Friday, September 02, 2011

European children will name Galileo satellites constellation

Brussels, 01 September 2011: The child with the best drawing related to space or aeronautics in each Member State will have his or her name given to a satellite of the Galileo programme. The first two satellites to be launched on 20 October will bear the names of the winning children from Belgium (Thijs) and Bulgaria (Natalia) where the competition already took place earlier this year1. Today, the European Commission has rolled out the competition in the other 25 Member States to give names to the satellites which will be launched until 2019. Children aged 9–11 can participate.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policies, said: "With satellite navigation, space exploration, and space observation, the topic of space is of ever increasing importance for citizens and for our economic future. We wish to incite the creativity of children, and for them to become enthusiastic about space and its opportunities from a young age. We reward this creativity with the unique opportunity - of offering 27 children the chance to give a satellite their name.”

From 1 September to 15 November, children living in the EU and born in 2000, 2001 and 2002 - when the Galileo programme started - are invited to make a drawing related to space and aeronautics, scan it or take a digital photograph of it and upload it onto the competition's website. In each country, a national jury will select the best drawing and the winning child will have his or her name given to one of the satellites of the Galileo constellation. Satellites launches will take place regularly as of 2012 until the full constellation (which should count 30 satellites) is complete. The order in which the names of the children will be given to the satellites is determined by the alphabetical order of the member states written in the national language(s).

The competition is being announced in each Member State through press releases and press conferences, mailings to schools, teachers associations and educational portals. This should also help generate interest and give teachers material for covering the topic of space and satellite navigation in their class.

The competition can be accessed at


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