Spain is clearly keen on space technology with thousands of visitors passing through the doors of the European Space Expo in Madrid this week. The free exhibition featuring Europe’s Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus programmes was a big hit with Spanish citizens of all ages!
The citizens of Madrid have been taking advantage of some fine winter sunshine to visit the European Space Expo. The high-tech travelling exhibition visited the Spanish capital from 12 to 18 February to coincide with the World Air Traffic Management (ATM) congress, and was a massive hit with the general public and students with almost 20,000 visitors during its week-long sojourn.
The exhibition was located in the centre of Madrid on the banks of the Manzanares River at the Explanada de Puente del Rey, close to Principe Pio metro station.
According to exhibition coordinator, Roberta Lupis of the European Commission, on its opening day the exhibition welcomed over 1 600 people and the crowds kept increasing from there on!
The free exhibition has already been a big hit in seven European cities with its ‘hands on’ approach to demonstrating space technologies and their benefits. And, of course, the critical role of the European Union in space and space-based technologies is highlighted with Galileo and EGNOS taking starring roles. All the exhibits in the Space expo are explained in the local languages of the venue plus the three working languages of the European Union (English, French and German).
The exhibition was also the focus of great media interest. The two leading Spanish newspapers, El Pais and El Mundo, carried features on the Space Expo. Coverage also included main local television stations as well as the Spanish national radio station, RTE.
As well as displaying a dozen exciting interactive touchscreen-based exhibits that encourage visitors to discover what space brings to their daily lives, the Spanish exhibition featured a comprehensive series of short ten-minute presentations each afternoon.
Aimed at the general public, these short talks varied every day and were delivered by experts from academia, industry and national and European space programmes. All offered insights on space technology now and in the future in a down to Earth manner.
“The talks were really popular,” said Roberta. The audiences included primary schoolchildren, university students and older citizens: everyone from 7 to 70!
With topics ranged from ‘Discovering the Universe from Space’ to ‘Getting rid of Space Debris’ and ‘Observing Forest Fires from Space’ there was something for everyone.
Why not catch the Space Expo at a city near you? The European Space Expo will be touring across Europe visiting over 20 cities in two years.
During next two months, the expo will be visiting Budapest from 20 to 25 March before moving on to Hannover from 7 to 12 April.
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