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GOCE Media day at ESA/ESTEC

ESA’s Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite is designed to provide unique models of the Earth’s gravity field and of the geoid, on a global scale and with unprecedented accuracy and spatial resolution.

After the successful launch in 2002 of Envisat - the largest Earth observation satellite ever built - ESA started to develop the Earth Explorer missions to provide, at a moderate cost, a fast response to important scientific topics using cutting-edge technologies. GOCE is the first satellite in this new series.

On Thursday 3 April media representatives will have the opportunity to attend an in-depth GOCE background briefing at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Programme managers from ESA and industry, as well as scientists and other experts, will give presentations on the spacecraft and will be on hand for interviews. The programme includes a visit to the test facilities to see the satellite at first hand before it is shipped to Russia.

Scheduled for launch in spring 2008 onboard a Rockot launcher from Plesetsk (Russian Federation), GOCE will significantly improve our knowledge of solid Earth physics and climate research. A better understanding of the gravity field will advance our knowledge of how the Earth works and trigger a number of important practical applications, such as an improved understanding of ocean circulation as well as a greater insight into sea-level change.

The programme of the event on 3 April at ESA/ESTEC will run as follows:

09:30 - Arrival and registration
10:00 - Welcome and introduction by Volker Liebig, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation programmes
10:15 - Presentation of the mission by Danilo Muzi, ESA GOCE Programme Manager
10:30 - Presentation of ESA’s Living Planet Programme by Mark Drinkwater, Head of the Mission Science Division
10:45 - Ground segment and data products by Rune Floberghagen, ESA’s GOCE Mission Manager
11:00 - Presentation ‘GOCE - a dream comes true’ by Reiner Rummel, Institute of .Astrophysics and Physical Geodesy , University of Munich, Chairman of the GOCE Mission Advisory Group
11:15 - Presentation on the industrial challenges by Andrea Allasio, Thales Alenia Space, GOCE project manager
11:30 - Presentation on the Rockot launcher, by Peter Freeborn, Eurokot, Director Marketing and Sales
11:45 - Question and answer session
12:00 - Buffet lunch
13:30 - Tour of ESA’s test facilities and visit to the spacecraft integration area

15:00 - End of event

Additional event (to be confirmed):
16:00 - Possibility to follow the video transmission of the first docking attempt of the Europe’s Jules Verne ATV to the International Space Station

18:30 - Close

Media representatives wishing to attend the event are kindly requested to fill in the registration form linked on the right and fax it back by Monday 31 March to the ESA/ESTEC Communication Office, Fax. +31 71 565 5728 or email to

Rosita Suenson | alfa
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