On Friday, 17 January, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will meet the press at the traditional start-of-year briefing on the activities and challenges for 2014.
The event will take place at ESA-HQ Daumesnil: 52 rue Jacques Hillairet, 75012 Paris, France. The briefing begins at 09:00 CET; doors open at 08:30 CET.
A major scientific highlight of the year will be Rosetta, the first mission designed to orbit and land on a comet, after a decade of travelling to its destination. During the year, Rosetta will wake up from its hibernation, rendezvous with the comet, land a probe on its surface and escort it during its journey. It will be another major first for Europe’s science and space operations.
Within Earth observation, the first Sentinel satellite is ready to be launched in 2014. This launch will start a new family of satellites in the Copernicus programme, an EU flagship programme to which the ESA Member States are contributors.
Another programme with the European Commission will also progress significantly in 2014: the Galileo programme will see several launches deploying the Full Operational Capability constellation, providing Galileo early services around the end of 2014.
Two astronauts are bound for the International Space Station next year: Alexander Gerst, of German nationality and Samantha Cristoferetti, of Italian nationality.
The year will also see the fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle,Georges Lemaître, performing its mission. There will be no more ATVs but the technology and industrial knowhow will be used in ESA’s Service Module for NASA’s Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle.
Within the launcher domain, the flight of the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV) to be launched by Vega in the second half of the year will provide the expertise for developing future reentry craft.
The year will also be dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary of Europe’s cooperation in space. Several events will be organised to address the future in the light of 50 years of unique achievements which have put ESA as one of the leading space agencies in the world.
A Council at Ministerial level will be held in Luxemburg in December. At this meeting, Ministers will be invited to take decisions on launchers, the International Space Station and the future of ESA including its relations with the European Union.
The Director General’s briefing will be webstreamed at www.esa.int
Media representatives wishing to attend are requested to register at: http://www.esa.int/dg_press_conference_2014
How to get to ESA-HQ Daumesnil: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/ESA4K4UM5JC_index_0.html
About the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.
ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
ESA is also working with the EU in implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
Learn more at www.esa.int
For further information:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99