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Science & Exploration

N° 48–2003: ESA fund to give students hands-on experience of International Space Station and space

6 August 2003

28 August will be an important day for ESA: not only will the SMART-1 spacecraft be launched into space heading for the Moon, but a launch of a different kind will take place at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. Leading figures from industry, government, science and education across Europe, representatives of international organisations and European astronauts will be pledging their support and opening the new ISS Education Fund to external participation.


The International Space Station Education Fund (ISSEF) has been set up to help ESA in its aim of encouraging students from its 15 member states to study, understand and support science and technology in the future by using the exciting resources of space. Space is not only the environment from which many of our future discoveries will come; it is a resource that can be used to capture the imagination of young people as they develop an understanding of science and technology.

The Fund will support the ISS Education Programme, which is developing, producing and disseminating teaching materials in all 11 ESA languages for primary and secondary school students. Special efforts are being made to target girls and boys aged between 12 and 15. The Programme will also facilitate the implementation of research experiments, initiated by university students, to be carried out on board the ISS, or on other carriers, particularly in the fields of life and physical sciences and their applications in space (ESA has allocated 1% of the European accommodation and operational resources on the ISS to support for such experiments).

The ISS Education Fund was legally established in July 2002 to complement the ISS Education Programme. Almost 1m euros of seed funding, and administrative support, has been provided by ESA to the Fund. With the formal opening of the Fund on 28 August, ESA will be actively seeking additional contributions from appropriate organisations, and is offering a range of strategic, tangible and targeted benefits in return.

The programme on the day includes the formal Board meeting of the Fund, including both honorary and funding participants. Close to 50 entrants to the 2002 SUCCESS Student Contest will attend the event as well. These students have been competing for an internship at ESA during which they can prepare their proposed experiment for an actual flight on the International Space Station. A ceremony to announce the three winners will be held during the afternoon in the presence of press and astronauts.

Our new website, containing further information on the Fund, is at More information on SUCCESS can be found at

Note for Editors:

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Media representatives are invited to attend the launch of the ISS Education Fund and the announcement of the winners of the SUCCESS award in the presence of Edelgard Bulmahn, German Minister for Education and Research, Joerg Feustel-Büechl, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, and other key players from education, institutions and industry across Europe.


Thursday 28 August 2003.

14h00 The SUCCESS student programme: visit to EAC facilities and presentations by ESA astronauts.

16h00 Official opening of the ISS education fund and SUCCESS award ceremony

17h00 Interview opportunities:

-ISSEF participants

-SUCCESS award winners


ESA/ EAC - European Astronaut Centre

Linder Höhe

D - 51 147 KÖLN

For further information:

Jean Coisne

ESA/European Astronaut Centre

Tel: +49 2203 6001-111

Fax: +49 2203 6001-112


Accreditation form

Launch of International Space Station Education Fund

Thursday 28 August 2003

ESA/EAC- European Astronaut Centre

14:00-17:00 hrs

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Jean Coisne

ESA/European Astronaut Centre

Fax. +49 2203 6001-112


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