January 19, 2010

Proba-2 Achievements To Be Released

Proba-2 is among the smallest spacecraft ever launched by ESA "“ less than a cubic meter "“ but it prepares technologies for future ESA missions, as well as giving scientists a new view of the Sun.
Launched on November 2, 2009, Proba-2 is the result of European collaboration, with Belgian industry as a major participant. The objective of the mission is to test new spacecraft and instrument technology in space.

The satellite is equipped with a quartet of new science instruments focusing on solar and space weather. Belgium also has scientific responsibility for Proba-2's two state-of-the-art solar telescopes, SWAP and LYRA, with the Czech Republic contributing the TPMU and DSLP space weather instruments. 
Members of the press are invited to a presentation of Proba-2's achievements and images. The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) and the Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence are hosting the event:

January26 , 2010, 09:45 "“ 11:00 Meridian Room, Ringlaan 3, Av. Circulaire, B-1180 Brussels, Belgium

The event welcomes Belgian Minister of Science Sabine Laruelle and ESA Directors Michel Courtois and David Southwood. The program will run as follows:

10:00 Three months in orbit "“ statements by Belgian Minister of Science Sabine Laruelle "“ ESA Director of Technical and Quality Management Michel Courtois "“ ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration David Southwood

10:15 Testing new spacecraft and instrument technology in flight "“ ESA Proba Manager Frederic Teston "“ Verhaert Commercial Director Frank Preud'homme

10:25 Solar and space weather observations: first achievements "“ Principal Investigator SWAP David Berghmans, ROB scientist "“ Principal Investigator LYRA Jean-Francois Hochedez, ROB scientist - DSLP Ã… tÄ“ºpán Ã… tverák, Czech Institute of Atmospheric Physics scientist

10:35 Question & Answer session

10:50 Opportunity for individual interviews

11:00 Drinks

Interviews with the directors and representatives from the Proba-2 consortium can be arranged at the event on an individual basis.

Further information
Please confirm your attendance before Sunday evening January 24, 2010 by replying to Sophie.Raynal @ oma.be.

For further information, please contact:

Ninja Menning
European Space Agency
Ninja.Menning @ esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 6409

Petra Vanlommel
Royal Observatory of Belgium
petra.vanlommel @ oma.be
Tel: +31 2 7903921


Image 1: Proba-2 is flight-testing a total of 17 technology demonstrators for future ESA missions. It also serves as a scientific platform for solar and space weather observations. Credits: ESA/Pierre Carril

Image 2: The SMOS and Proba-2 liftoff, on 2 November 2009 at 02:50 CET (01:50 UT) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2009


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