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N° 32–1999: European students explore possible mission to Mars

22 July 1999

The Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first man in orbit, the American Neil Armstrong the first man on the Moon, on 21 July, 1969. Is there a chance that the first human being to set foot on Mars will be a European? Attendants at the 1999 Alpbach Summer School will be putting their minds to this challenging question.

Seventy-four students from member states of the European Space Agency will be attending the Summer School from 3 to 12 August in the small mountain village of Alpbach in the Austrian Tyrol. They will be set the task of defining a future Mars Exploration Mission. 25 European experts will provide them with an overview of all aspects of the Red Planet. Basic questions such as the chemical and mineralogical composition of its surface, its geophysics and geochemistry or the search for life on Mars will be addressed. A review of past, present and future exploration of Mars will be presented.

The annual Summer School is co-organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Transport, the European Space Agency and the Austrian Space Agency. ESA's Director of Science, Prof. Roger Bonnet, will open this year's at 9 a.m. on 3 August, in Alpbach Secondary School with a lecture on "Mars Exploration: For What Purpose? How?" Media representatives are most welcome.

For additional information please contact:
Michaela Gitsch
Austrian Space Agency
Garnisongasse
A-1090 Wien
Tel. 43+1+403 81 77/12, Fax 43+1+405 82 28, e-mail: mgitsch@asaspace.at

During the Summer School:
Alpbach Secondary School: Tel. 43+5336+20002, Fax 43+5336+5490


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