Press Release

Be part of a space mission: help ESA name next European mission to the ISS

By SpaceRef Editor
June 17, 2009
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Following the enthusiastic response to earlier competitions to name European astronaut missions, ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight is once again giving European citizens the opportunity to be part of a space mission by suggesting a name for ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang’s mission to the International Space Station.

Fuglesang will join the 11-day STS-128 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) as a Mission Specialist. Currently scheduled for launch with Space Shuttle Discovery on 6 August 2009, this will be Fuglesang’s second spaceflight after his 13-day Celsius mission to the ISS with STS-116 in December 2006.

On his arrival at the Station, Fuglesang will meet up with ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, who is now a member of the resident ISS Expedition 20 crew. At the time of Fuglesang’s arrival, the Station will be occupied by a six-strong crew that includes astronauts from four different space agencies: ESA, NASA, Roscosmos and the Canadian Space Agency.

As well as conducting scientific experiments and Earth observation activities, Fuglesang will carry out two of the three scheduled spacewalks. His tasks during the spacewalks are to remove an empty Ammonia Tank Assembly and to prepare the ISS for the arrival of Node 3, which is a European-built connecting module. During the first spacewalk, the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) will be dismounted from outside the European Columbus laboratory. EuTEF will return to Earth together with Fuglesang on STS-128.

Fuglesang will also be responsible for the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), an Italian-developed cargo module that is used to carry cargo, such as science and storage racks, food, clothes and water, to the Station. The MPLM will fly to the ISS in the payload bay of Space Shuttle Discovery: once at the Station it will be transferred by robotic arm from the Shuttle cargo bay and attached to the ISS as a pressurised module, giving the crew access to unload the cargo.

“The overwhelming response to previous competitions to name ESA missions, from people of all ages and from all European countries, shows how attractive and inspiring human spaceflight is for many Europeans,” says Piero Messina, Head of the Coordination Office in ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight. “This mission occurs at a very exciting time for human spaceflight and exploration, especially for Europe. This mission in particular is a truly European one: with a Swedish ESA astronaut being responsible for the transport of an Italian cargo module, who will meet up with a Belgian ESA astronaut on the ISS who is serving as a member of the Expedition crew. We are looking forward once more to receiving many enthusiastic proposals.”

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the ESA Member States*. The winning name will become the official European name of Fuglesang’s mission and the winner will receive a frame with the mission logo signed by European astronauts.

How to participate

The name has to reflect the following aspects:

* Europe is an important player in human spaceflight and exploration Humans are explorers by nature. Europe has a legacy in exploring Earth and will live up to it by playing an increasing role in present and future human spaceflight and exploration undertakings.

* ESA cooperates with the international partners in human spaceflight and exploration The ISS is a great example of international cooperation. By contributing with people and modules ESA confirms its commitment to cooperate with its international partners also in further space exploration missions

* Europe has its own Columbus laboratory permanently in space Europe uses its Columbus laboratory on the ISS for science, technology and education for the benefit of life on Earth.


* The proposal should contain the name and an explanation why this would be an appropriate name for an ESA human mission to space.

* The proposal has to illustrate the above messages.

* The proposal should be maximum one A4 page, 12 pt, single space.

* The name should be a word (or a short combination of words), not a personal name (unless it is a mythological name which has a commonly known symbolic meaning). * The proposals should be submitted via email to The proposal can be written in the body of the email or in an attached Word document. The attachment should not exceed 3 MB.

* Regardless of the email address you are using for the submission, please write in your email your real full name, age, home address and phone number. This is very important – we need to be able to contact you if you win. * Please put ‘Mission Name Competition’ into the subject line of the email. This will allow us to make sure that your email does not accidentally get lost in the spam filter.

* The proposals have to arrive in the mailbox the latest by 18:00 CEST (16:00 UT), 24 June 2009. ESA bears no responsibility for any delay or loss of email.

* The proposals should be submitted in the English language. If you are having doubts about the fluency of your English writing, please go ahead and submit your proposal nevertheless. As long as the idea is interesting and understandable it will be considered. If you win, the editorial help for final publication will be provided.

* The winning proposal will be published on the ESA website in July with the announcement of the name of the winner.

* By submitting the application, the applicant gives permission to ESA to publish their name, and hands over to ESA all the rights to use the proposal for the purposes outlined in this announcement and for purposes related to ESA communications.

* All submissions are individual. No group submissions will be accepted.

* By submitting the proposal, the participant declares that this is their own work and is not copied from any other original work. ESA bears no responsibility for verifying the authenticity of the proposals.

* For applicants below age of 18, by submitting the proposal they confirm that a parent/legal guardian is informed about the submission and agreed to it, taking into account the above conditions.

* ESA staff members and their relatives are not allowed to take part in this competition.

* Citizens or residents of the following states are allowed to participate in the competition: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

SpaceRef staff editor.