Status Report

France in Space Number 213

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2002
Filed under ,


The eleven volunteers who took part in the second phase of the “Bedrest”
experiment, got up on July 27, 2002. They spent 90 days in a -6° head-down
bed at the Space Clinic of MEDES (French Institute of Space Medicine) in
Toulouse. The objective of the “Bedrest” experiment, led by ESA (European
Space Agency), CNES (French Space Agency) and NASDA (Japanese Space
Agency), is to simulate, on the ground, the effects of long standing
weightlessness. Throughout the study, the volunteers underwent numerous
examinations, such as stress response tests and bone densitometry. Muscle
biopsies and biomechanical analysis of blood and urine samples have also
been carried out. Special medical backup checkups are successively
scheduled 45 days, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after the end of the
experiment, followed by a questionnaire in 2 years time. The first phase of
the experiment took place from August to December 2001. The initial results
and conclusions of the study will be discussed at a scientific seminar
followed by a press conference in Toulouse in January 2003.
[AFP, 07/29/2002 and CNES Press Release and ESA Press Release, 07/30/2002]


EADS Launch Vehicle has delivered to Astrium the heat shield and back cover
thermal protections for Beagle2. As part of the “Mars Express” mission,
the first mission to Mars, the probe will be launched in 2003 by a
Soyuz-Fregat launcher and will land on the red planet to find traces of
existing or past life. Beagle 2 is equipped with a thermal protection
system able to resist temperatures which could reach 1,600°C and above
during the probe’s entry into the atmosphere, and able to maintain the
temperature inside the probe at less than 125°C at the end of the mission.
EADS LV used and adapted technical solutions and materials that have
already proved optimum on the Atmospheric Re-entry Demonstrator. The heat
shield was designed in the shape of 23 8-mm tiles of four different types.
The back cover protection comprises 15 tiles with a thickness ranging from
3 to 6 mm.

[EADS Press Release, 07/29/2002]


BAE Systems and EADS are teaming up to address military telecommunication
satellite services. As a first important step, the partners will form a new
joint venture company, Paradigm Secure Communications Limited, to address
service provision requirements of the Skynet 5 program of the British
Ministry of Defense (MoD). Paradigm Secure Communications will contract
with Astrium to manufacture and provide satellites and ground systems.
Skynet 5 is the future military communications satellite system for the
British MoD. At the same time, BAE Systems has today agreed to sell EADS
its 25 percent voting interest/27.5 economic interest in the Astrium space
joint venture for 165 million Euros. EADS currently holds a 75 percent
voting interest/72.5 economic interest in Astrium. Completion is expected
to take place before the end of the year. This acquisition will enable EADS
to merge all its space interests in the UK, France, Germany and Spain, into
one single company. The single company will have two main industrial
subsidiaries, dedicated to satellites and to launcher and orbital
[EADS Press Release, 07/25/2002]


EADS, the world’s second largest aerospace and defense company, has
increased its profit forecast for 2002. The company expects Earnings Before
Interest and Taxes (EBIT, pre-goodwill and exceptional items) to be 20%
higher than the 1.2 billion Euros previously forecasted. Half-year EBIT
reached 775 million Euros. This is in the range of the first half 2001 EBIT
(764 million Euros), despite higher R&D costs and the general market
downturn in civil aerospace since September 11, 2001. The EBIT of Airbus
(including a positive effect of 63 million Euros from the sale of EADS’s
participation in the company Aircelle) and Defense and Civil Systems
slightly improved over the first semester. At the same time, EBIT of the
EADS Group was impacted by risk provisions at the Space division and by a
non-recurring charge from the effect of Fairchild Dornier insolvency, which
mainly impacted the Military Transport Aircraft division. EADS released its
half-year report on July 25, 2002.

[EADS Press Release, 07/25/2002]


The Polder 2 campaign, suspended for several months following technical
problems with the launch vehicle, has resumed in Japan. Polder 2, developed
by CNES (French Space Agency), is designed to observe clouds, aerosols,
plant cover and the oceans to investigate Earth’s radiation and atmospheric
exchanges. It will be put aboard the Japanese satellite Adeos II, which is
slated for launch in November 2002.
[CNES Press Release, 07/30/2002]

[From Agence France Presse (AFP), CNES Press Release, EADS Press Release,
ESA Press Release]

SpaceRef staff editor.