Welcome to the space exploration journey!
Watch out for the space missions,
they will guide you through this online adventure…
In 2019 we celebrated one of humankind’s biggest achievements - the landing of a spacecraft and the first steps on the moon 50 years ago. Previously the idea of landing on the moon had been the stuff of science fiction. But, in a short space of time, we had taken huge strides in technology which enabled the seemingly impossible to become reality. Neil Armstrong, climbing down the ladder of the lunar lander, and taking that very first step, said “It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. The achievement changed our whole perspective of ourselves as a civilisation, a species. That moment, as he stepped away from that ladder, showed us that we can do anything we want, if we work together.
Why should we explore space? Thousands of discoveries have been made in space that we now use in our everyday lives. Space exploration allowed us to innovate in health care, energy and the environment, everyday technology, and many other areas. It helps us to collaborate and protect our planet, and it continues to inspire us to think outside the box. The achievements of space science have shown us that we can make the impossible possible.
Curiosity and exploration are vital to the human spirit, so we invite you to #stepintospace and join us on a journey of discovery through this exhibition. We want to share the story of space and your part in it.
Image Credits: NASA (1969) Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Descends Lunar Module Ladder.
What We Made from Space
How has exploring space affected life on Earth?
Here we are going to take a look at some of the everyday objects that were originally developed for space. How long would it take to find your way without using GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation? Could you live without your phone? What about materials that protect us from UV radiation? Space science impacts us every single day, whether we are aware of it or not.
What We Made from Space?
Below, you can see the universe of objects. There are symbols of objects like a mobile phone, sunglasses or tennis racket. How many of these objects do you have in your home? What is it, how do you use it and how do space explorers use it?
GPS Apps on your smartphone
Can you think of another use of navigation systems like GPS on apps like Google Maps in our lives today? Check out the object description about smartphones below, there you can find some more things that GPS is useful for.
7 Objects from Space Science
We use our phones everyday - but did you know that many features on your phone were developed from space science?
How we use it on Earth: Photographs and videos have become a vital way to share stories and remember the past.
How it is used in space: It is important for astronauts to take photos when they go on missions, for scientists to study and learn more about space. The pictures also act as proof of what humans can achieve. This meant that researchers needed to create smaller, lighter cameras - these developments have now made their way onto every smartphone.
How we use it on Earth: How long would it take to find your way without using GPS navigation? Google Maps and other services help us to find the shortest way from one place to another. GPS is also used in games like Pokémon GO for example. It also helps planes navigating in the air, assists search and rescue missions, locates lost pets, tags endangered animals and lots more!
How it is used in space: There is a system of over 30 satellites orbiting in space that send signals to your GPS receiver on Earth to calculate precise locations.
There are many more apps that access space technology everyday. These include weather apps and video-on-demand services like YouTube, Netflix and TikTok.
How do manufacturers ensure our bag of crisps does not end up as a bag of crumbs? We have space technology to thank for that!
How it is used on Earth: Crunchy crisps are a popular snack. But crisps are easy to break. Crisps are packaged by automated machines working at incredibly high speeds. We have space technology to thank for that!
How space technology is used: Crisp manufacturers realised that, dropping a potato crisp into a bag is as delicate as landing a spacecraft on another planet. The speed of descent, atmospheric conditions and airflow determines whether it arrives safely. A German food packaging company approached ESA for help. By studying the way crisps behave as they fall, they were able to design a new food packaging system. The soft landings meant crisp breakages are cut to a bare minimum despite the high-speed operation. Now, this space-age ‘soft landing’ machine is being made available for crisp packaging around the world.
Crayons Using Aerogels
Aerogels are materials that have a similar chemical structure to glass, but instead of liquid contain gas or air in their pores. This makes them great insulators of extreme cold or hot environments.
