The Erasmus Centre is located at ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The centre is a showcase for the Directorate of Human Spaceflight’s programmes and missions. Its role is to inform and advise users interested in ESA’s space platforms and ground-based facilities.
Services and facilities
There is a wealth of information available at the Erasmus Centre that can help researchers, payload developers and others to learn about the research facilities operated by the Directorate of Human Spaceflight. Click on each section for detailed information.
- The Erasmus Experiment Archive is a comprehensive database of experiment records from ESA-funded or co-funded experiments that were performed on space platforms and microgravity ground-based facilities.
- The European User Guide to Low Gravity Platforms provides an overview of the five low gravity platforms sponsored by ESA, including details of how people can use them for scientific, educational or commercial purposes.
- The High Bay is a 900 m2 exhibition area where users and researchers can familiarise themselves with experiment facilities. The display includes a 1/10 scale model of the complete International Space Station and full size models of ESA's Columbus laboratory and Russia's Zvezda module. A Russian Foton capsule and a Texus sounding rocket that have flown in space stand next to a parabolic flight demonstrator, a drop tower and training modules for practical demonstration and familiarisation of the main Columbus experiment facilities.
- The Erasmus Multimedia Library has a large video display to share information between users. The Multimedia Library is ideal for cooperative work of groups up to 20 people.
- The Auditorium is a general-purpose area that can host events with up to 120 people.
- The Erasmus centre has a fully-equipped television studio for producing videos such as Human Spaceflight Mission Highlights, educational films and interviews as well to support to external television crews.
- A Virtual Reality Theatre shows users a realistic 3D representation of the International Space Station couples with unique high-resolution 3D pictures. The theatre can host up to 25 visitors.
- During human spaceflight missions and other important events, the Erasmus Centre provides live video broadcasts via web streaming. Educational content is also offered by this Streaming video service.
The Erasmus Centre is used by many groups and for many purposes:
- Scientists interested in using microgravity facilities for their research.
- Project engineers and managers involved in developing, building and operating microgravity research experiments.
- Scientists and engineers at the European User Support and Operations Centres who operate the experiments.
- Politicians who want to learn more about particular research activities or transportation and exploration programmes.
- Students looking for reference material or career guidance.
- Teachers, media and the public with an interest in space research.
- Media representatives that need background and multimedia material for their video productions.
How can we help?
The Erasmus Centre has a mandate to inform and advise institutional and commercial users who want to learn more about microgravity research by:
- Promoting ESA's microgravity programmes and their use through fact sheets, brochures, lectures, exhibitions, video conferences, web streaming, guided tours, databases, archives and 3D virtual-reality products.
- Providing information on microgravity, space and ground-based microgravity facilities and previous microgravity experiments.
- Offering advice and guidance on administrative and operational steps to submit and develop experiments with the European User Guide to Low-Gravity Platforms.
- Providing support through access to knowledgeable staff and by facilitating links between institutional and industrial researchers.