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Toulouse: "The Cité de l'Espace is not a house to snooze" says his godmother, astronaut Claudie Henri

Toulouse: “The Cité de l’Espace is not a house to snooze” says his godmother, astronaut Claudie Henri

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The Cité de l’Espace celebrates its 25th birthday this Saturday and invites the public to celebrate this anniversary with a free and unique programme. Astronaut Claudie Henry, the site’s godmother, evokes the city’s past and future. an interview.

The Cité de l’Espace celebrates its 25th birthday this Saturday and invites the public to celebrate this anniversary with a free and unique programme. Astronaut Claudie Henry, the site’s godmother, evokes the city’s past and future. an interview.

25 years ago, I was among the guests present at the opening of the Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse. What memories do you have about her?
On that particular day, I don’t have very accurate memories. On the other hand, I remember well the moment Dominique Baudis asked me to become the godmother at the Cité de l’Espace. It was 1996, I was traveling on Mir station and accepted. This moment symbolizes my role as the godmother through which I want to speak to a wide audience, but also to young people in order to convey to them the passion, curiosity and enthusiasm for space themes.

Nearly 25 years later, still a believer, how have you seen the evolution of Cité de l’Espace?
It has already developed and expanded while maintaining its base and DNA, a discovery, love and attraction of the widest audience for these space topics. At first, it was mainly for children and then it was opened thanks to the multiple activities. The Cité de l’Espace was very good at using new technologies and adapting to space news. For example, for Thomas Bisquet’s flight, we had this control room that almost allowed us to be with him on his mission. Today, the city hosts Martian terrain with replicas of the rovers that are currently on the surface of Mars. We’re really on the lookout, even waiting for the news. It’s great to be in touch with the transformation of today’s space.

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Today, the Cité de l’Escpace is popular with tourists and scientists alike…
I’d like to add by the economic and industrial ecosystem of space, with small startups, CNES teams and great scientists like Sylvester Morris just taking home a major international award.

The Cité de l’Espace has received 7 million visitors since its opening, can we talk about success?
For three years, we’ve been in a huge dynamic but if there were complicated years before. Its director, Jean-Baptiste Desbois, was able to lead the transformations that succeeded. The Cité de l’Espace retains its allure thanks to its new proposals, to the interrogation of teams of psychics who renew their educational formulas to incorporate new technologies, a commitment to current events … It is not a home at all that sleeps.

How do you see the Cité de l’Espace after 25 years?
Returning to the moon will be very important in the next five years. This has already been anticipated with the Lune Gallery, and we will be following this closely. There will also be the James Webb telescope that will take us to the end of the universe, Ariane 6, … The important thing in the 21st century is that children retain this curiosity, this wonder of space. if the city could keep prodding them; To raise their eyesight, it is necessary.

When will you be French in space after you?
There is a selection in progress, four or six people will be chosen, and I hope there will be, among them, a Frenchwoman and why a woman. I will be very happy. For my part, I know that I have been able to influence young girls to inspire and give them courage. But these examples shouldn’t have changed much, hence the need for a younger woman today.

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Festive Saturday

This Saturday, June 25, the Cité de l’espace celebrates its 25th anniversary and invites the public to come and celebrate this anniversary around a free and unique programme.
From 2 pm to 11 pm: The public will be able to take advantage of the Cité de l’Espace’s permanent display – exhibitions, films and workshops – and to discover the terrain of Mars.
From 4 pm: This anniversary will be punctuated by many meetings to spark the curiosity of young and old, including bilateral workshops between the organizers of the Cité de l’Espace and scientists. More information about the events: https://25ans.cite-espace.com/. Access by registration is required for the general public at this link.
From 20 hours: The audience will meet with a host of guests who will take them into the future to discover the major space projects and challenges of the 21st century. Among these guests: numerous personalities from the world of space, scientists, researchers, artists …