How it is used on Earth: Aerogels are one of the lightest solids to be found on Earth. A cubic inch of aerogel could be spread out to cover an entire football field. It's breathable and fireproof, and it absorbs both oil and water. Aerogels are also amazingly strong, considering its light-weight. Aerogels are one of the best insulators ever known, and different versions can also act as electrical conductors. These properties are being adapted to a wide range of products on Earth. They can be found in firefighter suits, wetsuits and windows as well as in cosmetics and paints like crayons.
How it is used in space: Aerogels are great insulators of extreme cold or hot environments. In space exploration they are used to protect batteries, electronics or computers from the extreme cold of space. They can also be used to trap dust particles that would damage the spacecraft.
Scratch-Resistant and UV-Blocking Glasses
Sunglasses are popular fashion accessory, at the same time they protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
How we use it on Earth: Sunglasses today have a coating that protects our eyes from ultraviolet rays. In addition, the scratch-resistant coating, which we also know from glasses, comes from space technology.
How it is used in space: The earth's atmosphere reflects the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, but there is no protection for astronauts in space. This can be very harmful to your eyes. Researchers developed light-filtering dyes that they applied to the visors of space helmets. These dyes also clear up vision by blocking out glare and glare. The astronaut visors are also coated with a film of diamond-like carbon (DLC) to make them scratch-resistant.
George de Mestral invented the hook-and-loop fastener. It consists of two opposing pieces of fabric. One piece has a dense arrangement of tiny nylon hooks and the other with a dense nylon pile, that interlock when pressed together.
How we use it on Earth: We use it in shoes and clothing, or whenever we need something to be secure. The hook-and-loop fastener is often referred to as Velcro.
How it is used in space: Velcro has become an essential component of space travel, to overcome the challenges of living in microgravity. Astronauts on board the International Space Station secure food pouches, equipment and tools to the walls of the spacecraft with Velcro. Otherwise, these items would float away. Astronauts sometimes even attach patches of Velcro to the inside of their helmets so they can scratch an itch!
Tennis Racket Using Liquid Metals
Liquid Metals are new materials that are light, resilient, rust -resistant, and easy to cast and mould.
How we use it on Earth: The just mentioned properties are useful in the sports industry, where they have started to use this material for sports equipment like skis and tennis rackets.
How it is used in space: Strong, durable materials are needed to withstand the extreme environment of space. Researchers were able to create a new form of metal that goes from a liquid to a solid state at room temperature. The liquid included a mix of elements: zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper, and beryllium. This new alloy is more than twice as strong and has the moulding ability of plastic.
Cochlear Implants are hearing aids. On earth sound usually travels in waves, through the vibration of atoms and molecules in a medium (such as air or water). In space, in the absence of air, sound has no way to travel.
How we use it on Earth: Sound travels in waves on Earth through the vibration of atoms and molecules in air or water. Normal hearing aids amplify sounds so they can be detected by ears. Cochlear implants directly stimulate the auditory nerve with electrical impulses that sends signals to the brain and allow people who are hearing impaired to hear.
How it is used in space: In space there is no air, and sound has no way to travel. This challenging situation inspired the creation of cochlear implants, where the signal is sent directly to the nerve by electronic stimulation.
Through the Lens of Space
How does space exploration allow us to observe our own planet?
We can use satellite images to see our cities grow, our glaciers melt, and our forests shrink. It is important that we continue to observe Earth’s activities so we can reflect on our way of living, and so it can guide our future actions.
Here we will see how satellites allow us to monitor our planet. We learn how to read these satellite images, how to access publicly available information and what we can collectively do to help fight the climate crisis. Together, we can all become part of the solution to this global challenge.
Satellites deliver true colour images of the Earth, but also have sensors that detect wavelengths invisible to the human eye. ESA, the European Space Agency, has made their vast archive of Earth observation images publicly available , so that we can make our own maps and see the changes that are happening for ourselves.
