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Canadian youth's drawing may blast off to the stars

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Saint-Hubert, May 30, 2001 - Danthiya Balasingam, a ten-year-old from Montreal, has been selected as the Canadian finalist in an international competition to design a flag of Earth that will appear on the side of the Ariane 5 launcher carrying onboard the European Earth observation satellite Envisat that will blast off from Kourou, in French Guiana next October.

Over 11 000 entries were received from youth for the competition held by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which is the only non-European member state of ESA.

The youth, who will be staying at a hotel at Paris' Disneyland while in France, will also take part in the 44th Paris Air Show. The winner of the competition, chosen from the sixteen finalists, will be announced at the Air Show on Sunday, June 17. Although only one of the drawings can be chosen as the ultimate winner, each of the 16 country winners will receive a personal computer complete with printer and space software.

Once in orbit, the largest and most sophisticated Earth observation satellite to be built in Europe will be one of the world's most important sources of environmental data and will make a major contribution to understanding environmental issues.

To see the winning entries, click on:

http://www.esa.int/envisatcompetition

The finalists are:

Austria: Kristina Marinkovic (aged 12) Vienna
Belgium: Ségolène Dumez (aged 10) Maillen
Canada: Danthiya Balasingam (aged 10) Montreal
Denmark: Maja Rose Valbjorn (aged 12) Jyllinge
Finland: Antti Niiranen (aged 12) Reisjarvi
France: Clarisse Ostorero (aged 11) Le Reposoir
Germany: Anke Hartmanns (aged 12) Oldenburg
Ireland: Anna Moloney (aged 10) County Meath
Italy: Roberta Rulli (aged 10) San Vito Chietino
Netherlands: Corinne Smorenburg (aged 11) HH De Meern
Norway: Thea Vangbæk (aged 11) Oslo
Portugal: Joao Rodrigues de Campos (aged 12) Coimbra
Spain: Laura Lucas Olmo (aged 10) Cuenca
Sweden: Erik Andersson (aged 12) Kullavek
Switzerland: Cornelia Feller (aged 11) Zollikofen
UK: Calum Whyte (aged 11) Fife

Canada and Europe
Since 1978, Canada has participated as a Co-operating State in activities and programs of ESA, especially in the design of Earth observation and communications satellites. In June 2000, Canada renewed its membership for another ten year period and has recently joined ESA and the French space agency (CNES) to provide RADARSAT-1 satellite imaging to support aid and rescue agencies providing relief in times of environmental and natural disasters.

Canada and Space
Interested to find out more about Canada's role in Earth observation, advanced satellite technologies, Human space exploration, Space Science, robotics, the International Space Station and other neat stuff? Visit our KidSpace Website at:
http://www.space.gc.ca/kidspace

For information:
André Leclair, Senior Communications Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Tel: (450) 926 4370
andre.leclair@space.gc.ca

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