This is your chance to visit Europe’s largest place for space, meet astronauts and mission experts, and inspect actual space hardware – you can register from today for the Open Day on 4 October at ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands.
Please click here to register. We urge you to book early to secure your place because we are obliged to limit the number of visitors to ensure a great experience for all who do attend.
This year’s ESTEC Open Day takes place on Sunday 4 October to mark the 58th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, as part of the Netherlands’ national Weekend of Science and World Space Week.
Four European astronauts, including ESA’s first female astronaut, are so far confirmed to speak and sign autographs on the day.
Claudie Haigneré, who visited both Mir and the International Space Station, will be joined by ESA astronauts Michel Tognini, who visited Mir and took part in the Shuttle’s deployment of the Chandra X-ray telescope, and André Kuipers, who twice flew to the Space Station, and French space agency astronaut Jean-Jacques Favier, who flew on the Shuttle.
Premiering at this year’s Open Day for the first time outside France is the Space Girls, Space Women exhibit. ESA teamed up with an all-female team from international news agency Sipa Press to showcase girls dreaming about working in space and women already making their careers there, to share their inspiring stories with the wider world.
Space hardware on show ranges from the very big to very small. Visitors will be able to see the multimodule BepiColombo spacecraft which in January 2017 will begin its seven-year odyssey to Mercury, the innermost world of the Solar System. Also on display will be the miniaturised 10 cm-high CubeSats that ESA is using to test novel technologies in orbit.
The Rosetta team will be presenting the latest discoveries from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
Future ESA mission concepts will also be highlighted, including the Asteroid Impact Mission, which aims to land on an asteroid in 2022 ahead of a NASA spacecraft performing a collision with the same body, and the e.Deorbit satellite to retrieve space debris as part of ESA’s Clean Space initiative.
The advance of technology means that the coming half-century of space exploration is likely to be radically transformed. ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team thinktank will present a set of interactive demonstrations highlighting the long-term space future, including the chance to fly a microgravity robot through a virtual reality space station.
For the first time, European businesses relying on space technology will be exhibiting their cutting-edge products and services, supported through ESA’s Europe-wide business incubators, while NL Space will showcase Dutch expertise in space technology and applications.
The entire family are welcome at the Open Day, with a full programme for children including a dance workshop and Star Wars costume club. Our year-round Space Expo visitor centre will also take part.
ESTEC is ESA’s single largest facility, and the technical heart of the Agency, where cutting-edge missions such as Rosetta were conceived and developed.
Easily accessible from Amsterdam and The Hague, ESTEC is made up of a sprawling complex of buildings nestled beside the coastal dunes of Noordwijk.
It includes a suite of technical laboratories, the Erasmus centre – ESA’s human spaceflight research facility – and a dedicated facility for testing full-sized satellites.
Noordwijk, ESTEC’s home city, is additionally planning an entire month of space-related activities throughout October, celebrating its status as the ‘space coast’ of the Netherlands.