What Happened in Europe in the Summer
What happened in Europe in June 2018? Check out the satellite images below and look for the image that shows Europe. Find out what happened and why these two images are so different only after one month has passed. Check out the text to see what had happened.
Solar Farm - What Shape is it?
A solar power farm in China built a very special shape. You can only see the shape from space. Check out the satellite images and look for the solar farm. Can you find out what shape they created?
5 Images from Space
Cairo City Growth in Egypt
1988 and 2018
We can use satellites to track the growth of cities or towns over time.These two images, taken three decades apart, show the city of Cairo in Egypt. Can you see the difference in size? The first image was captured by the US Landsat-5 in 1988, and the second by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission in 2018.
Image Credits: ESA with modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018) and NASA with US Landsat-5 Data (1988).
1986 and 2017
Over the last 30 years, the Columbia Glacier in Alaska has retreated over 20 km. The changing climate drove it into retreat in the 1980s, resulting in the end of the glacier breaking off. This one glacier accounts for nearly half of the ice loss in the Chugach Mountains. However, researchers believe that the Columbia Glacier will stabilise again – probably in a few years – once the leading edge of the glacier retreats into shallower water and it regains traction. It is important to keep monitoring glaciers such as the Columbia Glacier so that scientists can predict changes in sea levels.
Image Credits: ESA with modified Copernicus Sentinel data (1986 and 2017).
From Green to Brown in a Month
The images reveal how the vegetation changed in just one month in 2018. We can see part of Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Germany and France in these two images. The difference between them could not be more striking. The first, captured on 28 June 2018, is green and lush. The second, captured on 25 July 2018, however, is mainly brown. It clearly shows us how much the vegetation changed during the long hot dry spell that Europe endured.
Image Credits: ESA with modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018).
Barents Bloom in the Arctic Ocean
It may seem like a watercolour painting, but this image is a natural-colour capture of a plankton bloom in the Barents Sea. Plankton are microscopic marine plants that drift on or near the surface of the sea. Often called ‘grass of the sea’, these plants contain pigments, which give them a greenish colour. These simple organisms play a similar role in the sea as green plants on land. They remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as their land-based counterparts. Some algae species, however, are toxic or harmful. If they surge out of control, they can deplete the oxygen in water and lead to the suffocation of larger fish.
Image Credits: ESA with modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016).
Panda Solar Power Fields in Datong, China
Can you see a panda in this satellite image? Most solar farms align their solar arrays in rows and columns to form a grid but this farm decided to be creative with the layout. The 250-acre solar energy farm in Datong, China purposely designed the solar cells to resemble the shape of a panda when viewed from space. It is hoped this unusual shaped solar farm will power over 10,000 households annually. The company behind it is planning to open more of them across China and beyond.
Image Credits: CNES and Airbus DS (2017).
ESA Climate from Space
Download the ESA Climate from Space App on your Smartphone and find your own Satellite images.
Satellites observing the Earth from space provide a clear picture of the health of our planet and the signs of the climate crisis. Take a closer look at the climate data being produced by the ESA's Climate Change Initiative. Thirty years of climate data are available as interactive globes and maps. Use the data viewer to see how climate variables, including ocean temperature, ice sheets, sea level, sea ice, carbon dioxide and soil moisture, change over time. You can play, pause, and step through the data; spin the Earth and zoom in. Go and explore for yourself, see what you can learn about our climate.
ESA Copernicus Sentinel
Download the ESA Copernicus Sentinel App on your Smartphone and find out more about satellites and how they look like.
Learn more about Europe's eyes on Earth using the Copernicus Sentinel app. Explore a wide range of images and videos to discover how Copernicus and its fleet of Sentinel missions are helping to improve daily life. From volcano monitoring to sustainable agriculture, Copernicus supports economies, protects life and helps people in need worldwide. Choose your own starting point to guide you through the Copernicus programme. You can browse by topic or application to gain an in-depth understanding of each of the Sentinel satellites.
