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Tuesday, 23 January, 2001, 00:43 GMT
Pupils' space flag challenge
Ariane launcher
The winner will get to see the satellite launched
Schoolchildren have been invited to design a flag representing Earth for the launch of the European Space Agency's (Esa) biggest observation satellite.

Known as the new European environment satellite, Envisat is designed to provide information on the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, land and ice.

Logo for Envisat
The flag design will take a prominent position
It is due to be launched in June 2001 and will remain in space for five years, providing data which should allow scientists to predict environmental and climatic change.

"We feel that the Ariane launcher that will be used to send Envisat into space should carry a flag depicting the Earth, the planet it has been designed to protect," the space agency said.

The competition is open to children aged between eight and 12 who live in an Esa member state or in Canada.

Entries will be judged on the grounds of originality and simplicity - and should be "visible from a distance", Esa said.

"We want to increase awareness of space among children in Europe," a spokeswoman added.

The deadline for entries is 31 March, 2001.

See also:

15 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
European rocket launch aborted
01 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
European mission open to offers
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