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Help ESA Name Europe’s Next Mission To Space Station

June 8, 2011

Now that Paolo Nespoli has returned from the International Space Station, we are looking forward to Europe’s next mission. Andr© Kuipers will be launched to the orbital outpost in November ““ but his mission still has no name. Help us to find a good one!

This will be Andr©’s second mission to the Space Station: he made an 11-day visit in 2004 as part of a crew rotation flight. But this time he will be staying for about six months, as a flight engineer on Expeditions 30 and 31. He will see the complex in its full glory ““ in 2004 it had just three main modules.

He will perform an extensive programme of scientific experiments and take part in several educational activities, in addition to an engineer’s operational duties.

DELTA last time, but now?

On his first trip, Andr©’s mission patch was inspired by the style of famous artist Piet Mondrian.

The DELTA name stood for “ËœDutch Expedition for Life Science, Technology and Atmospheric Research’, and also referred to the Dutch Delta Works that protect the low-lying land from the ravages of the North Sea during storms.

Something more broadly European is now required, preferably linked to the environment, climate and biodiversity.

Andr© is an ambassador of the World Wildlife Fund and an emphasis of his mission will be on taking care of Earth and its inhabitants, and how space can help.

He is also a medical doctor, and this might inspire ideas for a name and logo leaning towards health and biology.

Europe is looking towards the Moon, Mars and other bodies in the Solar System, and the International Space Station ““ with the Columbus laboratory and Cupola observation module both “Ëœmade in Europe’ ““ is a unique place to look down to Earth, leap into deeper space and study the Universe.

There are countless possibilities for naming Andr©’s mission. You choose!

What to do

Send your proposal to kuipersmissionname@esa.int by 18:00 CEST (16:00 GMT) on 30 June 2011.

Before sending, please read the instructions carefully.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of ESA’s Member States (see linked instructions). The winning name will become the official European name of Andr©’s mission and the winner will receive a framed mission logo signed by European astronauts.

Image Caption: Dutch ESA astronaut Andr© Kuipers on board the International Space Station during the DELTA Mission (21-30 April 2004). Credits: ESA

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