On November 13, 2023 the Cité de l’espace celebrated the official inauguration of its latest gem: the LuneXplorer, which opened its doors to the public on November 14th. Over 300 guests, partners, professionals and space enthusiasts, elected officials and local residents were on site to discover and test the facility which invites everyone to immerse themselves in moon exploration, past and future, to discover the latest news about the Artemis mission and lunar habitat projects developed by the CNES, and to become a Moon mission astronaut. Just what does this entail? Preparing and taking part in the mission, thanks to a sensory experience unique in Europe, and debriefing, all accompanied by ESA astronauts. The event was presided over by Jean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse, President of Toulouse Métropole, and project owner, in the presence of Claudie Haigneré, astronaut and Godmother of the Cité de l’espace, Jean-Claude Dardelet, President of the Semeccel – Cité de l’espace – L’Envol des Pionniers, Jean Baptiste Desbois, the CEO, Valérie Drezet-Humez, head of the Representation of the European Commission in France, Thierry Cotelle, Regional Adviser of the Occitanie Region, Didier Schmitt, Strategy and coordination group leader for robotic and human exploration at European Space Agency - ESA and Lionel Suchet, Chief Operating Officer of the CNES. All present warmly praised the importance of such an investment – 16 million euros – both in terms of the attractiveness of the Cité de l’espace and more widely of the territory, for putting the spotlight on the fast-expanding space sector both in France and in Europe and in terms of addressing major space news, the impact of which on future generations and on our daily lives, promises to be huge in the coming decades. “With this facility, the Cité de l’espace remains true to its vocation: to provide stimulating, entertaining educational experiences, confirmed Jean-Luc Moudenc. Our position since its creation has always been to help support this objective. The LuneXplorer is a perfect illustration of this.”

More information about the LuneXplorer with our special newsletter

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©Pierre Carton

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