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N° 8–2013: Call for Media: Inauguration of ESA’s Space Weather Coordination Centre

25 March 2013

Media representatives are invited to the inauguration of ESA’s Space Weather Coordination Centre, the first such centre to be opened under the Agency’s Space Situational Awareness programme.

The new Space Weather Coordination Centre will serve as the central access point to a portfolio of European space weather expertise. Located at the ‘Space Pole’ in Brussels, the Space Weather Coordination Centre (SSCC) includes the first European space weather helpdesk and, through this, rapid access to expert support on solar weather, ionospheric weather, the geomagnetic environment and the orbital radiation environment. This is made possible by networking and building on key European assets and expertise.

The SSCC is a dedicated control room where operators monitor the Sun, the space environment and the Earth environment for early detection of possible effects of space weather phenomena on economically vital infrastructures and activities, including gas/oil drilling, electric power distribution and navigation. This will reduce costs and improve reliability and information for citizens.

The media briefing is being organised by the European Space Agency in cooperation with the Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence and will be held at Space Pole, Meridian Room, Ringlaan/Av. Circulaire 3, 1180 Brussels, on 3 April 2013, 10:30–13:00 CET.

Doors open at 09:45 CET.






Media representatives wishing to attend the event are requested to register at



Welcome and introduction

Ronald Van der Linden, Director General, Royal Observatory Belgium


Detecting Space Hazards: Strategic objectives of the SSA Programme

Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations


Space Weather Services: a Belgian Priority

Philippe Mettens, Chairman, Belgian Science Policy Office


Overview of ESA’s SSA Programme

Nicolas Bobrinsky, ESA Head of Space Situational Awareness Programme


Space Weather – Impact on critical Infrastructures and Services

Juha-Pekka Luntama, ESA Head of SSA Space Weather Activities


Profile of the SSA Space Weather Coordination Centre

Michel Kruglanski, Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence


Open Q&A


Formal Inauguration ESA’s SSA Space Weather Coordination Centre
VIP photo


End of formal programme

Media opportunities for individual interviews


Light buffet lunch

End of programme

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 and is discussing an Agreement with the one remaining (Bulgaria). Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working actively with the EU, for the implementation of the programmes Galileo and Copernicus.

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

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office


Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99

Fax: +33 1 53 69 76 90

Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin, ESA/ESOC Corporate Communications Office


Tel: +49 6151 90 2516