Today we went to Noordwijk and visited the Space Expo exhibition and visitor center of the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC). The European Space Agency has sites in several European countries. ESTEC is the largest site and the technical heart of ESA. More than 2,000 rocket scientists work here on dozens of space projects. Here’s a view of ESTEC in Noordwijk, with the dunes and North Sea in the background. You can see that the scientists have their own golf course and soccer field. The building at the bottom, to the right of the soccer field, is Space Expo:
This is my favorite picture of the week. Woody from Toy Story watches Space Shuttle Discovery lifting off on May 31st with Buzz Lightyear onboard, finally fulfilling the toy’s dream of going into space. The 12-inch action figure is visiting the International Space Station this week along on mission STS-124 as part of a new educational partnership between NASA and the Walt Disney Company and to commemorate the opening of Toy Story Mania! at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
There was a total lunar eclipse tonight. From 10:30pm the shadow of the earth slowly moved over the Moon and from 11:44pm to 12:58am the eclipse was complete and the moon was a beautiful bright red from the Sun’s rays going through the Earth’s atmosphere. Actually, at 11:43pm, just one minute before the total eclipse, a huge cloud came in front of the moon here in Leiden and it started raining and hailing. It didn’t move until just ten minutes before the end of the eclipse, so we were really lucky to see it at all. I had a chance to try out my new Canon 400D. I know these photos are not really great, but it’s the first time I took pictures of the moon, so I’m pretty happy with it. More »
Nine days … seven astronauts … ONE space station. For ten days millions across the globe have followed the adventures of Stephanie, Mike, Steve, Piers, Mark, Thomas and Lisa … as NASA TV brought us 24/7 live images from cameras inside and outside the International Space Station. More »
Throughout Europe on 29 March 2006 a partial solar eclipse will be visible. In parts of Africa and Asia, plus a small part of the Mediterranean Sea between Crete and Cyprus, and parts of Turkey and Georgia, the eclipse will be total. More »
While NASA engineers are still struggling with the cracks in the shuttle fuel tank, the agency announced their new spaceship and a plan to return to the moon by the end of the next decade. Meanwhile, more and more countries and private firms are developing their own space exploration plans. More »