Bremen/Baikonur, 20 December 2004 – With the launch of the German ROKVISS
robotic experiment from the Russian spaceport Baikonur to the International
Space Station on 24 December 2004, space robotics will enter a new
dimension. ROKVISS – a manipulator having a length of about 50 centimetres –
shall demonstrate that the newly developed, innovative robotic arm meets all
requirements of future space projects and that it can be controlled from
Earth with hardly any time delay. Successful demonstration would lead to the
fact that dangerous and strenuous work in space usually executed by
astronauts could be done by robotic arms in the future.

“In order to be able to test the complex interplay of all components and the
time sequences required for data transmission and data processing under real
conditions, this mission to the International Space Station is
indispensable,” said Dr. Wolfgang Paetsch, ROKVISS Project Manager EADS
SPACE Transportation, on the occasion of a press conference held in Moscow
on Monday. “In co-operation with research and industry, we have succeeded in
developing a forward-pointing technology. ROKVISS offers Germany the
opportunity of utilising the ISS as a unique research facility for
scientific progress.”

EADS SPACE Transportation in its function as “prime contractor” developed
and built the hardware and software for ROKVISS. Under contract to Deutsches
Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR – German Aerospace Centre, Cologne) and
under the leadership of EADS SPACE Transportation, the DLR Institute for
Robotics and Mechatronics (Oberpfaffenhofen) will be responsible for the
joints of the robotic system, experiment performance and scientific analysis
of the results achieved. Kayser-Threde (Munich) developed and built the
experiment computer and other electronic units while Hoerner & Sulger
(Schwetzingen) supplied the camera equipment. Other important partners are
the Russian Space Agency Roskosmos and the Russian company RKK Energia
(Koroljov near Moscow), who made it possible that the system can be mounted
on to the Russian module of the ISS for testing.

Total cost of ROKVISS will cover an amount of EUR 11.5 million, including
launch, installation and operation. The project will be financed by the
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF – Federal Ministry of
Education and Research).

EADS SPACE Transportation is the European lead company for civil and
military space transportation and manned spaceflight. EADS SPACE
Transportation is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE. In 2003, EADS
SPACE achieved a turnover of EUR 2.4 billion with a labour force of 12,000
in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.


Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 24 27 34

Dr. Christian W Erles
Tel: +33 (0) 1 39 06 32 53

Kirsten Leung
EADS SPACE Transportation (GER)
Tel: +49 (0) 4 21 5 39 53 26

Dr. Mathias Spude
EADS SPACE Transportation (GER)
Tel: +49-421-539-5710