Press Release

ESA looks for a name for its next long-term mission to the ISS

By SpaceRef Editor
September 14, 2008
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ESA looks for a name for its next long-term mission to the ISS

In May 2009, ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, of Belgian nationality and a member of the European Astronaut Corps, will fly to the International Space Station for a six-month mission. ESA is holding a competition to find a name for the mission.

During his stay on the ISS, De Winne will conduct scientific experiments developed by scientists from different European countries and others worldwide. In addition he will also perform technology demonstrations and an education programme.

De Winne’s ISS mission reflects the long-term commitment of Europe to human spaceflight and exploration. ESA’s participation in the ISS programme is a stepping stone for Europe in human exploration of the Universe.

After delivering the Columbus laboratory and successfully launching the first ATV, Jules Verne, Europe is well placed to play an essential role in the upcoming international space exploration missions to orbital outposts, e.g. ISS, the Moon and beyond. The next long-term mission of Frank De Winne to the ISS helps to prepare space exploration and benefits life on Earth.

In preparation for De Winne’s flight, ESA launches a competition to find a European name for its next long-term mission to the ISS. The competition is open to all citizens of the ESA Member States*, who are invited to propose a name for De Winne’s mission. The winning name will become the official European name of the 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 exploring space Humans are explorers by nature. Europe has a legacy in exploring Earth and will live up to the expectations in exploring space.
  • 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.
  • From space our planet looks blue because of the water Water is the basis of life. Clean water is the basis for healthy life of all humans 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 would 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, 15 October 2008. ESA bears no responsibility for any delay or loss of email.
  • The proposals should be submitted in 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 web site in November 2008 with the announcement of the name of the winner and possibly with the link to the winners’ web site.
  • 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.
  • 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.