Exciting things to see and do at ESTEC’s Open Day

26 September 2012

ESTEC, Europe’s largest space centre, is opening its doors to the public on Sunday 7 October, with plenty of attractions and activities to educate and entertain – for full details just read on.

Based in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, ESTEC is having its first full-scale Open Day since 1993. To register, see the right hand link.

This unique site will be open to the public from 10:00 to 16:00 on Sunday 7 October (with the last chance to enter at 15:00). ESTEC’s neighbouring visitor centre, Space Expo, will also be participating.

A busy day is expected. We recommend you come by bicycle or catch the 33 bus from Leiden Central Station or the Transferium on A44.

If you plan to come by car, note that it will not be possible to park on-site at ESTEC. Instead, you can park at the parking areas listed at the end of this article and take a shuttle bus to and from the site.

Here is a full list of the attractions and activities taking place throughout the day:

Newton and Einstein Conference Rooms

Telling tales of space: throughout the day, ESTEC’s conference rooms will host a series of fascinating presentations from ESA experts and films on European space missions and the mysteries of the Universe.

Wintergarden Exhibitions

Where are you? Galileo – Europe’s own navigation system – is poised to answer that question more precisely than ever before. The first Galileo elements are already in space: find out what they will do here. Talk to ESA’s partners from industry and the Dutch National Space Office.

Reception Exhibitions

The one place where we can learn the most about Earth is not actually on our planet, but high above it. Find out how ESA satellites observe Earth, and why remote sensing is becoming so important for the future of humankind.

MPO with MLI
Mercury mission on show at Open Day

Main A, B and C Corridor Exhibitions

Take a stroll along ESTEC’s main corridor for showcases of all ESA’s programmes, past, present and future, including unique space relics such as a ‘flown’ section of the Hubble Space Telescope’s solar wing, brought back by the Space Shuttle, and a fragment from the 1996 Cluster launch explosion. And experience the future of Europe’s skies: a new space-based communication system for air traffic management.

History Exhibition in Ef Corridor

Why is ESTEC here? This year marks the 50th anniversary of the siting of ESTEC in the Netherlands. Discover how the choice was made, and learn more about the history of space activities in the Netherlands.

The laboratories in Ef Corridor

All materials, components and engineering techniques being considered for use in space undergo exhaustive testing. But when mission-critical tests turn out unexpectedly, ESA’s state-of-the-art laboratories to find out why. Follow the detective work here.

Test Centre

Satellites are some of the most complicated machines ever designed – and once launched they cannot be easily fixed if something goes wrong. Instead they must be thoroughly tested before going to space, in specialist facilities that simulate every aspect of the space environment. ESTEC’s Test Centre is one of the largest centres of its kind in the world. You’ll be able to see one of its current test subjects – the BepiColombo spacecraft that will be flying to Mercury in 2015.

Erasmus Centre

This is the place where researchers go to prepare experiments for space. Take a look at a 1/10 scale model of the complete International Space Station and a full-size replica of ESA's Columbus laboratory. Learn how ‘telerobotics’ – controlling robots from afar – will change spaceflight. Watch some amazing human spaceflight footage.

Children's activities at Escape Centre

Amsterdam’s NEMO Science Centre and ESTEC’s visitor centre Space Expo have teamed up to stage fun and educational activities for children in Escape – ESTEC’s recreation centre near the front gate. Launch a water rocket, design a space mission or listen to André Kuipers live on stage at lunchtime. Pick up a space poster or buy a souvenir from the shop.

Soyuz ride
Soyuz simulator at Space Expo

Space Expo

At ESTEC’s public visitor centre, you can learn about satellites, stars, planets – the whole Universe. Experience a simulated launch of a real Ariane 1 rocket, walk through life-size modules of the International Space Station and strap in for a flight in our Russian Soyuz capsule simulator.

Main Restaurant

Self-service food and refreshments on sale for visitors.

Parking areas

Parkeerterrein 1: Gemeente Katwijk: Parkeerterrein ‘Noordduinen’; Noordduinseweg

Per auto vanuit Amsterdam:
Volg A4/A44 richting Den Haag, Afslag Leiden/Katwijk/Duinrell, Volg N206 richting Katwijk, N206 Afslag Katwijk-Noord, 't Heen. Volg richting P-strand tot op het grote parkeerterrein de Noordduinen.

Per auto vanuit Rotterdam:
Volg A4 richting Amsterdam, Afslag Leiden/Zoeterwoude (afrit 8), Volg N206 richting Katwijk, N206 Afslag Katwijk-Noord, 't Heen. Onderaan de afrit rechtsaf. Volg richting P-strand tot op het grote parkeerterrein de Noordduinen.

Parkeerterrein 2:
Koninklijke Beuk
Van Berckelweg 32

Vanaf de A44, afslag Voorhout/Noordwijk/ Oegstgeest Noord (afrit 6). Volg de borden Noordwijk. Na ongeveer 4 km vindt u Beuk aan uw linkerhand.Google Maps link)

Parkeerterrein 3:
Gemeente Noordwijk: Northgo Sporthal, Johanna van Hoornstraat 4 Vanaf de A44 afslag: Voorhout, Noordwijk, Oegstgeest Noord (afrit 6). Borden volgen naar Noordwijk. Als men Noordwijk inrijdt (bij groot kruispunt met stoplichten), recht door( Van der Mortelstraat). Bij de eerste rotonde (Shell station aan rechterhand) rechtsaf (Duinwetering) Aan de rechterkant staat de sporthal (De Northgo) met het parkeerterrein.

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