Take a tour of ESTEC, ESA's technical heart

ESTEC
23 September 2011

ESA has facilities all across Europe but its technical heart is ESTEC, at Noordwijk in the Netherlands. This unique site will be opening its doors to the public on Sunday 9 October.

Amid rising interest in André Kuipers’ upcoming flight to the International Space Station, the public are invited to come and see where the Dutch astronaut works, and where most European space projects are born and guided through their various stages of development.

André notes that ESTEC “holds a special meaning for me personally, because my aerospace career essentially began here.”

ESA astronaut André Kuipers
André Kuipers

Free guided tours will be leaving SpaceExpo, ESTEC’s visitor centre, every half an hour between 11:00 and 15:30 CEST on that Sunday. Each tour lasts 90 minutes, led by a guide speaking Dutch and English.

Tours leaving on the hour will include the Test Centre, which simulates space conditions, a 3D tour of the Space Station and the Telerobotics Laboratory, which is working on controlling robotics from a distance.

MPO with MLI
Spacecraft at ESTEC Test Centre

Tours leaving on the half hour will visit the Large Diameter Centrifuge instead of the Telerobotics Laboratory. The spinning centrifuge can create ‘hypergravity’ up to 20 times Earth’s normal gravity.

The minimum age to join a tour is nine years. To ensure a place, please register by sending an email with your names and preferred tour time to estec.visits@esa.int.

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