Press Release

Call for Media: Europe’s SpaceLab finalists link up with space and meet astronauts

By SpaceRef Editor
May 10, 2012
Filed under , , ,
Call for Media: Europe’s SpaceLab finalists link up with space and meet astronauts

Europe’s finalists in the Space Lab challenge will join astronauts, scientists and Google managers at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne on 16 May to discuss their experiment ideas and call ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on the International Space Station.

In October, ESA jointly launched the YouTube Space Lab, an exciting venture by YouTube, NASA, Japan’s JAXA space agency, Space Adventures and Lenovo to challenge students around the world to design a science experiment for the International Space Station.

The competition attracted thousands of proposals by teams and individuals from over 80 countries. The web portal was heavily promoted by the partners and recorded an impressive 51 million views.

A panel of prestigious scientists, astronauts and teachers, including astronauts Frank De Winne, Samantha Cristoforetti and Timothy Peake of ESA, Leland Melvin of NASA, Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA, Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, judged the entries, including input from the YouTube community.

Exclusive prize: EAC visit and Station call

In addition to the global winners presented in Washington DC, USA, in March, ESA has invited the 21 regional finalists from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany, to talk about their experiments directly with astronauts, followed by a hands-on tour of Europe’s astronaut training facilities.

To make the visit even more memorable, at around 14:00 GMT (16:00 CEST), Andre Kuipers will call live from orbit for an exclusive talk with the students.

It will be an important occasion to present the Space Lab campaign to Europe’s media and for the students to describe their projects. Among them will be the global finalists Laura Calvo und Maria Vilas from Spain and Simon Kopf from Germany.

The EMEA wrap-up event of YouTube Space Lab will include ESA astronauts Frank De Winne and Reinhold Ewald. The creator of the overall competition, Zahaan Bharmal, Head of Marketing Operations EMEA/Google, will also be on stage.

“The YouTube Space Lab campaign has proven to be an excellent, creative way of reaching out to future generations of scientists, on the ground and in orbit,” notes Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director for Human Spaceflight and Operations.

The event will be live webstreamed via

Event Programme, Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 13.30-17.30 CEST

Venue: European Astronaut Centre, Linder Hoehe, Porz-Wahn, D-51147 Cologne, Germany

13:30 EAC doors open for external visitors, checking in of students and accompanying persons.

14:00 Welcome to EAC, ESA highlights on the ISS, astronaut training and operations, by Frank De Winne, ESA astronaut and first European ISS Commander.

14:15 The 21 EMEA winning teams of the Space Lab campaign are presented, by Zahaan Bharmal, Head of Marketing Operations EMEA, Google Inc.

14:30 Discussion and presentation of two selected EMEA experiments per age group (including four videos), by Zahaan Bharmal, supported by ESA astronaut Frank De Winne and Dr Martin Zell, Head of ESA’s ISS Utilisation Dept.

15:00 Extensive guided tour of EAC training facilities with Frank De Winne and Reinhold Ewald, and opportunities for discussions around the Columbus, ATV and Soyuz modules, ISS experiments, neutral buoyancy pool, 3D virtual reality movie of the ISS, etc.

15:45 Opportunity for EMEA finalists to discuss their ISS experiment ideas personally with ESA astronauts and top ISS Science experts; includes personal photo sessions.

16:10 LIVE video link to the ISS with ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers: highlights of ESA’s science and microgravity experiments on Columbus. Presented by ESA astronaut Reinhold Ewald.

17:00 End of visit; external visitors check out from EAC.
Media Registration (Mandatory)

Media wishing to attend this event should fill in the online accreditation form:

For further information, please contact:

Jules Grandsire
Tel: +49 2203 6001 205

Nigel Savage
ESA ISS Education

Bernhard von Weyhe
ESA Corporate Communcations
Tel: +49 6151 90 25 16

Mounira Latrache
YouTube/Google Communications & Public Affairs
Tel: +49 40 80 817 9431

SpaceRef staff editor.