ESA Open Day 2021

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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The European Space Agency is hosting a virtual ESA Open Day on Sunday 3rd October, from 1200 – 1500.

This is a great chance chance to talk to the people behind future space missions, get close-up views of space hardware and hear from astronaut Alexander Gerst.

The Open Day is open to anyone; all you have to do is register to attend. Click here to register for the virtual ESA Open Day, requiring a single ticket per household,

ESA Open Day

With all ESA establishments taking part, the event will be open to attendees from around the globe. Participants will sign into a virtual auditorium, then choose which talks or events they attend in different virtual ‘rooms’.

This Open Day comes at an especially exciting time for space, with long-laid plans soon to come to fruition, with final preparations under way for the first launch of Artemis around the Moon, the first step in an international programme set to return humans to the lunar surface.

The European Robotic Arm (ERA)
The European Robotic Arm (ERA)

Meanwhile the long-awaited flight of the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope – the tennis-court-scale successor to the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope – will be taking place this year, due to be launched by Ariane 5 from French Guiana. And NASA’s DART spacecraft will lift off, beginning its daring mission to deflect an asteroid, to be followed up in turn by a close-up survey by ESA’s Hera mission for planetary defence.

Meanwhile ESA’s European Robotic Arm – its construction Dutch-led, and flown to orbit this summer – is being prepared for operations aboard the International Space Station.

Where do such audacious visions of things to come – and all our other innovations helping Europe explore space and improve life on Earth – originate? The answer, ultimately, is the human imagination; ESA, after all, is an agency made of people. So the theme of this year’s ESA Open Day is ‘Inventing the future’.

James Webb into space
James Webb into space

This Open Day will be your chance to meet the inventive people behind the scenes overseeing the development of cutting-edge technologies, advising on all aspects of space and leading our current and future missions – along with ESA astronauts sharing their own experiences of Earth orbit.

Highlights will include a virtual room devoted to ESA’s ESOC mission control centre, focused at the work they do to command dozens of European space missions. These talks will include the latest news on ESA’s newest endeavour, the Space Safety and Security programme, working to safeguard everyone on Earth from the baleful effects of space weather, orbital debris and incoming asteroids.

Mission control
Mission control

Do you have ambitions to get involved with the space sector? ESA Human Resources is organising a day of space careers talks, with ESA’s Education Office will give details of its work with schools and universities.

The Netherlands Space Office is also participating, sharing the special contributions made to Europe’s space efforts by Dutch companies and research institutions.

Astronaut André Kuipers overlooking ESTEC
Astronaut André Kuipers overlooking ESTEC


Steven Galvin

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