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Brussels, 3 February 2005

EARTH & SPACE WEEK Brussels 12-20 February 2005

World leaders, policymakers, European astronauts and experts will come together for an international week organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). Earth & Space Week encompasses three major events: The Third Earth Observation Summit; plus a major conference on international cooperation in Space and a large free Exhibition on Earth and Space aimed at increasing public awareness. European Commission Vice President Verheugen, responsible for the European Space Programme and Commissioner Potočnik, responsible for Science and Research will participate. These events shall shape future Earth observation capabilities and applications and increase cooperation in Space, especially vis-à-vis the developing world.

February 9 at 18h00 - Earth & Space Sphere Inauguration

Commissioner Janez Potoĉnik will inaugurate the “Earth & Space Sphere” housed on Rond Point Schuman, inside is a 20 meter in diameter internal projection screen that will present breathtaking images of our home planet and beyond. This will be illuminated during the hours of darkness from 9 to 20 February.

February 11 at 11h00 - Earth & Space Exposition Opening Ceremony

Autoworld, Parc du Cinquantenaire.

The ceremony will be presided by Prince Philippe of Belgium, Commissioner Günter Verheugen and Mr Jean-Jacques Dordain, the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA).

February 11 at 11h45 - Children’s contest “A Flag for Planet Earth” Award Ceremony

Children from 27 European countries were invited to design a flag for planet Earth reflecting the objectives of the week. Following the opening ceremony, at 11h45, the prizes will be presented by Prince Philippe of Belgium, Mr Verheugen and Mr Dordain.

February 14 - Valentine’s Night “Star Party”

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Starting at 20.00, amateur astronomers, astronauts and other enthusiasts explore the night sky.

February 16 - Third International Earth Observation Summit

Palais d’Egmont, 8 Place du Petit Sablon.

58 nations, 30 international organisations and the European Commission are involved in building a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable system for observing the Earth and sharing scientific data. The grounds for a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) will be set at this Summit with the approval of a Ten-Year Implementation Plan to create GEOSS.

February 17-18 - International Conference on Cooperation in Space: Winning Through Cooperation

Charlemagne Building.

This Ministerial level conference provides a platform for established and emerging space players to share the benefits of space cooperation. It brings together the world’s senior space agency officials, space industry representatives and delegates from government agencies. Vice President Verheugen will give the keynote speech on the European Space Programme on Thursday, 17 February at 11h45.

A media programme has been set up for journalists. Full details of this and the timing of all Earth & Space Week events can be found in MEMO/05/33. Interviews and filming with policy-makers, experts and the full European astronauts’ corps will be possible.

Website on Hearth & Space Week:

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