ESTEC's Open Day

Some 8865 members of the public made the trip to ESA's technical heart in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on Sunday 4 October, making this year's ESTEC Open Day the most popular yet. Five European astronauts attended the event – Claudie Haigneré, Michel Tognini, André Kuipers, Jean-Jacques Favier and Claude Nicollier - to speak and sign autographs. Visitors also had the chance to meet space mission teams and technical experts, view exhibits on future space projects and inspect actual space hardware, including the actual BepiColombo spacecraft due to begin its voyage to Mercury in 2017.

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