| News & features
|News and Information on Earth and Space Week and related activities
- Our next challenge: a human on Mars (21/02/2005)
“The European Space Agency will be the first space agency to reach all planets in the inner solar system.” That was the assurance of Piero Messina, speaking for ESA’s Aurora Exploration Programme at the last Earth & Space Expo lunchtime seminar in Brussels.
- Co-operation in space gets major boost (18/02/2005)
Over 40 nations and more than 20 international organisations came together at the ‘Winning through co-operation’ conference in Brussels, on 17 February 2005. High representatives from the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, the Russian Space Agency and the European Union, and many others, discussed past, present and future international space endeavours.
- EO Business Summit highlights GMES at Earth & Space Week (18/02/2005)
On 16 February 2005, private sector and public officials at the Earth Observation (EO) Industry Summit cited GMES, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative, as a prime example of successful co-operation. GMES will provide better environmental analysis and will strengthen the Union's ability to carry out foreign and security responsibilities.
- Living legends join Earth & Space Week at CSIS conference (18/02/2005)
The Human Space Exploration Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a major conference on 16 February 2005 in Brussels. Speakers included Buzz Aldrin, the man who accompanied Neil Armstrong on the Moon. Other American and European astronauts joined a stellar cast of world space personalities.
- WMO to host GEO Secretariat in Geneva (18/02/2005)
On 15 February 2005, Co-Chairs of the ad hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) toasted a new Standing Arrangement between the GEO and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Under the arrangement, the WMO will provide office facilities for GEO Secretariat staff.
- When our living planet shakes, coughs and splutters (18/02/2005)
World leaders meeting during Earth & Space Week have pledged support for an ambitious but necessary plan to mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters, as well as monitoring the overall health of our planet. At the Earth & Space Expo lunchtime seminar on 17 February 2005, delegates heard that geological hazards are high on the list of threats facing populations worldwide.
- Third EO Summit – global co-operation in Earth Observation steps up a gear (17/02/2005)
Comprehensive, global co-operation in Earth Observation (EO) moved from discussion to implementation with the launch of a Ten-Year Implementation Plan. Delegations from almost 60 countries around the world as well as more than 40 organisations came together in Brussels on 16 February to lend their support to the plan.
The establishment of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) over the next decade will underpin coordinated use of earth observation data for sustainable development across the globe.
- Europe in the solar system (17/02/2005)
“Today, Europe has satellites in all corners of the solar system” is how Marcello Coradini opened his Earth & Space week lunchtime seminar on Wednesday 16 Februar2005. “The US and Soviet space programmes put them ahead in the field, but since Europe launched the Giotto satellite in 1986 we have been catching up.”
- Galileo helps Europe find its place in satellite navigation (16/02/2005)
The European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) held a special lunchtime seminar on the Galileo satellite navigation system on 15 February 2005. Journalists at the Earth & Space Expo found out how the ambitious system works, and about its political, commercial and social benefits.
- GEO Co-Chairs say ‘imagine if’ at Earth & Space Expo (16/02/2005)
On 15 February 2005, Co-Chairs of the ad hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) sat down to lunch with reporters. Their message: imagine if we lived in a world with a comprehensive 'Global Earth Observation System of Systems'.
- Clouds part for the Earth & Space Week ‘Star Party’ (15/02/2005)
On Valentine’s Night 2005, amateur astronomers and space enthusiasts braved harsh conditions to gaze at the night sky. The group dwindled as rain swept the grounds of the Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels, but hardier souls were rewarded when the lights went off on Brussels’ grand triumphal arch and the clouds parted.
- ‘Global weather patterns’ – how Europe's satellites track them (15/02/2005)
The practical, commercial and research applications made possible by meteorological satellites are clear for all to see at the Earth & Space Week Expo, jointly sponsored by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.
