Media invitation: ESA’s Technical Centre ESTEC Open Day

On Sunday 8th October, ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, ESTEC, will open its doors

Media opportunities include:

ESTEC Test Centre visit and interview opportunities on Hera - ESA’s asteroid mission for planetary defence
Currently beginning checks at the ESTEC Test Centre, the Hera mission for planetary defence will be lifting off towards the distant Dimorphos asteroid next year.
One-to-one interview slots with the Project Manager Ian Carnelli and mission engineers are available as well as, photo and filming opportunities. The Hera mission is currently located in the largest satellite test centre in Europe.

Astronaut interview opportunities
One-to-one interview slots with John McFall , a member of the ESA Astronaut Reserve, currently taking part in the Fly! Feasibility Study at the European Astronaut Centre. The study will assess the conditions for astronauts with disabilities to work in space.
One-to-one interview slotswith ESA Astronaut Thomas Reiter (DE). Thomas served aboard both Russia’s Mir space station and the International Space Station before going on to become ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operation.

Interview opportunities with the ESA Director General and the Head of ESTEC
One-to-one interview slots available with Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General and Dietmar Pilz, Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality and Head of ESTEC are available.

Press Conference with ESA Astronaut André Kuipers announcing a new mission
At 10.15 - 11.30 in the Tennis Hall (Space Rocks stage) there will be a press conference in Dutch with André Kuipers who will announce a new mission, not in space, but on Earth. With a series of events that will make 2024 a unique year in Dutch space history. Students are challenged to think bigger than ever and come up with crazy ideas: moonshots! During NL MOONSHOTS ’24 students can count on special facilities and a lot of inspiration and expertise of literally and figuratively the highest level.

The press conference will be followed by a panel discussion (in English) about moonshots and the importance of playful inspiration and cross-pollination with, among others, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, Head of ESTEC Dietmar Pilz, Mayor of Noordwijk Wendy Verkleij-Eimers, Director of Netherlands Space Office Harm van de Wetering and André Kuipers.

For interview requests for André Kuipers and more information on the press conference please

Earth from Space:
At 13:15 Barbara Hoppel, Director of Space Expo and the ESA Director General will officially open the exhibition Earth from Space. This is an Earth observation exhibition using interactive display technologies to showcase ESA’s Earth observation programmes and applications. This experience aims to improve the understanding on the benefits of Earth observation for monitoring global change.

Earth from Space is based on ESA’s Phi-Experience (ESRIN, Italy) and has been developed into a museum version, suitable for all ages, in collaboration with Space Expo. ESA, DLR, ARS Electronica and Flink have contributed considerably to the Space Expo exhibition.

For interview requests and more information about the Space Expo exhibition please

Media registration

Media are invited to register for the Open Day via the registration form by 16:00 CEST on Wednesday 4 October 2023. Timeslots for interviews can be booked by contacting

The media programme will be from 10:00 - 13:00 CEST and will be shared later this month.­media-brie­fing-form/

Registration to the event is mandatory.