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EU space solutions: What space science brings to your life
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Published on 29-11-12

At the European Space Expo (3-9 December) at Horse Guards Parade in London, visitors of all ages can see, hear and feel how space technologies are used for transport, food production, disaster relief and to support disabled and elderly people. Special guest at the opening (3 December, 5.30 pm) will be Paralympics wheelchair tennis gold medalist Peter Norfolk OBE, who will take part in a demonstration.

    The Space Expo will give visitors the chance to experience interactively how these space technologies can make a difference in areas including transport safety, food production, disaster relief and assisted living for disabled and elderly people.

    The Expo opening ceremony at 5.30 pm on 3 December will focus on assisted living, with demonstrations of technology to find missing persons, help blind and partially-sighted people make journeys independently, allow disabled people to deal safely with emergencies and prevent deaths from allergic shocks. Many of these services and applications use the EU flagship programmes GMES (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security) and Galileo (Europe's own global satellite navigation system).

    The travelling expo has already visited six other cities before coming to London and will be on display in 15-20 more during the next 2 years.

    It is organised by the European Commission and the UK Space Agency.

    Meanwhile, the European Space Solutions Conference (3-5 December) at Central Hall in Westminster will feature top political, scientific and business speakers at the launch on 3 December at 2pm.

    Among the key speakers are Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Rt. Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group (by Skype), Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist at Google and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency.

    The conference will discuss a broad range of subjects including safety applications (tracing dangerous goods while in transportation, airport security), emergency response in crisis and disaster relief operations, forecasts and maps for seafarers, applications in agriculture and futuristic ideas like driverless taxis.

    Journalists can register to attend either the conference or the opening of the Expo or both.


    From 2014, Galileo, Europe's smart satellite navigation system, will enable improved services ranging from more precise in-car navigation, effective road transport management, search and rescue services, more secure banking transactions and improved reliability of the electricity grids. All of these services depend heavily on satellite navigation technologies to work efficiently. Independent studies have shown that Galileo could contribute up to £73bn to the European economy in its first 20 years.

    Alongside Galileo, GMES (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security) – the EU’s Earth monitoring programme - uses data collected by satellites, as well as Earth-based measuring tools, to help develop the understanding of climate change and environmental issues through the accurate observation of, for instance, the state of oceans or the chemical composition of the atmosphere. It will also have security applications, such as in border surveillance. GMES is expected to induce benefits worth at least four to ten times the necessary investment.

    Currently, the European space manufacturing industry is worth £4.4bn per year and employs a highly qualified workforce of more than 31,000 people.

    Full conference programme

    More on the Expo

    on GMES

    on Galileo

    For more information, please contact the European Commission's London press office on +44 (0)20 7973 1971 or the UK Space Agency on +44 (0)1793 418069

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    Last update: 05/12/2012  |Top