fbpx Space Group Pre-Conference at #Ecsite2023 | Ecsite

Space Group Pre-Conference at #Ecsite2023

Jointly organised by Ecsite and the European Space Agency, this year’s pre-conference workshop, themed Our Space, Our Planet, was hosted by the Esplora Science Centre, on the sunny shores of Kalkara, Malta. All year long, the Space Group provides national space agencies, industries, research institutions, and academia with the opportunity to build closer collaborations with science communication professionals, benefiting from the already established European networks of Ecsite and the European Space network of ESA and its member states. Gathering 34 space enthusiasts from 15 countries, this year’s workshop investigated the role space research and the European space missions play in supporting sustainable development and invited the participants to look up to find new solutions to earthly problems.

The activities were launched by interventions from Catherine Franche (the Executive Director of Ecsite), Maria Menendez (Head of ESA’s Outreach Coordination Office), Sandra Benítez (ESAC’s Communications Officer), and Omar Cutajar (Senior Director of the Malta Council for Science & Technology), followed by the presentation of ESA’s outreach strategies, the Euclid mission, and the practicality of the ESA Sky app in supporting research and divulgation through its maps and open-access library.

Throughout the day, contributors from various science centres and museums enriched the workshop by sharing new perspectives on science communication and illustrating their ongoing projects. These included, for instance, the Our World from Space programme, funded by the UK Space Agency to promote curiosity for space science through interactive experiences for school children, teachers, families across the UK; the Cité de l’Espace’s LuneXplorer, aiming to immerse visitors into the reality of an astronaut at lift-off, with realistic acceleration, trajectories, and flight parameters in a space capsule; and Space Group’s discussion on the opportunities AI may offer in enhancing space research.

The visit to Esplora’s Planetarium concluded the workshop, with Daniel Scuka (Programme Communication Officer for Operations and Space Safety) introducing the collaboration between ESA and the International Planetarium Society (IPS), which aims at creating big maps of the universe and understanding more about our origin.

The activity collected very positive feedback from the participants. A trailer of the pre-conference workshop is available here.

If you would like to meet other space enthusiasts and discuss the latest space projects, you could join our next in person event!
The next Space Group Annual meeting will take place at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany on Thursday, 30 November and Friday, 1 December. Registrations will open in September! Stay tuned for more information.

To keep informed about the group's activities and the latest ESA news, join the Space Group and receive the Space Group bi-monthly newsletter, by filling in the online form.


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The Space Group

The Space Group improves and extends communication about space science by helping science centres, space professionals and non-specialists to develop collaborative projects and events.