Share all the Thrills of the Sky and Space


SEMECCEL operates scientific culture sites dedicated to all audiences : Cité de l'espace and L’Envol des Pionniers. It conveys meaning, stimulates cultural and scientific thrills. SEMECCEL innovates as regards scientific and educational mediation. This expert as an operator and mediation specialist is recognised, sought-after and requested by project leaders who want SEMECCEL alongside them to help them develop. In this way, it lends its know-how to French and foreign organisations. To do so, SEMECCEL mobilises as many trades as its multiplicity of activities requires skills.


Every day SEMECCEL invents new forms of languages and narratives to better stimulate the desire to learn and transmit the surprising and the extraordinary with thrills. By taking a sensory approach based on the curiosity of all audiences, as regards scientific and cultural questions, and by putting the experimental and fun into the content, SEMECCEL helps the widest audience explore the dimensions of astronomy and space, the birth of commercial aviation and the impact of these adventures on human activity and our society. It allows its audiences to get up close to historical and scientific content on a human scale, uninhibitedly and enthusiastically.

For Every Audience, a Welcome, a Production

In designing its mediation, producing its content and tools, SEMECCEL welcomes every audience in particular and offers activities specifically designed for them. SEMECCEL designs its permanent, temporary and travelling exhibitions, visible to all audiences on-site, online or anywhere else it has brought its know-how to bear. It organises major events related to current affairs, like the arrival of Rosetta-Philae on the Chury comet or Thomas Pesquet taking off for the ISS. It maintains close relations with French educational bodies (the Ministry, Toulouse Education Board). Teachers, employed by the National Education Department, are involved in the design teams for innovative educational products in line with the curriculum and the needs of teachers. Each year it hosts and organises business events (receptions, evenings, Christmas parties, day seminars).

SEMECCEL: International Outreach

SEMECCEL regularly works with many organisations globally, through European educational projects (H2020, Erasmus+) and international ones (Houston, Singapore, Beijing), exhibitions for foreign partners (Korea, Colombia, Kazakhstan) or in the many networks in which it is involved. It is linked to space agencies from around the world. Very active in ECSITE, a European network of centres for scientific culture, for which it co-directs the Space Group, SEMECCEL is also a member of the IPS (International Planetarium Society) Board. It coordinates World Space Week in France. It chairs the Space Museums and Science Centres Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). It takes part in the activities of the International Network of Stage Cities of the Ligne de l’Aéropostale. It organises events of an international scale on-site and off (World Congress of Astronauts, International Planetarium Congress).

What is an SEM?

A société d’économie mixte (SEM) is a semi-public company whose capital is mainly held by local authorities and partly by private partners. SEM status guarantees the public community as a shareholder and co-Party that the public interest is effectively taken into account in the objectives of the company and that the company has the flexibility afforded by the private sector.

The Founding Shareholders

In the beginning was confidence. It was required in 1997 to look together in the same direction. Dare to take on the sky and space. They were there; they have always been alongside SEMECCEL for 20 years, and others have joined them. Their greatest reward is the shining eyes of visitors. SEMECCEL was set up on the initiative of Toulouse City Hall and is now a facility of Toulouse Métropole.

SEMECCEL in Three Numbers

  • 142 employees FTE
  • 17 M€ budget
  • 442 K overall attendance at our two sites

Distribution of the Share Capital

  • 28 % CNES*
    Thales Alenia Space Météo-France*
  • 63 % Toulouse Métropole*
    Mairie de Toulouse*
    Région Occitanie*
  • 9 % Caisse d’Épargne Midi-Pyrénées
    Caisse des dépôts et Consignations

*the founding Members

SEMECCEL's Network

For more than 20 years, SEMECCEL has been forging active links with everything the world sees as professional, experts in every field of its mission: institutional, cultural, scientific, industrial, educational, associations, tourist organisations, etc..

Regional, national, European and international networks

National, European and international space agencies
Space and aviation industry
Associations of scientific, aviation, space and astronomical culture
Museums and Scientific Culture Centres dedicated to space and aviation
Education and higher education - the Ministry, the local Education Board
Families and associations linked to La Ligne Latécoère / Aéropostale
Communities, the Ministry, Embassies, the European Union
Space, aviation and astronomical research
Tourism Stakeholders and Institutions

Networks to which We are Affiliated

    • European Congress Organisation 2012
    • Co-directing Space Group
    • Member of COMEX 2014 - 2017
    • Chair of the Space Museums and Science Centers Committee
    • Representative of IAF to WSW
    • Member of the Board 2008 - 2018
    • World Congress Organisation 2018
    • Participation à la World Space Week
    • Cité : Coordinateur national
    • Cité : représentant de l’IAF à la WSW
    • Member of the Board ESERO France
    • Member
    • Member
    • Member
    • Member
    • Member
    • Toulouse Chair 2017



SEMECCEL is an international expert on management of centres for scientific culture.

