On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October 2023, the European Space Agency opened the doors to the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands. Where science meets science fiction, the theme of this year’s open day was ‘Science Fiction Gets Real’, highlighting how science fiction has inspired scientists and engineers to join ESA, and turn once imaginary concepts into science fact. The single largest ESA establishment invited the public to meet astronauts, view spacecraft – including a rare chance to view ESA’s asteroid mission Hera as it undergoes testing – and peer behind the scenes of Europe’s space adventure, along with a full schedule of events and talks from Space Rocks, celebrating the art and culture of science and space.
0:30 – NL Space Tent, showcasing the Netherlands in space, organised by the Netherlands Space Office, NSO
1:00 – ESA Earth Observation Stand in the Rainbow Corridor
1:08 – Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers takes to the Space Rocks stage to announce that the annual Association of Space Explorers ASC Planetary Congress will take place at ESTEC in 2024
1:21 – Spanish ESA astronaut Pedro Duque joins the Mayor of Noordwijk Wendy Verkeij; ESA Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality and Head of ESTEC Dietmar Pilz; ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher; NSO Director Harm van de Wetering; a Moonshots NL 24 student, André Kuipers on a panel discussing the ASE Planetary Congress in 2024
1:24 – John McFall, member of ESA’s Astronaut Reserve
1:46 – The ESTEC Test Centre, Europe’s largest satellite testing facility
1:51 – ESTEC’s Erasmus Innovation Centre, including a showcase on human spaceflight
2:00 – The formal opening of the new Earth to Space exhibit at ESTEC’s visitor centre Space Expo wth Dietmar Pilz; Space Expo Director Barbara Hoppel and Josef Aschbacher
Credits: ESA – European Space Agency
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