The 50th International Paris Air & Space Show at Le Bourget will open its doors on Monday 17 June. The Agency’s pavilion, situated between the full-size models of the Ariane 1 and Ariane 5 launchers, will feature the wealth of ESA programmes across all space domains, and focus on recent and upcoming launches and their results.
This year, the emphasis is on space as a driver of competitiveness and growth. “Investing in space is investing in competitiveness and growth, through knowledge, innovation and services,” notes Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.
A full-size model of Alphasat, the largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite ever built in Europe, will sit in launch configuration in front of the pavilion. The first mission to use the Alphabus platform, it will be launched atop an Ariane 5 during the summer.
Alphasat and Alphabus are excellent examples of innovative public–private partnerships. ESA supports the development of satellite systems and technologies, opening up new markets for European industry by sharing expertise and risk in order to develop operational missions.
Technology development lies at the heart of ESA activities, helping European industry to improve its competitiveness worldwide. At Le Bourget, ESA will be showing some of the innovative and cross-cutting technologies currently flying on the latest satellites, Proba-V and ATV-4, along with others due to fly on the upcoming Alphasat, Gaia and Sentinel-1 missions.
In addition, ESA will present Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, the family of launchers operated from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, offering a complete range of services and capabilities from the best launch site available in the world today.
The various proposals for new versions of Ariane and Vega, under study since the end of 2012 and aimed at maintaining European competitiveness in this key strategic sector, will also be prominently featured.
Pushing back the boundaries of knowledge
An impressive display will show the results from the Planck mission, the most detailed map ever created of the Cosmic Microwave Background – the relic radiation from the Big Bang.
Planck is providing the most accurate values on the age, composition and expansion rate of the Universe, and is painting a new picture that is pushing us to the limits of understanding current cosmological theories.
This month, ESA is also celebrating 10 years of its Mars Express mission with an exciting presentation of its many discoveries and the unveiling of a new map of martian mineralogy.
The three elements of the ambitious ExoMars exploration mission, to be carried out by ESA in cooperation with Russia’s space agency, will be presented on a dedicated Mars terrain.