We Can Make a Difference
When thinking about how to tackle the climate crisis, it can be difficult to know where to start. How can we play our part? If everyone makes one small change, collectively that can have a huge impact. So what change in your life can you implement that would positively impact our planet?
3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Have you thought about the choices you make everyday? What do you do with your rubbish? Where do you buy your clothes and how do you dispose of them? How can you reduce the amount of waste you generate?
This mission asks you to think about one thing in your daily life that you could reduce, another thing that you could reuse and a third thing you could recycle. What are these?
Collectively they will have a bigger impact on our planet than you realise.
Fridays for Future
One example of how youth collectively built visibility around a topic that they care about is #FridaysForFuture. It is a movement that began in August 2018, after 15-year-old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks. She started to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis and posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter. Her actions soon went viral. On 8 September 2018 Greta decided to continue striking every Friday until the Swedish policies provided a safe pathway in line with the Paris agreement. The hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike spread and many students and adults began to protest outside of their parliaments and local town halls all over the world.
"Start focusing on what needs to be done - Not what is politically feasible!"
Image Credits: Fridays for Future Vienna (2019)
(Carousel images FFF)
What are topics that you really care about? Would you like to change something in this field? Do you know any way how you can contribute to that?
Simply let your thoughts float and take some time to think about these questions. Make your own protest sign, that tells the message you care about.
A Creative Space
How does space science inspire us?
Space exploration changed humanity because it changed our perspective of Earth’s place in the solar system. When the first images of Earth from space were seen, it helped people see ‘the big picture’. It helped us recognise the fragility of our planet and inspired the need to protect it.
In order to create the future we want, we must plan for it today. This requires creativity, collaboration and reflection. Art helps us to see things from a different perspective, like seeing the Earth from space.
Find out how space inspired artists and young creatives. You can find artworks by youth for youth.
Jaqueline Eder, Selina Maurovich, Kilian Mayer, Stephanie Stigler (AT)
Blue Moon is a profoundly personal meditation on existence, loss, and love through the cold lens of outer space. A crew of four scientists navigate to the edge of the solar system to begin terraforming for a future colony. When the crew is separated from each other, they must overcome the loneliness of space.
This film was produced by Jaqueline Eder, Selina Maurovich, Kilian Mayer, Stephanie Stigler who were between 16 and 19 years old at the time. Through their research on phenomena and locations within the solar system, the team became space scientists themselves.
Sarah Petkus (US)
Sarah first created NoodleFeet or Noodle as an illustrated robot, which explored the comic Universe she wrote and drew. One day Sarah wanted to bring Noodle to the three-dimensional world and started to build his robotic body with 3D printed parts and found objects. Noodle came to life one step after another. You can find more videos of Noodles and his adventures on his website too noodlefeet.zoness.com.
Sarah Petkus is now a cyber artist and illustrator who creates mechanical and electronic devices, robotic entities, and wearable body augmentation which challenge the way humans relate to technology. Sarah documents the process and progress of her projects on her web channel, GravityRoad.
Space travel and space research? That‘s not just rocket science!
In two Universum® Bremen workshops students dealt with space-inventions that also impact everyday life in an artistic way. For example: Did you know that the way potato chips are packaged is based on landing a spaceship on other planets? Or that Neil Armstrong‘s famous first words on the moon were transmitted via one of the first cordless headsets in the world?
Through the software Sketchnotes information can quickly be structured and presented. In an art introduction class at ‘Oberschule Rockwinkel’ in Bremen students used this software when they explored everyday products with a link to space. In an (online-)workshop with the graphic designer Leefje Roy they made these colourful and well-arranged posters.
Even with reduced materials exciting stories can be told. Through stop motion movies students from the ‘Wilhelm-Wagenfeld-Schule’ in Bremen became media designers and space innovation was their source of inspiration. Within a one-week-workshop at Trick 47 guided by Ulrike Isenberg they produced these short films.
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