UK Decision on ESA's Aurora Programme

Press Release From: Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council
Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

You are invited to attend a media briefing at which the UK's decision on participation in the European Space Agency's 'Preparatory Phase of the European Space Exploration Programme' [ESEP - previously known as Aurora] will be announced.

Date: Friday 1st October 2004
Venue: The Royal College of Pathologists
2 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AF
Time: 10.30am [registration from 10.00]

Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation
Prof. Ian Halliday, Chief Executive, Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council
Dr. Sarah Dunkin, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Vice President of

The Royal Astronomical Society
Dr. Mike Healy, Director Earth Observation and Science, EADS Astrium

Leading scientists from the UK's planetary community will also be available for interview and comment including Prof. John Zarnecki [Open University], Dr. Monica Grady [Natural History Museum], Prof. Colin Pillinger [Open University] and Dr. Andrew Coates [Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL].

To register please contact Becky Farncombe in the PPARC Press Office
Tel: 01793 442092 Email becky.farncombe @

A map of how to find the Royal College of Pathologists can be found at:

Notes to Editors

At the last meeting of the Aurora Board of Participants, held at ESA's Paris headquarters in July 2004, the participating states approved revising the original Declaration. The European countries already participating in ESA's Aurora programme, plus Canada, unanimously agreed to remodel Aurora into a broader programme, namely the Preparatory Phase of the European Space Exploration Programme (ESEP).

This decision would ensure that industrial work carried out thus far under Aurora continued. It would also enable the drafting of a long-term plan for a robust, innovative and flexible ESEP programme proposal and for a decision at the next ESA ministerial-level Council meeting.

Participating states were required to confirm their funding levels by the end of September 2004. This briefing will announce the decision of the UK.

For further information on Aurora see: ESA:

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