This morning, ESA’s Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) was successfully
launched from Cape Canaveral inside the logistics module, MPLM-Leonardo
aboard a US Space Shuttle – STS-111 UF2 – mission to the International
Space Station (ISS).

Commenting on the occasion of the MSG launch, ESA’s Director of Human
Spaceflight and Microgravity, Mr. Feustel-Büechl said: “MSG is the first
European provided research facility to have been launched to the ISS; the
first to have completed the verification programme for this class of
payloads, becoming the reference for the future development of ISS
payloads .It is an example of positive, close cooperation and coordination
between ESA and NASA as well as with European Industry.”

The MSG will enable astronauts on board the ISS to perform a wide variety
of materials, combustion, fluids and biotechnology experiments as well as
investigations in the microgravity environment. It can also accommodate
minor repairs and servicing of hardware requiring a controlled working
environment. The facility offers users a wide range of innovative,
utilization alternatives from manual control by astronauts via laptop
computers to fully automated and remote control from Earth
(“Telescience”). A permanent data exchange link with ground stations is
also ensured.

The MSG will be integrated and used in the US Destiny Laboratory for a
projected operational period of ten years.

ESA is planning to use the facility for European experiments.The first
time MSG will be used by a European astronaut to perform European
experiments will be during a Soyuz “taxi flight” mission in October 2002.
ESA’s Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne will perform four different
experiments in the MSG in the field of protein crystallization, zeolites
crystallization, combustion and fluid science.

The prime contractor for the development of the MSG is Astrium GmbH (D)
with Bradford Engineering (NL), Verhaert Design and Development (B),
ATOS-ORIGIN (NL) and Laben (I) as subcontractors.

For further information, please contact:

Media Relations Office

ESA Head Office, Paris, France

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)

Lina De Parolis
MSG & Cryosystem Project Manager

ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

Tel: +31(0)71.565.4128

Fax: +31(0)71.565.6603