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Science & Exploration

N° 49–1998: "Making dreams come true"

16 November 1998

Invitation to a press conference - Paris, 26 November 1998, 09h30

At an exciting stage in the evolution of the European Space Agency's Science Programme, Director-General Antonio Rodota and Director of Science Roger Bonnet will meet the press in ESA Head Office for a frank discussion of progress and problems.

The Science Programme serves scientists in all of ESA's Member States, who want to do adventurous research in space of importance to all mankind. Making their dreams come true is more difficult in the face of recent cuts in the Programme's budget. Scientific boldness combined with administrative prudence nevertheless results in a series of current and future projects in which Europe can take pride.

Highlights for discussion at the Press Conference will include: * MARS. In 2003, the newly approved mission Mars Express will make Europe's debut at the Red Planet, with innovative science at a very low cost.

* THE SUN. SOHO is back in business after a nail-biting summer, Ulysses is heading for its second visit to the polar regions of the Sun, and Cluster II is on schedule for launch in 2000.

* ASTRONOMY. Following the outstanding successes of ISO's infrared observations, completed this year, XMM and Integral are preparing to match its achievements by detecting X-rays and gamma-rays from the Universe.

Journalists will also be updated about the status of Huygens (already en route for Titan), SMART-1 (new propulsion), Rosetta (comet mission), MiniSTEP (relativity), FIRST (far infra-red astronomy) and Planck (microwave background) -- as well as other adventurous missions under study.

Media representative wishing to take part in this event, are kindly requested to fill out and return the attached accreditation request by fax : +33(0)

For further information, please contact : ESA Public Relations Division Tel: +33(0) Fax: +33(0)