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Brussels, 7 April 2011

Once in a lifetime chance for children to give a Galileo satellite their name

The European Commission is launching a drawing competition aimed at raising the interest of children for space. The child with the best drawing in each Member State will have his or her name given to a satellite of the Galileo programme. The first two satellites will be launched in September will bear the names of the winning children from Belgium and Bulgaria where the competition opens on 10 April. The same competition will get under way in the other 25 Member States in September for giving names to the following satellites which will be launched on a gradual basis as of 2012. The competition is for children aged 9 - 11 and the order is determined by the alphabetical order of the member states.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani said: "With satellite navigation, space exploration, and space observation, the topic of space is of ever increasing importance for citizens and for our economic future. We wish to incite the creativity of children, and for them to become enthusiastic about space and its opportunities from a young age. We reward this creativity with the unique opportunity - of offering 27 children the chance to give a satellite their name.”

From 10 April until 31 May, children living in Belgium and Bulgaria and born in 2000, 2001 and 2002 are invited to make a drawing related to space and aeronautics, scan it or take a digital photograph of it and upload it onto a specified website. In each country, a 3 person national jury will select the best drawing and the winning child will have his or her name given to one of the two satellites that are scheduled to be launched in September. The same scheme will apply to the other 25 member states where the competition will open on 1 September and close on 15 November. Satellites launches will take place regularly as of 2012 until the full constellation (which should count 30 satellites) is complete. The order in which the names of the children will be given to the satellites is determined by the alphabetical order of the member states written in the national language.

The competition will be announced in each member state through press releases, mailings to schools, teachers associations and educational portals. This should also help generate interest and give teachers material for covering the topic of space and satellite navigation in their class.

The competition will be live at http://www.galileocontest.eu.

Background

The Galileo Programme is Europe's own venture into the field of satellite navigation. It is putting in place a global satellite navigation system similar to GPS. With the ever growing importance of satellite navigation applications for both businesses and citizens, Galileo will ensure the independence of Europe in this important domain, securing the availability of those applications.

For more information:

For more information about Galileo:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/satnav/galileo


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