Media representatives are invited to the inauguration of ESA's Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre at ESRIN (Frascati, Italy). This is the second centre to be opened under the Agency's Space Situational Awareness programme after the Space Weather Coordination Centre that was inaugurated in Brussels last month.
The Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre (NEO-CC) of ESA will serve as the central access point to a network of European NEO data sources and information providers being established under ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Programme.
NEOs are asteroids or comets with sizes ranging from metres to tens of kilometres that orbit the Sun and whose orbits come close to that of Earth. There are over 600 000 asteroids known in our Solar System, and almost 10 000 of them are NEOs.
The Centre will support experts in the field by federating new and existing European assets, systems and sensors into a future NEO system. It will support the integration and initial operation of ESA's NEO information distribution network.
The Centre will also serve as the focus point for scientific studies needed to improve NEO warning services and provide near-realtime data to European and international customers, including scientific bodies, international organisations and decision-makers.
The media briefing will be held at ESRIN, ESA's centre for Earth observation in Frascati, near Rome, on 22 May 2013.
Doors open at 14:30 CEST (12:30 GMT).
The event will be streamed live via the ESA website http://www.esa.int
Media representatives wishing to attend the event are requested to register at http://www.esa.int/ssa_neocc_register
Magellan Room, Building 1, ESRIN
14:30 Doors open; registration
5:00 Welcome and introduction
Prof. Volker Liebig, ESA Director of Earth Observation and Head of ESRIN
15:05 Visioning the future: SSA Detects Space Hazards
Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations
15:15 Italy's NEO roles: Past and Future Perspectives
Claudio Portelli, ASI/Italian Space Agency
15:25 Overview of ESA's Europe-wide SSA Programme
Nicolas Bobrinsky, ESA Head of Space Situational Awareness Programme
15:35 Coordinating Europe's NEO Capabilities
Detlef Koschny, ESA Head of SSA NEO Activities
15:45 New Sensors for SSA: NEO Telescope Technology
Gian Maria Pinna, SSA Ground Segment Manager
15:55 NEO Data Centre: Introduction & Industry Team
Germano D'Abramo, SpaceDyss, NEO Coordination Centre Front Desk Operator
16:05 Open Q&A
16:15 Inauguration Ceremony: ESA's SSA NEO Coordination Centre
16:30 End of formal programme
Media opportunities for individual interviews
Small group visits to NEO Coordination Centre
About the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.
ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU and is discussing an Agreement with the one remaining (Bulgaria). Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
Learn more at www.esa.int
For further information:
ESA Media Relations Office
ESA/ESOC Corporate Communications Office
Tel: +49 6151 90 2516