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N° 6–2001: Envisat launch : only a few months to go!

18 January 2001

Media information day on Thursday 1 February at ESTEC

Envisat, the largest and the most sophisticated European-built Earth observation satellite ever, will complete its final test sequences over the coming weeks at the ESA Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, before being shipped to Kourou for launch.

The last opportunity for the media to take a look at the impressive ten metre-tall giant will be on Thursday 1 February at ESA's ESTEC establishment. All ten instruments have been installed on the spacecraft and the large Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna deployed. With the exception of the solar array, Envisat is now in its actual in-flight configuration.

That morning, leading international scientists, top managers from the Astrium industrial consortium and the ESA project team will give comprehensive background briefings on the various mission objectives of this unique spacecraft observing Planet Earth, its sophisticated instruments and the work scheduled between now and the start of its operational life in polar orbit.

Specialists will be available for interviews in various languages.

For full details of the programme running from 1000 to 1530 hours and the registration form for this Envisat Media Event, see the following pages.

After final testing, Envisat will leave ESTEC in April for a three-month launch campaign at Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The night launch on an Ariane 5 is planned in the second half of July. Envisat is designed to provide five years of in-orbit operations.

For further details on Envisat and the mission, visit http://envisat.esa.int and for Earth observation topics go via the ESA web portal www.esa.int

Envisat Media Event on Thursday 1 February 2001

Location: Space Expo, ESTEC Visitors' Centre, Noordwijk, the Netherlands

10:00 -15:30 hours

PROGRAMME

10:00 Arrival/registration of guests

10:30 '' Envisat- just months to go...''. (the movie)

10:45 The Envisat programme - introduction by Jacques Louet, Envisat programme manager (ESA)

11:00 Envisat status - overview from industry: D. Todman, Envisat Polar Platform project manager, Astrium (UK) and K.-P. Bartholomae, Envisat mission prime project manager, Astrium (D)

11:20 Envisat - the spacecraft for all seasons and environments

1.Envisat for the chemistry in our atmosphere: Prof. J. Burrows, University of Bremen (D)

2.Envisat for our environment and climate: Prof. H. Grassl, Director of Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (D) and former Director of the
World Climate Research Programme

3.Envisat for the physics of our oceans: Dr. P. Gaspar, Collecte Localisation Satellite (CLS), Toulouse (F)

4. Envisat for the physics of our land surfaces: Prof. F.Rocca, Politecnico di Milano (I)

12:20 Question and answer session

12:45 Visit to Envisat spacecraft at ESTEC Test Centre, followed by individual interviews opportunities and buffet lunch

15:30 End of event


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