On 14 and 15 November, the city of Edinburgh will host the eighth
ministerial-level meeting of the European Space Agency’s Council. The
ministers responsible for space activities in ESA’s fifteen member
states[1] and Canada will be setting the course for Europe’s space
programmes for the period ahead. They will be invited to endorse the next
stages of a series of ongoing programmes (Launchers, Space Science, Earth
Observation, Telecommunications, Satellite Navigation, Human Spaceflight
etc.), and also to commit to the start of new programmes that will keep
Europe at the forefront of space activities.

Surrounding this conference, the City of Edinburgh, with support from ESA
and the British National Space Centre (BNSC), is organising a programme
of space-related events in Edinburgh for people of all ages, including a
week-long festival of space activities for kids at the “Our Dynamic
Earth” visitor centre; “Europe in Space”, a major new exhibition tracing
three decades of European cooperation in space at the City Art Centre;
and the Edinburgh Lecture Series on the theme of “Frontiers” from 6
November through to February next year.

Hard to miss will be an 11-metre full-scale model of ESA’s Envisat
satellite on display in front of Our Dynamic Earth from 13 October until
18 November. Envisat, the world’s largest and most sophisticated Earth
observation platform, is to be launched in early 2002 by Ariane 5 and
will monitor planet Earth, giving the first three-dimensional pictures
of the processes which shape the global environment.

On Thursday 18 October, ESA will celebrate “Space Day” in Edinburgh by
conferring on the city the “European Space City” award. ESA astronaut
Claude Nicollier, a veteran of four spaceflights and two spacewalks,
will present the official certificate to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh,
the Rt. Hon. Eric Milligan, at a ceremony at Our Dynamic Earth at 17:00.

ESA has recently created the “European Space City” award to honour
a city for exceptional contributions to the promotion of European
space activities. In conjunction with this award, ESA will launch an
educational initiative with the City of Edinburgh and schools in the
Edinburgh area under which classes will build the “Kid’s Corner” web
pages for ESA’s portal. ESA’s objectives in creating this award are to
foster a long-term relationship with cities that are keen on space and
to develop a network of “European Space Cities”.

During his day in Edinburgh, astronaut Claude Nicollier will return
the official tartan of the City of Edinburgh, carried into space last
August, to city officials. He will also have a “space lunch” with 20
young contest winners and give a public talk in the evening.

To know more about all these activities, please contact:

Our Dynamic Earth

Deborah Lidgett


City of Edinburgh

Jenni Steele



Jenny Haynes


[1] Austria, Belgium, Fnland, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Ireland,
the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden Switzerland, and the
United Kingdom. Canada takes part in some projects under a cooperation