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N° 31–1998: Earth observation satellite lands at Farnborough International 98

19 August 1998

An impressive full-scale model of ESA's Earth observation satellite ENVISAT will be on display at Farnborough International from 4 to 13 September. With a length of 23m, a width of 12m and a height of over 9 m, the huge mock-up is a high-fidelity replica of the largest environmental satellite ever built, scheduled to be launched by an Ariane 5 vehicle in the year 2000.

Once launched and in orbit, ENVISAT will constantly monitor the Earth's environment. The spacecraft's sophisticated sensors will observe the atmosphere, the oceans, land surfaces, ice cover etc. with great accuracy, helping us to better understand the processes of change on our planet. ENVISAT will show how we can repair some of the long-term damage being done to our planet and forestall major catastrophes in the future.

The ENVISAT mock-up, located outdoors at the southern corner of Hall 1, will be "unveiled" on Friday 4 September at 11:00 hrs. Media representatives are welcome to attend this photo-video opportunity. ESA specialists on the ENVISAT programme will be available for interviews.

On Monday 7 September at 09:00 - 09:45, the Director General of ESA, Antonio Rodotà, will meet the press at the Farnborough 98 press Centre to take stock of the current and future programmes of the European Space Agency. In particular, Mr Rodotà will go over the recent decisions taken in Brussels by the ESA Council, the Agency's governing body, on the start of new programmes in the fields of Earth observation, telecommunications and small launchers.

On Tuesday 8 September, Earth observation will again be ESA's main topic for the media. "ENVISAT and beyond: making the planet a better place to live" is the theme of a press conference to be held at 10:00-11:00hrs - in the Matra Marconi Space chalet(A12 and A 13). ESA and MMS specialists will present the ENVISAT programme and highlight ESA's new Earth observation programme, the "Living Planet" programme.