- GEO 6 gets under way (15/02/2005)
The ad hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) opened its sixth meeting, in Brussels, on 14 February 2005. On the agenda was the draft GEOSS Ten-Year Implementation Plan, set to be presented to the Third Earth Observation Summit.
- Winners named in ‘Flag for planet Earth’ contest (15/02/2005)
Nine European children were at the centre of attention on Friday, 11 February 2005, as awards were handed out for their winning ‘Flag for Planet Earth’ designs. On hand were Prince Philippe of Belgium, European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen, and an audience of astronauts, dignitaries and other senior officials.
- Giant leap forward for Ariane 5 (14/02/2005)
On 12 February 2005, the latest version of Ariane 5, designed to loft payloads of up to ten tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit, successfully completed its initial qualification flight. After a perfect lift-off from Kourou, French Guiana, Ariane Flight 164 released its payload into the predicted orbit.
- Astronauts break bread with school kids (14/02/2005)
European astronauts joined school children for breakfast at the Earth & Space Expo on 12 February 2005, in Brussels. The doors of the Expo were open to the public for the first time, and attendance, say EC officials, has already been far higher than expected.
- Earth & Space Expo opening draws high-level interest (11/02/2005)
The Earth & Space Expo, part of Earth & Space Week, was officially opened on Friday, 11 February 2005, in Brussels. Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen was joined by Belgium’s Crown Prince Philippe, officials of the European Space Agency (ESA), the Luxembourg EU Presidency, and the European astronaut corps.
- Earth & Space Week sees spectacular launch (10/02/2005)
Invited guests and members of the public and press were on hand at Brussels’ Schuman roundabout on Wednesday, 9 February 2005, as EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik flipped the switch on the giant ‘Earth & Space Sphere’, officially opening ‘Earth & Space Week’.
- Earth & Space Week set for brilliant launch (07/02/2005)
EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik will usher in ‘Earth & Space Week’ at 18h00 on 9 February 2005, throwing the switch on a giant ‘Earth & Space Sphere’ that will light up the Brussels sky throughout the joint EU ESA initiative.
- ‘Upwardly mobile’ European astronauts reach for the stars (07/02/2005)
European astronauts are at the forefront of human exploration of space and have been leading advocates of the European Space Policy, laid out in a White Paper developed by the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA). European astronauts have also been strong lobbyists for the benefits that an enlarged space programme can bring to the European Union.
- Volker Liebig: ESA’s Earth Observation Head speaks about GMES (03/02/2005)
Volker Liebig is the European Space Agency’s new Director for Earth Observation Programmes. On 1 October 2004, he also became Head of ESA’s Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Frascati, Italy.
- RTD info publishes special ‘Earth & Space’ issue (01/02/2005)
The ‘Magazine on European Research’ has published a special edition on ‘Earth and space – the planet and its mirror’, in the run-up to ‘Earth & Space Week’, a major European Commission and European Space Agency (ESA) initiative aimed at showing how Earth Observation (EO) and space improve the quality of life on our planet.
- SMART-1 captures first images of the Moon (28/01/2005)
Europe’s SMART-1 space probe, now in orbit around the Moon, has sent back its first close-range images of the lunar surface.
- Major conference planned on future of human space exploration (27/01/2005)
The Human Space Exploration Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a conference on human space exploration in Brussels on 15-16 February, during the EU’s Earth &Space Week.
- Earth Observation targets developing world (24/01/2005)
“It is the developing countries that have the most to gain from the setting up of a global Earth Observation system. The lack of such makes it terribly difficult to adequately deal with the developing world’s economic, environmental and humanitarian challenges.” - Rob Adam, South Africa’s Director General of the Department of Science and Technology and GEO Co-Chair.
- Space tourism closer than you may think (24/01/2005)
Astronauts are not the only ones who’ve soared to the heavens in rocket-powered vehicles: a handful of rich civilian ‘space tourists’ have done the same, but they have paid millions of euros for the privilege. Now, entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic are targeting affordable mass-market commercial flights into space before the end of this decade.
- Huygens lands on Titan (18/01/2005)
On 14 January 2005, the Huygens space probe, one half of the Cassini-Huygens space mission, roared through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in a fireball. It then ejected its protective heat shield and landed safely on Titan’s surface. This is a great achievement for Europe and its US partners, said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.
- Tech transfer still a plus for the space industry (12/01/2005)
Over 40 years of space exploration has led to a steady flow of technology transfers. Scientists and policy-makers say our living world is a healthier, safer, more environmentally friendly place, thanks to European space research.
- The space industry – Europe at the crossroads (12/01/2005)
The European space sector has seen the best and worst of times in the last 10 years, in many ways paralleling developments in the telecommunications sector. Business surged in the 1990s, with expanding sales of satellite systems and services and the emergence of new industrial players, only to see growth stagnate as the new century ticked over. Now, after several years of flat growth, the sector sees promising opportunities linked to new EU initiatives in space and security.
- European Huygens probe plunges towards Titan (07/01/2005)
On the morning of 25 December 2004, the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe was successfully released by NASA’s Cassini orbiter. It is now on a controlled collision course with Saturn’s largest and most intriguing moon, Titan.
- Earth & Space Week children’s competition launched (29/11/2004)
Earth & Space Week is challenging European school children to create a ‘Flag for Planet Earth’. The design should convey the spirit of the Earth & Space Week theme: ‘Celebrating our planet while reaching for the stars’.
- First ‘Space Council’ sets sights on European Space Programme (29/11/2004)
The first European Space Council was held in Brussels on 25 November 2004. The occasion comprised joint and concomitant meetings of the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Union (EU) Councils, including ministers in charge of space affairs, internal markets, industry and research.
- Partnership Conference brings developing countries into GEO process (03/11/2004)
Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Co-Chairs Achilleas Mitsos and Rob Adam welcomed representatives from developing countries to Brussels on 15 October 2004, for an international 'EO Partnership Conference'. The aim was to bring new collaborators into the process of creating a 'Global Earth Observation System of Systems' (GEOSS).
- ‘PUMA’ – bringing EO to the developing world (27/10/2004)
Supported under the European Commission’s European Development Fund, the PUMA project is bringing state-of-the-art Earth Observation (EO) technologies and services to African countries.
- GEO holds special session on governance in Brussels (01/10/2004)
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) met in a special session on 27 and 28 September 2004 to agree important elements of a groundbreaking 10-year Plan, paving the way toward a ‘Global Earth Observation System of Systems’ (GEOSS).
- Space co-operation conference to coincide with Earth & Space Week (16/09/2004)
The European Commission, together with the European Space Agency (ESA), will hold an international conference on ‘Winning through co-operation: sharing the benefits of space’ on 17-18 February 2005, in Brussels. The Commission is expected to present, for the first time in public, an outline of the future European Space Programme.
- ENVISAT & ERS symposium a major success (15/09/2004)
Almost 1,000 participants from 50 countries met from 6-10 September in Salzburg, Austria, to review and discuss the results of the ENVISAT and ERS satellite missions. High-level personalities from the political, industrial and research worlds exchanged ideas and discussed future perspectives for these important European Earth Observation (EO) initiatives.
- Earth Observation satellites enlisted in fight against European wildfires (05/08/2004)
A new Earth Observation (EO)-based service is using satellite imagery from SPOT and Landsat to automatically detect 2004 burn scars within fire-prone areas of France, Italy and Spain.
- Space research highlighted in next Framework Programme (03/08/2004)
A recent Commission strategy proposal sets its sites on securing Europe’s leading role in research and technological development. Space research is identified as a ‘key topic’ for achieving this, the EU executive says.
- Profile: EUMETSAT – Europe's meteorological satellite organisation (29/07/2004)
EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) was created through an international Convention agreed by 18 European Member States. It contributes to a global meteorological satellite observing system in coordination with other space-faring nations.