Arianespace mission and activity updates

Arianespace has announced June 11 as the liftoff date for Flight 161, which will carry the dual satellite payload of BSAT-2c for Japan and the Optus and Defence C1 spacecraft for Australia.

See the Mission Update on for the latest on this upcoming Ariane 5 mission European Space Agency ministerial-level meeting

Decisions taken at a ministerial level meeting of the European Space Agency Council will guarantee the long-term viability of Arianespace. See the press release, also posted on the Arianespace Web site, concerning this important gathering of ESA member states in Paris on May 27.

SpaceGrid study ends on an optimistic note

Almost two years have gone by since ESA set up the SpaceGrid study to see how the emerging use of the electronic grid could increase and improve the use of space applications. The study is now complete and last week members met with representatives of industry and academia to discuss the outcome.

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NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise is sponsoring one of this year’s problems at the 26th annual “Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.”

Children from around the world gather May 28-31 at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, to compete in the creative problem solving competition. The Odyssey challenges students to solve long-term problems ranging from science and technology to the creative arts.
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NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe announced today John Schumacher would be appointed the agency Chief of Staff. Schumacher had served as NASA’s Assistant Administrator for External Relations since June 1995. He replaces Courtney Stadd, who is returning to the private sector in July.
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Securing Europe’s access to space, now and for the future

Ministers in charge of space affairs in Europe, meeting in Paris today, agreed on steps to put Ariane 5 back on track and set up development of future launchers within a reorganised launcher sector, free funds for the International Space Station and strengthen relations between ESA and the European Union, while Galileo has become a reality for Europe.
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First EGNOS signal in space

After several years of initial definition, detailed design, production and deployment activities, the EGNOS (European Geostationary NavigationOverlay Service) system started its first signal transmission tests in April. This system is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation and by early next year will deliver the first European Satellite Navigation service. It will augment the two military satellite navigation systems now operating, the US GPS and Russian GLONASS, making them suitable for many mass market applications such as car navigation, bus and truck fleet management, but also for specific applications such as assisting blind people when walking in an unknown area.
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Galileo becomes a reality for Europe

The European Space Agency is now able to finalise the conditions for participation in the Galileo navigation programme and to approve the Galileo Joint Undertaking foundation act to be soon signed by ESA and the European Union.

The agreement reached among ESA member states clears the way for the official launch of the legal entity which will have the task of coordinating ESA and EU involvement in Galileo, the European initiative to develop a global satellite navigation system.
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