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The ESA opens a new space laboratory

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Noordwijk, Netherlands, April 10, 2008
The European Space Agency's new lab at its Netherlands space research center was officially opened Wednesday by Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander.

The new state-of-the-art space and technology laboratory at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Center, or ESTEC, includes a propulsion laboratory and a design center, ESA said.

The prince launched an "Ariane rocket" constructed from balloons in the mall that links all the laboratories and their associated offices. Approximately 150 dignitaries from all ESA member states, the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven and ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain attended the ceremonies in Noordwijk.

It was 40 years ago the prince's mother, then Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix, officially opened ESTEC.

Minister van der Hoeven praised the new facilities: "To work here means you broaden your horizons, all the different disciplines come together to develop new technologies. If Europe wants to remain at the forefront of developments in space, then we have to look to the future. That is exactly what is happening here at ESTEC."

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Astronauts Relish New Asian Space Food As Expedition 17 Docks
Moscow (AFP) Apr 10, 2008
South Korea's first astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts docked their Soyuz spacecraft with the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, a Russian official said.

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