Orbital science within reach of the public
Under the rubric 'Research in Space for the Benefit of Humankind', ESA is hosting the global International Space Station Symposium 2012, a unique scientific conference and public outreach event in Berlin on 2–4 May.
The symposium will showcase the vital research being done on the International Space Station and participants will discuss the future path and priorities of space research across a broad spectrum of disciplines.
Alongside the professional programme, the public are invited on 3 May to meet astronauts, engineers and scientists and see how orbital science benefits daily life on Earth.
Beyond earthly limits
For more than a decade, scientific research performed on the Space Station and other microgravity platforms has pushed the boundaries of science beyond earthly limits and provided new knowledge that is improving our future.
From medicine, including cardiology, neuroscience, osteology and immunology, to geophysics, space sciences, biotechnology, astrobiology and education, scientists worldwide are using the unique microgravity conditions offered by the orbital laboratory to obtain results not possible on Earth.
The symposium's professional programme targets a wide range of invited experts and features presentations of the latest findings by scientists from all five Station partner agencies and researchers worldwide (details on registration for the three-day professional programme via the link on the right).
Public invited to explore orbital science
In addition, on 3 May, the public is invited to Berlin's historic Gendarmenmarkt to explore the many facets and aspects of the Station by themselves and to see how science is performed in space to benefit a huge range of daily life activities.
"We invite everyone to join us at the symposium, where we will explain how scientific results gained in orbit are vital to improving our understanding of health, medicine, our environment and our planet," says ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, Thomas Reiter.
"This will also be a fantastic opportunity to speak with astronauts as well as scientists and engineers, and see how European space research and technologies can benefit our continent's industrial competitiveness."
Details on the public event will be available on the ESA website later in April.
Details on the professional programme are available at ISSSymposium2012.com
In addition to the 3 May event, ESA will make a limited number of seats at the symposium available to the public, who are invited to register their interest by 14 March 2012 by submitting an application form via ISSSymposium2012.com.