ESA highlights in 2021

To name just a few of the highlights: a new Director General will take up duty in July,two ESA astronauts will fly to the International Space Station and the new James Webb Telescope - a joint NASA/ESA/CSA project and the successor of the Hubble Telescope - will be launched into space from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Webb will improve our understanding of the formation of galaxies, stars, planets and, ultimately, perhaps the origins of life. The end of the year will see the launch of NASA’s first Artemis mission, in a programme that will take humans to the Moon relying on ESA’s European Service Module.

The list below is supposed to give media representatives an overview of the most important events on ESA’s agenda for next year. Please note that some of the dates are not yet confirmed. ESA will inform about the precise dates closer to the actual event.

Agenda blocker: ESA’s highlights in 2021

1st Quarter 2021:

Annual press conference of ESA’s Director General Jan Wörner:
Date: 14 January

ESA announces the details for the start of a new astronaut recruitment campaign:
Date: tbc

2nd Quarter 2021:

First flight of the launcher Vega C:
https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/Launch_vehicles/Vega-C
Date: tbc

French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet flies to the ISS on board a Dragon spacecraft:
https://www.esa.int/Newsroom/Press_Releases/ESA_s_Thomas_Pesquet_to_be_first_European_to_ride_a_Dragon_to_Space_Station
Date: tbc (spring 2021)

Launch of the European Robotic Arm for the ISS:
https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/International_Space_Station/European_Robotic_Arm
Date: May

Launch of the Eutelsat Quantum Chameleon Satellite:
https://www.esa.int/Applications/Telecommunications_Integrated_Applications/Quantum
Date: tbc

3rd Quarter 2021:

Next Galileo launch:
Date: tbc

The Solar Orbiter mission and the BepiColombo mission perform simultaneous flybys at Venus:
https://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/science/solar_orbiter_media_kit.pdf
https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/BepiColombo/BepiColombo_factsheet Date: August

4th Quarter 2021:

Launch of the James Webb Telescope (the successor of the Hubble telescope):
https://sci.esa.int/web/jwst
https://sci.esa.int/web/jwst/-/45728-europe-s-role
Date: October

First flight of German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer to the ISS:
https://www.esa.int/Space_in_Member_States/Germany/Matthias_Maurer
https://www.esa.int/Newsroom/Press_Releases/ESA_astronaut_Matthias_Maurer_officially_assigned_first_flight
Date: tbc (autumn 2021)

Launch of Artemis-1 into orbit around the Moon:

https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Orion/Artemis_1
https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Exploration/Moon_media_kit


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