The European Space Agency (ESA) was honoured to learn that the
International Space Station has been given the 2001 Prince of Asturias
Award for International Cooperation. The Prince of Asturias Foundation
announced its decision yesterday in Oviedo, Spain.

The award will be bestowed on four space agencies involved in the Space
Station: NASA (US), Russia’s Rosaviakosmos, Japan’s National Space
Development Agency (NASDA), and ESA representing the 10 European countries
participating in the Space Station.

The Kingdom of Spain, an ESA member state, provides important
technological contributions to the development and utilisation of the
Space Station.

The Space Station is a research centre in space where, far above the
constraints of the atmosphere and free from the disrupting effects of
gravity, scientists and engineers can undertake new types of research and
technological development. The Space Station will be the largest structure
ever built in space. Its construction began in 1998 and crews of
astronauts from various countries have been living and working on board
since November 2000.

The Spanish Centre for Space Law nominated the Space Station for the

The Prince of Asturias Awards recognise and reward “scientific, technical,
cultural, social and humanistic work performed by individuals, groups or
institutions world-wide”. The Award for International Cooperation is
“bestowed upon the individual, work group or institution whose work has
contributed in an exemplary and significant way to mutual understanding,
progress and brotherhood among nations.”

By selecting the International Space Station, the jury convened by the
Foundation acknowledges “the efforts to achieve international cooperation
that have been necessary to turn this enormous orbiting laboratory for
scientific research for a greater understanding of our planet into a

The award will be presented in the autumn at a ceremony in Oviedo, Spain,
presided over by H.R.H. Don Felipe, the Prince of Asturias, Heir to the
Spanish Crown, and the Foundation’s Honorary President.

For further information, please contact :

ESA Communication Department

Media Relations Office

Tel: + 33(0)

Fax: +33(0)

For further information on the International Space Station :

and on the Prince of Asturias Foundation: