These days more and more people rely on the internet to keep them up to date with what is going on in the world. If your interest is space and you want to keep abreast of the latest developments, particularly in Europe, then the best place to look is the ESA Web Portal.
Run by a small team based at ESRIN, ESA’s Web Portal now attracts on average 25 000 visitors a day; a number that swells enormously at the time of major space events. After the Huygen’s probe successfully landed on Titan a record 919 000 visitors came to the site in just one day, eager to see the first images of Titan.
As well as providing the latest news from space, the Portal also gives details of Europe’s launchers and events at its spaceport in French Guiana, plus information on human spaceflight and the role of Europe’s astronauts. Space is not just about exploration, however, spacecraft have many uses and the Portal has sites dedicated to space and science, the environment, navigation, communications and the many ways in which technology designed for space is providing breakthroughs in more down-to-earth applications.
Encouraging Europe’s young to take an interest in science and technology is part of ESA’s role and the Web Portal has three sites dedicated to this. The education site provides information and learning tools for teachers and students of all ages, Eduspace is a multilingual website for education devoted to Earth Observation, and the kid’s site is dedicated to very young children aged from 6 to 12. Specially designed to appeal to kids, the site contains animations, games, puzzles and easy-to-read texts describing the latest events in space. The Portal also has a multimedia gallery containing hundreds of images and videos that can be downloaded free of charge.
ESA’s Web Portal caters mainly for the general public and is also an important source of information for the media and industry. While the main Portal is in English, coverage of the main events and news of national interest is provided in 13 languages.
All together the ESA Web Portal contains well over a thousand pages of news and information, keeping the world informed about Europe and its space activities.