«Objectifs Terre: La Révolution des Satellites», Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, La Villette, Paris
On 23rd June 2009 a new permanent exhibition dedicated to space and the exploration of the Earth was opened at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, La Villette, Paris.
With an area of 1000 square metres, « Objectifs Terre: La Révolution des Satellites » marks a new step in the frame of the permanent exhibitions at La Villette, allowing visitors to discover the different faces of the Earth as seen from space. This exhibition has been designed using the latest technologies, such as a multi-touch interactive wall composed of numerous images to attract the attention of visitors and increase their awareness of the key role of space in today’s society.
The exhibition has two different parts: «Regards vers la Terre, Caring for the Earth», that shows the role of science and space technologies in different human activities; and « En route vers l’espace, A journey into space », that highlights the historical dimension of space.
« Regards vers la Terre: l’espace, auxiliaire de notre planète, Caring for the Earth: Space for Earth » in particular shows how 50 years after the beginning of the space era, scientists now have new tools and applications to manage the environment and the human activities.
This part of the exhibition shows unusual and spectacular images of the Earth taken by satellites, and how they help us to have a better understanding of our weather and environmental change by monitoring land, the oceans and our atmosphere. In this area, the main attraction is the “Globaloscope”, a large sphere animated with real satellite data giving a better understanding of the “ Earth System”.
“En route vers l’Espace: accéder à l’espace par une succession de pas, petits et grands, A journey into space, step by step” gives an overview of how the space age developed highlighting the technologies of today.
Touring the exhibition, visitors can use virtual reality to simulate the docking of the ATV, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, to the International Space Station, ISS. The ATV, one of ESA’s key contributions to the Space Station, successfully tested highly sophisticated rendezvous technology to carry essential supplies and experiments during a first mission in 2008.
To conclude this journey into the history of space, the exhibition raises the question : what will be the next steps for the future of space exploration over the next 50 years? Will man revisit the Moon and finally set foot on Mars?
“Objectifs Terre: La Révolution des Satellites” has been carried out within the framework of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. ESA is one of the main partners together with EADS Astrium, and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES).