Junior astronauts invited to a contest by the European Space Agency and the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME)

ESA and the APME are hosting a contest for 10 ñ 15 year olds in nine European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). The contest is based on an interactive CD ROM, called Space Mission: Y3K, which explores space technology and shows some concrete uses of that technology in enhancing the quality of life on Earth.

The CD ROM invites kids to join animated character Space Ranger Pete on an action-packed, colourful journey through space. Space Ranger Pete begins on Earth: the user navigates around a ëlocker roomí to learn about synthetic materials used in rocket boosters, heat shields, space suits and helmets, and how these materials have now become indispensable to everyday life. From Earth he flies into space and the user follows him from the control room in the spacecraft to a planet, satellites and finally to the International Space Station.

Along the way, the user jots down clues that he or she discovers in this exploration, designing an imaginary space community and putting together a submission for the contest.

The lucky winners will spend a weekend training as “junior astronauts” at the European Space Centre in Belgium (20-22 April 2001). They will be put through their astronaut paces, learning the art of space walking, running their own space mission, piloting a space capsule and re-entering the Earthís atmosphere.

The competition features in various youth media channels across Europe. In the UK, popular BBC Saturday morning TV show, Live & Kicking, will be launching the competition and will invite viewers to submit their space community designs to win a weekend at ESC. In Germany, high circulation childrenís magazine Geolino will feature the competition in the January issue and on their internet site. And youth magazine ZoZitDat will feature the competition in the Netherlands throughout February.

Space Mission: Y3K is part of an on-going partnership between the ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme and APME, following the successful launch of "Coming of Age: plastics and space meeting the challenges to mankind" in October 1999. “Coming of Age” is a report produced by APME that brought the role of plastics in technology transfer to adult consumer audiences across Europe.


For information on the ESA Technology Transfer Programme contact:

ESA Head of Technology Transfer Programme

Pierre Brisson



P.O.Box 299

2200 AG Noordwijk

The Netherlands

Tel: +31-71-565 4929

Fax: +31-71-565 3854

E-mail: pierre.brisson@esa.int



For copies of the CD-rom contact:

Jonathan Bennett

Countrywide Porter Novelli

31 St. Petersburgh Place


W2 4LA


Tel. +44 020 7853 2222

Fax +44 020 7853 2244



For further information about APME, visit www.apme.org or contact:

Nelo Emerencia

Communications Director APME

Avenue E van Nieuwenhuyse 4

Box 3

B-1160 Brussels


Tel: +32 2 672 82 59

Fax: +32 2 675 39 35