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21 February 2002

Only a few more days to go until an Ariane 5 launcher will blast into the night sky above Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. On board, on the evening of 28 February, will be Envisat, ESA’s new Earth Observation satellite, the result of 10 years of European scientific research.

Do you know why scientists are so excited about this event, or what the wealth of information provided by Envisat will be used for and by whom? Would you like to know what is going on at the spaceport in readiness for the launch?

Log on to ESA’s Envisat Forum. There you can ask the experts, Gilles Labruyère and his team, about what they are doing in readiness for the launch, or maybe you would just like to know what life is like in French Guiana. Probably you have already been following Gilles’ diary on the Envisat launch site, where he has been keeping us up to date about events at Kourou.

There are two more discussion forums on the site apart from Ask Gilles, these are: The Uses of Envisat and Launching Envisat. Here you can find answers to your questions about how Envisat will help to protect our environment as well as what goes on to prepare for a launch.

We want to know what you think about these events, so apart from asking questions, let us have your views and take part in the discussions. The Envisat launch is an important step forward in efforts to safeguard our planet so come on, join in the discussions and tell us what you think.

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