ESA helps spread youths' call for peace

ESA and other religions
Some of the participants at SuperCongress'02 in national costume
27 May 2002

More than 9000 young people from 80 countries gathered in Rome at the weekend. They had one aim in mind, to spread the message that peace is possible. ESA’s New Media Support Centre was at hand to help them spread the message throughout the world.

Youth for Unity is the name given to the SuperCongress'02 organised by the Focolare Movement. The young delegates, aged from 12 to 17, came from countries and locations as diverse as India, Thailand, Tanzania, Japan, Nigeria, Brazil, Chernobyl and New York. Although they represent different cultures, ethnic groups and religions, they all have the same idea, they want to build a brighter future in a united world.

On Saturday 25 May all the teenagers joined together in a musical choreography made up of theatrical games, songs and testimonials from Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and traditional African religions. Sunday morning saw the impressive site of thousands of young people marching together from Rome’s Coliseum to St Peters, twirling rainbow-coloured umbrellas. Before the march, religious leaders and teenagers symbolically placed their hand prints on an enormous panel at the Coliseum.

Supercongress'02 linkup

ESA offered the services of its New Media Support Centre (NMSC) to help broadcast the congress throughout the world. On the Saturday the Italian company Telespazio used its mobile telecommunications unit to uplink the proceedings to the Sesat satellite on which ESA has capacity. Received at ESRIN, ESA's establishment just outside Rome, the signals were remodulated and uplinked to the Hispasat satellite using an NMSC uplink station, so that the proceedings could be viewed live on television screens in the Americas.

On the Sunday a similar procedure was followed to allow the proceedings at the Coliseum to be be seen live in many different parts of the world. Because of the time difference ESA encoded a tape of Sunday's proceedings for uplinking to the Hispasat satellite for viewing in the Americas.

This is just a very small illustration of the type of services the NMSC can offer. It will provide a test and development environment for services, applications and equipment combining any of the traditional telecommunications disciplines (multimedia, mobile or broadcast), navigation and Earth imaging, which employ satellite communications in some form. Some of the uses envisaged include tele-medicine, tele-education, advanced satellite networks and satellite-based emergency management systems.

Two of the NMSC antennae at ESRIN
Two of the NMSC antennae at ESRIN

The NMSC will offer access to technical facilities including satellite capacity, software and hardware test benches and simulators, a demonstration laboratory for real time or off-line demonstration of applications, and ESA's expertise and technical support.

This new centre will help companies to manage the risk of developing and exploring new and cross-discipline satellite technology that reflect the changing needs of the satcom sector that ESA aims to support. It will cover space, ground and applications sectors as well as development and promotion.

Research and development institutes, applications developers and equipment manufacturers will be able to use the centre for terminal testing and system simulation. Institution users, such as civil protection, fire and forest services, will benefit in areas such as pilot technology trials, hands-on training and potentially from support during real emergencies.

Would you like to know more about the NMSC?
E-mail: nmsc@esa.int
Fax +31 71 5654093 or +39 06 94188402

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