ESA title
Back to Index French German

N° 20–2018: Call for Media: Aeolus launch event

10 August 2018

ESA’s Aeolus mission, which will use revolutionary laser technology to measure winds around the globe, is set for launch on 21 August from Europe’s Spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana. Media representatives are invited to the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, to follow the launch of this latest Earth Explorer satellite.

This pioneering mission uses powerful laser technology that probes the lowermost 30 km of our atmosphere to yield vertical profiles of the wind and information on aerosols and clouds – a completely new approach to measuring the wind from space.

Although our daily weather forecasts include information about the wind, there is a lack of direct measurements. Scientists and meteorologists need accurate and timely wind data to understand systems that influence our weather and climate, and to improve forecasts. Aeolus is the first satellite to do just this. 

Liftoff on a Vega rocket is scheduled for 21 August at 23:20 CEST (21:20 GMT).

For latest news and information on Aeolus, visit:

The Twitter hashtag to follow is #Aeolus


Follow the Aeolus launch live at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre
Starting at 22:00 CEST, the programme comprises short briefings about the scientific goals of this new wind mission, its sophisticated laser instrument and how the data will be used, as well as live updates from the teams in ESOC’s Main Control Room and from the launch pad in Kourou. Mission experts will be available for individual interviews.


Programme (all times are local time in Darmstadt (CEST))

20:30  Doors open

21:15   Q&A opportunity for media in ESOC’s Control Centre

22:00 Start of the event programme in ESOC’s Press Centre:

Welcome addresses from Head of ESA–ESOC and Director of Operations, Rolf Densing, and Head of ESA Earth Observation Projects, Philippe Goudy, followed by talks by mission and meteorological specialists

22:50  Live from Kourou

23:20 Aeolus lifts off (live transmission)

23:35 Break/light buffet

00:30Coverage from Kourou resumes for acquisition of signal (AOS information is not conclusive…)

01:00 Programme ends



Please register for the event by filling out the following form by Friday, 17 August:




Robert-Bosch-Straße 5

64293 Darmstadt



About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

Learn more about ESA at


For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office


Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99