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Science & Exploration

N° 37–2002: ESA astronaut training in Europe for October mission to the International Space Station. Mission name and logo unveiled.

28 May 2002

ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, from Belgium, will soon finish training at ESA's space research and technology centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands on some of the scientific facilities he will have to work on during his flight to the International Space Station next October. On Thursday 6 June, media representatives are invited to learn more about some of the training phases and to carry out interviews.


On the same occasion, in the presence of Mr Charles Picqué, Belgian Minister for Scientific Research, Mr Yvan Ylieff, Belgian Commissioner in charge of Scientific Policy and Mr Ernst Messerschmid, Head of ESA's European Astronaut Centre, the mission's name and logo will be unveiled (see attached programme).

Frank De Winne will be flight engineer on a Soyuz "taxi flight" to the International Space Station, an 8 to 10-day mission scheduled for late October, and funded by the Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC). The main purposes of the mission will be to replace the Russian Soyuz vehicle, which serves as the emergency rescue craft for the Station's crew, with a modernised version (Soyuz TM-A), to carry out substantial scientific experiment programme and promote valuable international cooperation. The next Space Shuttle to lift off to the International Space Station (target launch date: 30 May) will be carrying an important piece of European hardware: the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The ESA Glovebox will be used in October by Frank De Winne and will enable astronauts to handle a variety of materials and perform experiments on combustion, fluids and biotechnology safely in a microgravity environment. It can also be used to carry out minor repairs and service hardware where necessary.

The MSG facility was built for NASA for a projected operational life of 10 years and will be initially fitted in the United States Laboratory (Destiny). Development of the MSG was contracted to Astrium (D). Bradford Engineering (NL) built the main elements of the facility, supported by Verhaert Design & Development (B), Atos-Origin (NL) and Laben (I).

Media representatives wishing to attend the media day at ESA/ESTEC on 6 June are kindly requested to fill out the attached accreditation from and fax it back to :

Heidi Graf, Head of Corporate Communication Office

ESA/ESTEC , Noordwijk , the Netherlands

Tel. + 31 71 565 3006

Fax. + 31 71 565 5728

For further information, please contact :

Sophie Goeminne, Press Officer

Cabinet of the Minister for Scientific Research - Brussels

Tel: +32 (0) 2.506.5753

Fax: +32 (0) 2.513.0450


Media Day for ESA astronaut Frank De Winne

Training and unveiling of official name and mission logo

Erasmus building, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands - Keplerlaan 1

10:30 - Registration and coffee

11:15 - Welcome and Introduction to ESA contributions to the International Space Station, by Ernst Messerschmid

11:30 - Training for the mission and presentation on the Microgravity Scientific Glovebox, by Frank De Winne

11:45 - Unveiling of mission logo by Frank De Winne ,Minister Picqué, Commissioner Ylieff and E. Messerschmid

11:50 -Statements Minister Picqué, Commissioner Ylieff, E. Messerschmid

12:05 - Question/Answer session

12:30 - Photo opportunities at Microgravity Scientific Glovebox and around other elements of the User Information Centre for the International Space Station

13:00 - Transfer of media to main building

13:15 - Buffet lunch and occasion for individual interviews

with Frank De Winne

14:30 - End of event/departure


14:30-15:15 - Visit to "Jules Verne", the automated transfer vehicle serving as Europe's space truck to the ISS, currently undergoing tests in the ESA Test Centre.


Media Day for ESA astronaut Frank De Winne

Training and unveiling of official name and mission logo

Erasmus building, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands - Keplerlaan 1

Name : ____________________ Forename : ______________________

Media : _____________________________________________________

Address : ___________________________________________________



Tel : ______________________ Fax : __________________________

Mobile : ___________________ Mail : _________________________

[ ] will participate in the media day for ESA astronaut Frank De Winne

[ ] will not participate

Please fax this form back to :

Heidi Graf

Head of Corporate Communication Office


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)