participate in the event

( ) Please send me the press documents

Name: ......................................................

Editorial office ...........................................

Address:....................................................

............................................................

Phone:.....................................................

Fax:........................................................

Mobile:…………………………………………………………………………….

E-mail: …………………………………………………………………………….

Please return this form to:

Denise Achberger

Media Relations (CM), Astrium

88039 Friedrichshafen, Germany

Fax: 07545 8-5589

Email: E-mail: denise.achberger@astrium.eads.net

For further information:

ESA - Media Relations Service
Tel: +33 (0)1 53 69 72 99
Fax: +33.(0)1.5369.7690



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