Public Release: 

From the Earth to ... the Earth, with ESA, at 'Le Bourget 2007'

European Space Agency

The 47th international Paris Air Show will open its doors on Monday 18 June, until Sunday 24 June (*), and promises to be an outstanding event, with almost 2000 exhibitors present, and over 200,000 visitors expected.

This year, a highly significant one for the space sector throughout the world, ESA is returning to le Bourget to take visitors to its pavilion on a special journey from the Earth to ... the Earth! The ESA pavilion will be back in its usual place between the full-size models of Ariane 1 and Ariane 5, just beside the Air and Space Museum. Upon entering the 400m² exhibition area, visitors will be launched from our blue planet into outer space to explore the cosmos virtually and find out about ESA's astronomy missions of the past and future. They will then take a close look at the Solar System thanks to huge spectacular images of the Sun, Venus, Mars, Titan and the Moon, all places where ESA has now 'set foot'.

The voyage will continue over terrain where robots will show what they will be able to do on faraway planets in the not-so-distant future, in particular on a European mission to Mars (ExoMars). Today's human presence in space will be highlighted by scale models of ESA's Columbus module and Jules Verne ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle); these two main elements of ESA's human spaceflight programme will reach the International Space Station towards the end of the year, while three ESA astronauts (Paolo Nespoli from Italy, Leopold Eyharts from France and Hans Schlegel from Germany) are set to fly to the Space Station between autumn and winter this year. Amazing 3-D images taken on the Space Station will enable visitors of all ages to experience the wonder of 'almost being there'.

Models of launchers of today and tomorrow will bring across their key role in Europe's space programme and pre-eminence in the field of space transportation systems, while visitors gradually come back down to Earth and discover space tools for monitoring our fragile planet, analysing climate change and helping take better care of our environment and the security of all citizens. The last stop on this journey will bring visitors close to telecommunication and satellite navigation systems, with a detour through the world of technology, which spreads its value across all the various projects.

The press will be able to meet ESA's Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain during an opening press conference on Monday 18 June at 16:00 hrs. On Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 June most of the ESA Directors will be available for one-on-one interview on request (**). Other ESA experts in various disciplines will be on hand for interviews and to provide background information during the entire Air Show. ESA astronauts will be "on stage" to reach out to media and the general public on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June.

Moreover, on the night of Friday 15 June, in anticipation of Le Bourget, ESA - in partnership with CNES and with the support of the City of Paris - is organising a major event for the general public, "Paris fête l'espace", at the place du Trocadéro, preceded by a reception on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. A dedicated call to press to highlight this event is being published separately.

A more precise calendar of the various ESA events at Le Bourget will be posted on the ESA website at a later stage, closer to the opening day.

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