Cité de l’espace is located in the heart of the European space capital – Toulouse, France. This public private partnership, which founding members are the City of Toulouse and the major space and educational stakeholders in France (Cnes, French Space Agency, Airbus Defence and Space, Ministry of Education etc.) is active since 1997. Cité de l’espace welcomes 300.000 visitors every year, therefore being the main Science Centre in Europe dedicated to space and astronomy.
Cité de l’espace is one of the biggest science centres in Europe, member of Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums. Its missions are sharing developments in space and astronomy with the greatest number possible, inspiring a desire to learn more, stimulating interest in space careers, acting as a sounding board for the space industry, providing news and updates on space and astronomy, contributing to the tourist appeal of Toulouse and the region. In order to fulfil these many roles, it has built a dense network of partners in all fields, from cultural and scientific to industrial, educational and tourism.
Cité de l’espace facilities include: permanent and temporary exhibitions (2.500m²), its 3D imax, 2 Planetariums, 2ha of Gardens displaying real size objects like satellites, an Ariane 5 model, a real engineering model of the Mir Station, an astronomical cupula etc. Many public events are organized through the year, thanks to a dedicated team (Festivals, Nuit des Etoiles, Researchers Night, public events related with space activity etc.).
Since education is at the heart of its mission, special effort is put into providing to the 45.000 students visiting la Cité de l’espace evert year the most innovative, accurate and engaging programs. 3 new dedicated workshops opened in 2015, with a totally renewed pedagogy: with an inquiry based approach, students have to cooperate in order to accomplish their mission. Every year, many students take part to special events organized for them: eclipse watching, Children and Students conferences etc.
Since its opening Cite de l’espace has been always involved in successful collaborations with other partners in Europe, within European projects (H2020, Erasmus +) or in the framework of active networks (Chair of the Ecsite Space Group together with ESA, Chair of the Space Museums Committee within the International Astronautical Federation). In this context, Cité de l’espace has been chosen to host the 23rd ECSITE conference in 2012, the Space Explorers Conference (Astronauts association, with more than 100 astronauts attending) in 2017 and the International Planetarium Society Conference in 2018.