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Science & Exploration

N° 42–2002: ESA Science Media Day: Rosetta and Integral getting ready for launch

7 June 2002

Two contrasting space missions are in the final stages of preparation at ESA's Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. They are the Rosetta mission to rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen and study the origins of our solar system and the Integral spacecraft to study the most violent phenomena in the Universe. Both spacecraft are nearing their launch dates.


Media representatives are invited to ESTEC on Tuesday 18 June to learn about these two missions. Professor David Southwood, ESA Director of Science, ESA project managers and project scientists, together with industry representatives, will be giving presentations and be on hand for interviews. Visits to the spacecraft in their test environment will also be included.

Representatives of the media wishing to attend this media day at ESA/ESTEC on 18 June are kindly requested to complete the attached accreditation form and fax it to: Heidi Graf, Head of Corporate Communication Office - ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands - (Tel. +31(0) 71.565.3006 - Fax. +31(0)71.565.5728).

Note for editors:

The mission goal for the Rosetta spacecraft is a rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen in 2011. Rosetta will be launched in January 2003 by an Ariane-5 from Kourou, French Guiana. On its eight-year journey to the Comet, the spacecraft will pass close to two asteroids, before studying the nucleus of Comet Wirtanen and its environment in great detail for a period of nearly two years (2011-2013).

The spacecraft will also carry a lander to the nucleus and deploy it on the comet's surface. The lander science will focus on in situ study of the composition and structure of the nucleus material. The mission will make an unparalleled study of cometary material and reveal much about how the solar system formed.

Integral will have the task of tracking gamma radiation across the entire sky. ESA's International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, Integral, will gather gamma rays, the most energetic radiation that comes from space. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch on 17 October this year, from Baikonur, on board a Russian Proton launcher and will help solve some of the biggest mysteries in astronomy.

Integral will be the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory ever launched. It will detect radiation from the most violent events far away and yet at the same time give evidence of the processes that made the Universe habitable.

For further information, please contact :

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)



Tuesday 18 June 2002 - ESA/ESTEC

09:30 - Welcome

10:00 - The Integral and Rosetta missions in the context of "Cosmic Vision 2020" - David Southwood, Director of the Scientific Programme


- The Integral Mission - Kai Clausen, ESA Project Manager

- Scientific Goals and Instrument Overview - Arvind Parmar, ESA Acting Project Scientist

- Industrial Organisation - Giuseppe Finocchiano, Alenia Project Manager


- The Rosetta Mission - Europe Comet's Chaser - John Ellwood, ESA Project Manager

- Science Objectives - Gerhard Schwehm, ESA Project Scientist

- Industrial Organisation - Rainer Best, Astrium Project Manager

11:50 - Q & A session

12:30 - Lunch and possibility of interviews

13:45 - Transfer to test centre

14:00 - Visit of flight units Integral and Rosetta

15:30 - Additional interview opportunity

16:30 - End of programme



Rosetta and Integral Press Day at ESTEC, Noordwijk (the Netherlands)

Tuesday 18 June 2002

Surname:____________________________ First name : ____________________________

Media : ____________________________________________________________________

Business address : __________________________________________________________



Telephone : ___________________________ Fax : ________________________________

Mobile : ______________________________ e-mail : ______________________________

[ ] I will be attending the press day on Tuesday 18 June 2002

[ ] I will not be attending

Please return by fax to :

Heidi Graf, Head of Corporate Communication Office

ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands

Tel: +31(0)71.565.3006

Fax: +31(0)71.565.5728


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)