Status Report

ESA TV Service – Marco Polo Mission Coverage

By SpaceRef Editor
April 22, 2002
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A cosmopolitan crew representing the nations of Italy, Russia and South Africa will be launched into space on Thursday 25 April (06:26 GMT) from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan.

Roberto Vittori, 37, a former Italian Air Force test pilot now a member of ESA’s astronaut corps, will be the third European to visit the International Space Station.

Vittori is preparing for lift-off in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on a mission named Marco Polo that will replace the emergency rescue vehicle for the resident crew.

He will fly alongside Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko, the mission commander, and flight participant Mark Shuttleworth, South Africa’s first person in space.

The ESA TV Service will provide coverage of the mission, as follows:

  • 23 April, 12:00-12:15 GMT, Marco Polo VNR (Europe by Satellite, Hot Bird)
  • 24 April, 08:00-08:30 GMT, Last lauch preparations in Baikonur (ESA TV, Eutelsat W1)
  • 25 April, 09:00-09:15 GMT, Marco Polo launch highlights (ESA TV, Eutelsat W1)
  • 27 April, 09:30-14:15 GMT, Docking and ISS ingress live coverage and VNR (ESA TV, Eutelsat W1)
  • 5 May, 14:30-14:45 GMT, Marco Polo landing and in-flight images (ESA TV, Eutelsat W1)
  • 10 May, 09:15-09:30 GMT, Marco polo mission highlights (Europe by Satellite, Hot Bird)

For satellite and schedule details, please visit the ESA TV Website. Further in-flight coverage might become available and will be posted on the ESA TV Website.

For further information and a daily update of the transmission schedule, visit our website at For all enquires, contact Claus Habfast, Tel +31 71 565 3838, Fax +31 71 565 6340, e-mail

SpaceRef staff editor.