A pair of executive conference rooms at ESA’s Paris headquarters – normally the scene of sober executive planning – were taken over by 120 passionate space enthusiasts keen to share their visions of the future at the European SpaceUP ‘unconference’.
SpaceUp Paris was the fourth such unconference held in Europe, and last weekend saw participants from 20 nations sharing their interest in space exploration with astronauts, space experts and keen amateurs alike.
The event was hosted at ESA’s headquarters in Paris, underscoring the Agency’s strong support for the philosophy of knowledge sharing inherent to the SpaceUp-series of events. The French space agency, CNES, also welcomed SpaceUP Paris, hosting an indepth visit to its Launchers Directorate on the Friday evening.
Sharing passion and knowledge
Four ESA astronauts shared their stories and their passion for science in orbit with the audience, while experts from ESA and from industry and other organisations gave talks on topics ranging from space exploration strategies to future mission profiles, space tourism and how to protect the space environment.
As usual in an unconference, most presentations were given by the participants themselves, with a very high level of quality and depth of knowledge, ranging from space debris to software simulation for space missions and how student projects are animating space activities in Europe.
“We were very pleased to support this unconference, whose spirit is close to ours: ESA is a space agency based on cooperation between European states, and these understood, a long time ago, that, by working together, they could do things unimaginable at the national scale,” said Fernando Doblas, ESA’s chief of communications.
“The result of SpaceUp Paris is outstanding. To cooperate you must listen, be open to each other, learn to know each other. This is the spirit of the ESA, and this is also the spirit of SpaceUp.”
Watch webcast replay
Presentations and discussions held in the main room were webstreamed during the two days. Replays links are available on the right.