Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Our planet is star of the Earth and Space Expo

16.02.2005


Visiting the Earth and Space Expo in Brussels is like nowhere else on Earth – you even take what seems like a walk through the sky to get inside! During the weekend upwards of 9000 visitors made the journey to experience a wide range of displays, interactive exhibits and breathtaking space-based views of our planet.



Those entering the Expo, at Autoworld in the Parc du Cinquantenaire, find that carefully placed mirrors on the floor, walls and ceiling give a sense of spacewalking beyond the atmosphere. Some visitors have to slow down to make sense of it – but keep on going to find themselves in a 3000 square metre exhibition area – presented jointly by ESA and the European Commission, with the support of Eumetsat (Europe’s Meteorological Satellite Organisation) - chronicling Europe’s achievements in space during the last 30 years, as well as the shape of space projects to come.

A favourite with the many school parties is the rocket room, where children stand dwarfed by imposing scale models of ESA’s Ariane-5 and Vega launchers. Nearby are scale models of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and the International Space Station (ISS) it has been designed to supply.


Further along is a model of ESA’s Mars Express scrutinising the Red Planet, together with a model of the ExoMars rover, a possible future European Martian mission. Also on view is the actual parachute-test model of the Huygens lander resting on the simulated surface of Titan, ESA’s latest interplanetary mission.

Schoolchildren get to have space-related lessons in an upstairs classroom, as well as trying on a suspended harness that lets them experience walking – and jumping – in simulated lunar gravity. Visitors of all ages are enjoying a range of lectures in the Space Theatre, and checking out the nearby Earth and Space Gallery.

While the gallery of the Expo highlighting exploration of space is the first part that visitors see, it is our Earth that is really the star of the show, with numerous large-scale Earth Observation images on display.

They include unique views of global land cover and oceanic chlorophyll concentrations, and an image of the Antarctic ozone hole beside Arctic ice extent. The most striking single satellite image is a three-storey high Envisat view above the Space Theatre showing all the continents – worth a visit to see by itself.

A further set of displays bring these satellite images down to Earth, and illustrate how Earth Observation is being combined with ground-based information for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, the building of a planetary monitoring system to protect the environment and the quality of life for European and world citizens.

Gas masks suspended from the ceiling show the seriousness of atmospheric pollution, with an interactive display nearby showing how satellite data is being applied to measure air quality, while streams of water that pour through broken cups highlight water scarcity, with the display recounting how Earth Observation enables wide-area monitoring of entire water catchments for any contamination danger.

Other displays discuss satellites for humanitarian aid and the preservation of bio-diversity – including the mapping of central African rainforest to help preserve the mountain gorilla, as well as the extent of Arctic ice floes to calculate what effect global warming may have on polar bears.

The satellites that return this imagery are hundreds or thousands of kilometres away in Earth orbit, but another attraction of the Expo is that for once they can be just above visitors’ heads – detailed models of Earth Observation spacecraft such as the ten-instrument Envisat, ESA’s new Cryosat mission designed to study the planet’s ice fields, Eumetsat’s MetOp and MSG spacecraft and even the Belgian-built and operated Proba microsatellite.

The evening of 14 February saw amateur astronomers, European astronauts and Earth and Space enthusiasts brave the Brussels evening for a Valentine’s Night ‘Star Party’ focused on the night sky.

Monday saw the start of a busy week, with a meeting of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) due for Tuesday, and the Third International Earth Observation Summit taking place on Wednesday, expected to endorse a ten-year plan to implement a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), of which GMES is the European contribution.

Then on the remaining two days of the week occurs the International Conference on Cooperation in Space, discussing how best established and emerging space players can work together, and formally opened by the crew of ISS from orbit.

The Earth and Space Expo itself is free to the public and open 9.30 – 18.00 weekdays and 10.00 – 18.30 Saturday and Sunday, until the end of 20 February 2005.

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaEO/SEMKI2YEM4E_index_0.html
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Four elements make 2-D optical platform
26.09.2017 | Rice University

nachricht The material that obscures supermassive black holes
26.09.2017 | Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>