13 December 2011
ESA astronaut André Kuipers is scheduled for launch to the International Space Station on 21 December. Media are invited to cover the event via ESA TV or ESA's web site or attend one of the ESA events in the Netherlands and Germany.
André Kuipers will be launched on a Soyuz to the International Space Station on his five-month PromISSe mission at 14:16 CET (13:16 GMT) on 21 December from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
PromISSe is Europe's fourth long-duration flight to the orbital outpost, and André's second mission to the Station. His duties during the five-month mission will include being the prime operator for Europe's supply spacecraft, ATV Edoardo Amaldi, when it arrives at the Station in March next year.
Similarly, André will be involved in berthing the visiting Cygnus and Dragon US cargo vehicles during their maiden demonstration flights to the Station.
He will also conduct an extensive programme of educational and scientific experiments, benefitting from his background as a medical doctor.
For more information about André and his PromISSe mission, please visit: www.esa.int/promisse
The launch will be transmitted live via satellite and on ESA's website: www.esa.int
ESA TV offers broadcasters extensive material on André's mission and its preparation via special feeds from the Baikonur cosmodrome before the launch.
Launch and docking will be transmitted live via the W2A satellite. For more information, consult http://television.esa.int/
The latest high-resolution images can be found by registering on ESA's Photo Library for Professionals: http://www.esa-photolibrary.com/
Questions on images for media can be directed to email@example.com
The main launch event will be held in André's home country, the Netherlands, at ESA's technical centre ESTEC, in Noordwijk.
The European Astronaut Centre (EAC), in Cologne, Germany, will also open its doors to media.
More information about these events, and accreditation information, can be found on the respective country pages on ESA's website:
Event in ESTEC: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/Netherlands.html
Event in EAC: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/Germany.html
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99
Fax: + 33 1 53 69 76 90