13.10.21 – On October 17th – 30th 2021, the exhibition “Switzerland, a space nation” will showcase our country’s over half-century of active international participation in the space field, EPFL expertise in space education, research and innovation and raise awareness on space sustainability. Visitors would also be able to experience virtual space outreach projects and attend a large program of conferences.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) will be hosted by Presence Suisse and Swissnex during the space weeks at the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. This is a great opportunity to highlight that Switzerland has been an important space actor since the 60’s, including participation in Apollo missions, and is a founding member of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Thanks to its specific political, educational and industrial landscape, the “Swiss made” added-value is to be found in many space missions all over the World.

“Switzerland, a space nation” exhibition and experiences

Visitors of the EPFL exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion will find out more about Switzerland’s space panorama and high-added value contribution to space missions, how EPFL became a space hub of excellence on education, research and innovation, and in which initiatives on Space Sustainability the EPFL Space Center (eSpace) is involved, including ESA ClearSpace-1 mission and the forthcoming Space Sustainability Rating.

People can also virtually discover some of the most amazing EPFL and ETH Zürich research projects carried out by our students – including rockets, rovers and robots! – and experience two state-of-the-art digital EPFL projects: the virtual escape game “Tranquility Base”, made by student’s association Space@yourService, and VIRUP, the virtual map of the Universe by the Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO).

Collaborative conferences

In collaboration with Swissnex, United Arab Emirates University, EPFL Middle East and various other Pavilions and partners, EPFL will organise and participate in a large program of conferences and workshops in Dubai, bringing together multiple international space experts and students. Most of the events will be available on livestream (links in the program below).

NB: hours are Dubai time (UTC+4), 2 hours ahead of Switzerland CEST

Tuesday October 19th

09:30 am – 12:00 pm: Panel (Australian Pavilion)
In cooperation with the UAE University and Curtin University, Australia
Radio Astronomy Research & Development
Including Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib, Director eSpace and LASTRO (EPFL)

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: World Majli (Indian Pavilion) – Livestream available
co-hosted by Switzerland and India
Lessons from Space: Applying Approaches from Space to Fight Climate Change
Including Prof. Claude Nicollier, former Swiss Astronaut and Mrs. Emmanuelle David, executive manager eSpace (EPFL)
Technological innovations developed for space exploration and manned spaceflight offer rich potential here on Earth, at a time when efficient resource management is becoming mission critical for humanity.

2:45 pm : forum (Dubai Exhibition Center)
in collaboration with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Space Thematic Business Forum – Opportunities for Tomorrow
Including Dr. Luc Piguet, CEO & co-founder (Clearspace)

Wednesday 20 October

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Keynote (Swiss Pavilion) – Livestream available
Sustainable Space Logistics and Space Sustainability Rating
Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib, Director eSpace and LASTRO (EPFL) and Dr. Tim Flohrer, Head Space Debris Office (ESA)
In recent years, the space industry has evolved towards a predominantly commercial operation, with a proliferation of reusable rockets and nano-satellites. But it comes at a cost, including increased space traffic and debris. This leads to rethink the way we conduct space missions, in compliance with the SDGs. And this is exactly what EPFL Space Center (eSpace) research initiative on Sustainable Space Logistics (SSL) is all about, supporting the development of key technologies such as relative navigation and space robotics. We will also talk about the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) that has been developed by a consortium including the World Economic Forum, the European Space Agency, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The University of Texas at Austin and Bryce Tech. It will be operated by eSpace by 2022 and aims to promote and incentivize Sustainable Behavior of Space Actors, including space debris mitigation.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Guest Lecture (Swiss Pavilion) – Livestream available
In collaboration with the Japanese Pavilion and the UAE University
Human Spaceflight: inspiring Humankind
Prof. Claude Nicollier, former Swiss Astronaut and Ms. Naoko Yamazaki, former JAXA Astronaut
Exploration has always been in Humankind’s DNA. Explorers are countless in History and have always brought knowledge and fascination to the world. But what do we know from Astronauts? What is their motivation, how do they prepare, what kind of mission do they achieve? This talk is about sharing two astronauts personal experience and thoughts on their space missions, eventually bringing inspiration to new generations.

Thursday 21 October

10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Workshop (Swiss Pavilion) – Catch-up streaming available
In collaboration with the UAE University
Space education: how to design an outreach program
Ms. Emmanuelle David, executive manager eSpace (EPFL eSpace), Ms. Chloé Carrière, EPFL student (Space at your Service), Dr. Aquib Moin, Assistant Professor (UAE University)
This workshop for students will emphasize space science, outreach and sustainability. Students will be invited to design their own Space outreach activities and strategies, which will be shared with the public.

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Panel (Swiss Pavilion) – Livestream available
Space Debris: Knowledge creation & Problem solving
Dr. Luc Piguet, CEO and co-founder (ClearSpace), Prof. Moriba Jah, professor and Space Environmentalist (University of Texas at Austin, remotely) Prof. Thomas Schildknecht, Director Swiss OGS (University of Bern, remotely)
Space activity has never been as intensive in the last 50 years. This has also developed a problem: space debris. Our experts will explain the current situation, thanks to debris observation, and what is needed to improve the situation, from a technological point of view from knowledge creation- observation and database creation to problem solving – such as ESA’s CleaSpace-1 mission. Metrics arounds space sustainability will also be introduced

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Panel (Australian Pavilion) – Livestream available ?
In collaboration with the Australian Pavilion
Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Science Showcase
Including Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib, Director eSpace and LASTRO (EPFL)
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an international effort to create the world’s largest radio telescope over a square kilometre of collecting area. It will consist of thousands of dishes and up to a million low-frequency antennas. As one of the largest scientific endeavours in history, the SKA will bring together a wealth of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers to bring the project to fruition. Whilst 14 member countries are the cornerstone of the SKA, around 100 organisations across 20 countries are participating in the design and development of the SKA. The SKA will be able to conduct transformational science, breaking new ground in astronomical observations. SKA scientists’ key science goals for the telescope will re-define our understanding of space as we know it. Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib will talk about the major Swiss contribution to the project.

Saturday 23 October

10:00 am – 13:00 pm: Sustainability @ Expo (Nexus North)
In collaboration with the UAE Space Agency and the Slovenian Pavilion.
Protecting the Great Unknown
Including Ms. Emmanuelle David, executive manager eSpace (EPFL) and Dr. Luc Piguet, CEO and co-founder (ClearSpace)
Space technology is one of several technologies central to successfully implementing the SDGs. As the space sector evolves, both public and private actors must take collective action to contribute towards long-term sustainability of the space environment. This event will focus on sustainable space exploration, the role of women in the space economy, and the link between space exploration and sustainability here on Earth.

Sunday 24 October

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Workshop (Zabeel House by Jumeirah) on invitation only
In collaboration with Skoltech
Sustainable Space Logistics: How to Design and Build More Sustainable Space Missions?
Including Ms. Anne-Marlène Rüede, Doctoral student eSpace (EPFL) and Shamil Biktimirov Doctoral student (Skoltech)
The meetup aims at gathering international specialists from industry, government, and academia interested in sustainable space logistics, to share their ideas and future visions of the field.

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