Highlights from the Ecsite Space Group Annual Meeting
6 February 2017
On 7–8 December 2016, the Ecsite Space Group held their Annual Meeting at the ESA European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.
The Space Group with members from more than 80 institutions, aims to facilitate cooperation and exchange among science centres, museums, research institutions, universities, national space agencies and industries from all over Europe, to design collaborative projects to better share European space activities with the general public.
The group is led by Marc Moutin, Director of Exhibitions at Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse, France; Ana Noronha, Executive Director at Ciência Viva, Lisbon, Portugal; and Maria Menendez, ESA’s Head of Corporate Exhibitions and Events.
During the first day of the workshop, representatives of museums, science centres and Ecsite had the opportunity to:
- Visit the EAC centre and the facilities of the German Aerospace Centre, DLR.
- Learn more about the decisions taken on the future of European space programmes at the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level 2016.
- Discuss the future role of ESA in the field of human and robotic exloration.
Some of the Space Group activities were also presented at the meeting:
- Pilot project 1 – “The International Space Station: Living and working in Space”, co-led by Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse, France, and Tycho Brahe Planetarium, Copenhagen, Denmark. This project includes an exhibition of 11 panels that aims to inform and raise public awareness of: Europe’s contribution to the ISS; ESA’s Astronaut Corps; Research activity carried out by astronauts in ‘microgravity’ conditions; and the next steps in exploration.
- Second phase of pilot project 2 – “Is there life out there ?” led by City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain. This project is an educational video game that will be fully developed in 2017.
- Updates on project 3 – “Climate change: Monitoring the Atmosphere and Oceans from Space”, fully developed in 2018, led by Ciência Viva, Lisbon, Portugal.
These three ready-to-use kit projects will be disseminated and promoted by Ecsite.
The Space Group will hold their next Annual Meeting in Porto, Portugal during the Ecsite annual conference 2017 for:
- A two-day workshop “Space for Life” on 13–14 June;
- Dedicated session on the topic “Is there life out there?”, chaired by the Space Expo Museum, Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
In addition, the ESA Space Group stand at the traditional Business Bistro will provide the ideal platform to present the Group projects and share communication tools to promote ESA activities.
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