Frequently asked questions

General questions

Q: Are the tickets for free?
A: Yes. Go to to register. 

Q: Unable to attend and want to cancel your ticket?
A: If you are unable to attend the ESTEC Open Day, please remember to cancel your ticket - we have a waiting list of many other people who would love to take your place. Unsure how to cancel your ticket? Follow these steps:

Q: What can I see and do?
A: Visitors will be able to wander around ESA’s largest establishment at their own pace, meeting astronauts, scientists and mission designers while seeing special exhibits and actual space hardware. Walking at your own pace, you will be free to access the main ESTEC building, Escape building, NL Space tent highlighting contributions of the Dutch space sector, view part of the Test Centre used to check spacecraft are spaceworthy and the Erasmus building focused on human spaceflight and microgravity experiments. Exhibits will be in place throughout the establishment, covering various ESA missions and programmes. There will be video screenings and talks throughout the day, including astronaut talks (and separate autograph sessions). There will also be interactive activities for kids as well as adults. ESTEC’s neighbouring Space Expo visitor centre will be open at a 50% discount price. 

Q: "Last admittance 4 p.m.” Does that mean we cannot enter after 4pm?
A: The event is from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. At 4 p.m. the last visitors can go on ESTEC site and have one hour to visit the facilities. Visitors will have to leave ESTEC by 5 p.m. 

Q: How long can we stay at ESTEC?
A: There is no time restriction. Yet, we are only allowed to admit a certain amount of people at a time; meaning that others will need to wait until people leave so they can enter ESTEC. 

Q: Is there a dress code?
A: No. In case of rain, we advise you to bring an umbrella or raincoat. 

Q: Will we be given a map of the premises or do we have to get those ourselves beforehand?
A: A map will be available digitally beforehand and staff at the entrance will provide you with maps of the premises. 

Q: Is there a security check?
A: Yes, there will be a security check before you are allowed to enter the premises. Large bags and luggage are not allowed onsite. 

Q: Is it possible to organise a group to visit the Open Day?
A: Of course a group can come to visit the ESTEC Open Day, but all group members have to register and there are no guides available for groups on the day. 

Q: Does one need to book an extra ticket for a baby?
A: No, you do not need to book a ticket for your baby. Children who are in a pushchair do not have to register. 

Q: I booked tickets but one of us has cancelled. Could I bring a different friend using their ticket?
A: Yes, this is possible, as long as the swap of the names does not interfere with the total amount of registered persons. 

Q: Is there an age limit?
A: No. 

Q: Do I need to bring ID?
A: Yes. 

Q: Inquiry if a name change on the ticket is required, as it was spelt wrong when registering.
A: It should not be a problem! 

Q: Can we buy any ESA merchandise?
A: We are currently preparing an official ESA online shop. In the meantime, you can purchase ESA goodies from Space Expo and at a gift shop in the main building. 

Q: Can we buy food at ESA?
A: Yes, you can. 

Q: Can we bring our own food?
A: Yes. 

Q: Can we take photographs?
A: Yes, unless security staff instruct you otherwise. 

Q: Inquiries about special entrance due to sickness or physical disabilities, etc.
A: Please send them in advance to, depending on your needs we will see if we can arrange for special assistance. 

Q: Are dogs allowed?
A: No. 

Q: Are guide dogs allowed?
A: Yes. Please inform us in advance at 

Q: Is the program in Dutch or English?
A: It is both in Dutch and English. 

Q: What language are the talks in?
A: They are sometimes in Dutch and sometimes in English. Please refer to the Program for detailed information. 

Q: Are there guided tours?
A: No, but volunteers can answer your questions because they are all employees of ESA ESTEC. 

Q: Is there information for school and university students?
A: There will be stands which hand out information booklets for both school and university students. Feel free to approach our staff as they can answer your questions; furthermore, have a look at this website:   

Q: Is there information about job opportunities?
A: We advise you to refer to this website for job opportunities: 

Q: Can I volunteer and have a stand at the Open Day?
A: That depends, please contact us at  

Q: Will a photographer be there for official pictures?
A: There will be photographer(s) at the ESTEC Open Day. Visitors are advised they may be photographed during the Open Day. The photos will be published on our website. 

Q: Is it possible to pay by card on ESA's ESTEC premises?
A: It is not possible to pay by card on all locations at ESTEC. Please also make sure to bring cash for your purchases.


Q: Is there an extra shuttle service on the open day from the airport?
A: There will be no extra shuttle from Schiphol, but buses from Leiden station.

Q: I would like advice on the best airport/transfer routes for this event.
A: You can take the train from Schiphol to Leiden Central, and then bus 30 to Noordwijk. You can also have a look at and fill in your details, the website will display your best travel options according to your location. 

Q: When taking public transport to the Open Day, does the bus stop directly in front of ESA/ESTEC? Or do we need to walk additionally?
A: Depending on which bus you take, walking time to ESTEC varies. Buses 30 and 37 stop directly in front of ESTEC’s visitor centre. 

Q: What is the best connection with public transport, when coming from The Hague?
A: Please take a train which stops in Leiden Central, from there take buses 30 or 37, direction Katwijk. The buses will stop opposite the ESTEC visitor centre.
For further travel information, please visit 

Q: What is the best connection with public transport, when coming from Amsterdam?
A: Please take a train which stops in Leiden Central, from there take buses 30 or 37, direction Katwijk. The buses will stop opposite the ESTEC visitor centre.
For further travel information, please visit 

Q: What is the best connection with public transport, when coming from Wassenaar?
A: Please take bus number 90, in direction Katwijk.
For further travel information, please visit

Q: What is the exact address of ESTEC?
A: Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk, 2200 AG, Netherlands.

Space Expo

Q: What can we see at Space Expo?
A: Space Expo is ESTEC’s year-round visitor centre. At the moment we have the “Terug uit de ruimte” exhibition, where you can view objects that have travelled to and from space. The actual Soyuz capsule used by ESA astronaut André Kuipers on his last spaceflight is also on display.

Q: Is Space Expo also open during the Open Day?
A: Space Expo is accessible to ESTEC Open Day visitors for a special 50% discount. There is no need to buy tickets in advance.

Q: Can we take a ride on the Space Train during the Open Day?
A: The Space Train will not be running on the Open Day as visitors will be walking around the premises.


Q: Which astronauts are coming?
A: The astronauts so far confirmed to be attending are Michael Foale of the UK, Dumitru Prunariu of Romania, Ulf Merbold and Ernst Messerschmid of Germany, Dirk Frimout of Belgium, Jean-Jacques Favier and Claudie Haigneré of France and André Kuipers of the Netherlands. 

Q: What will the astronauts be doing?
A: The astronauts are schedule to give talks about their experiences in space. All the astronauts will sign autographs during scheduled signing sessions. 

Q: Can we take photographs with the astronauts?
A: Yes, as time allows. 

Q: Can we get astronauts autographs?
A: Yes, during their signing sessions. 

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