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Sunday 24 September 2017

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SpaceUp Comes to Europe

GENK, Belgium. — Europe’s first SpaceUp Unconference will take place in Belgium this month. An Unconference brings to centre stage those informal conversations that usually happen off stage at most conferences. There are no spectators – everyone is encouraged to give a talk, a demo or participate in a roundtable.

The Unconference will be held at the Cosmodrome in Genk, Belgium over the weekend of 22–23 September.

The format has already proved popular in the US. The very first SpaceUp was held in February 2010, in San Diego, with a few space professionals taking the Unconference concept as a starting point. In the following two years, the concept spread all over the North American continent, with events in dozens of cities.

Six European space fans are now bringing this novel platform to Europe. The very open format allows a great variety of visions, ideas and projects to be presented and discussed.

It enables people at all levels in the space and astronomy sector to discuss topics they deem relevant with a passionate crowd. From space entrepreneurs, scientists, educators and futurists to students and enthusiasts, it is this mix of people that brings out interesting angles.

Based on the success in North America, the organisers hope to spread the excitement about global space exploration to a new audience in Europe.

In order to reach this goal, they have teamed up with ESA, Frency space agency CNES and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), as well as the International Space University and a number of aerospace companies.

Space UP Europe attendees will get a chance to talk with ESA’s astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Expedition 26 flight engineer. – Image credit: ESA/NASA — CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Since there is no agenda, the morning starts with a blank timetable grid. Participants write their topic on a Post-it note and place it on the grid.

Several sessions take place at the same time, so you will always find one that sparks your interest. All sessions will be webcast online and uploaded on YouTube.

Drinks, light lunches and snacks are included in the ticket and on Saturday evening there will be a space dinner, to keep the conversation going.

Photo storyboard for “Touching the Edge of the Universe” – the European planetarium show for the International Year of Astronomy IYA 2009. – Image credit: ESA/Mediendom Kiel

Being in a planetarium, a special slot is reserved for an exciting space-related dome movie and there will be guided day and night time observations of the skies above.

Attendees currently span 14 countries, all waiting for their opportunity to share their vision about space and astronomy. There are still slots available, so don’t miss your chance to be among the early adopters of SpaceUp Europe.

To join or to learn more go to spaceup.org/Europe.

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