Invited guests and members of the public and press were on hand at Brussels’ Schuman roundabout on Wednesday, 9 February 2005, as EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik flipped the switch on the giant ‘Earth & Space Sphere’, officially opening ‘Earth & Space Week’.

“We are in for a busy week,” said Poto?nik. “We have some very important events scheduled during Earth & Space Week, including the Earth Observation Summit, a major international space conference and, of course, the Earth & Space Expo, to which all of you are cordially invited. We want to thank our partner, the European Space Agency (ESA) for all of their help in putting on this wonderful event.

“This is a very exciting moment,” he said. “Space and space exploration are the stuff dreams are made of. When you speak to young people about space, you can see their interest and fascination, but space and Earth Observation (EO) also have innumerable practical applications in our daily lives, from weather reports to communications to helping tsunami victims.”

ESA’s Cabinet Head in Brussels, Michel Praet, said, “Events like this are a demonstration of the strong sense of co-operation between the European Union and ESA.”

A full slate of events and activities

Billed as ‘nine days of ideas, exhibitions and events’, Earth & Space Week will feature a series of public, industrial and political events and meetings.

The Earth & Space Sphere is a 20-meter-diameter internal projection screen, never seen before in Belgium. Projections take place daily from 6h00 – 9h30 and from 16h30 – 24h00 and include beautiful animated still photography and video representing:

  • The beauty and fragility of our planet;
  • Earth seen from land and from space;
  • Satellite images showing environmental effects of human behaviour, including ozone depletion, etc.;
  • Our solar system and beyond;

The sphere is visible from various vantage points around the city, from Brussels grand entryway – Avenue Tervuren, through the famous archways of the Cinquantenaire and from the top of the Rue de la Loi.

More information:

Earth & Space Week website Earth & Space Expo webpage