It brings its know-how in engineering to projects of scientific culture centres in France and abroad by supporting them to define their concept, their economic model, the architectural programme, the strategic plan, in the design and monitoring of the production of the main equipment and their museographic lay-out, in designing educational and events programmes, as well as in all aspects relating to the management and operation of these facilities.


For more than 20 years, SEMECCEL has been designing all its equipment, development projects, permanent exhibitions, temporary, digital and travelling exhibitions, show venues, planetariums, events and audio-visual productions, simulators, thanks to dedicated design teams.

The design processes are led by museographers and SEMECCEL's scientific and cultural mediators. They design and orchestrate the installation of equipment, drawing on outside operators (scenographers, graphic designers, designers, etc,), working closely with space and aviation professionals, with advice from experts in the relevant themes and support from scientific advice, guaranteeing the most innovative productions.

Their active involvement in various professional networks also allows them to stay at the cutting edge of productions in its sector.


SEMECCEL is an innovator in scientific and cultural mediation intended for the general public and those in education.

It is constantly developing mediation principles and techniques for all audiences of this kind.

It maintains close relations with French educational bodies (the Ministry, Toulouse Education Board). The Ministry of National Education is one of the founding members of SEMECCEL / Cité de l'espace. It is also one of our most active partners since SEMECCEL's staff includes teachers, employed by National Education in its research and design teams for educational products for Cité de l'espace and L’Envol des Pionniers.

SEMECCEL shares its innovative approach to scientific and cultural mediation. It supports organisations or institutions, French and foreign, which call on it to develop their approach and methods as regards pedagogy.


Broadcasts of major space current events, public festivals, film previews, hosting national and international congresses, design and presentation of national and international educational events, organisation or regular hosting of cultural events, organisation of Christmas parties, seminars and business events, SEMECCEL is a specialist in unconventional events linked to the themes of its two sites.


SEMECCEL operates two sites in Toulouse: Cité de l'espace and L’Envol des Pionniers.
Its mission: host audiences, transmit culture, make them feel safe and supported throughout their visit. Scientific presenters, shop staff, reception hosts, waiters, chefs, maintenance technicians, managers, security staff, etc. All SEMECCEL employees who come into contact with visitors, transmit SEMECCEL's DNA on a daily basis at its two sites.

In its continual effort to improve, SEMECCEL measures and analyses its audiences' satisfaction every day. Quality measurement arrangements allow it to compare its performance with many other French sites. Reports, regularly drawn up throughout the year, are translated into objectives teams use to constantly adapt to the needs and expectations of visitors.

SEMECCEL's operations teams are constantly developing their practices and working processes to enhance the efficiency of their internal organisation and their ability to work with other SEMECCEL teams, so that the visitors' experience is optimal.


Here, we have always combined pleasure and knowledge, history and innovation. Firmly based on its past, Toulouse today has the largest European aviation and space community.

Toulouse, a History of Science

Culture, science, education, research, heritage etc.
In Toulouse, since time immemorial, we have enjoyed passing on and being moved as much by historic, scientific and human achievements as by the advances and innovation they represent. Nothing could be more normal for this city, where the second oldest university in France was born in 1232.
Toulouse is intimately associated with, or even at the origin of, the finest innovations and conquests in aviation and space. The memory of famous names and sagas still resounds through its pink bricks. Latécoère, Saint-Exupéry, Mermoz, Daurat, Aéropostale, Rosetta-Philae, Clément Ader, Pleiades etc..
Toulouse, also means museums or scientific culture sites, such as the Museum of Natural History, Le Quai des Savoirs, Aeroscopia, La Halle de La Machine and the Jolimont Observatory.

Toulouse, European Capital of Aviation and Space

  • 25% of jobs in the European space sector are concentrated in Toulouse
  • 8,500 aviation and space researchers
  • 16,500 aviation and space students
  • 12,000 space jobs in 400 companies
  • 18 schools of aviation and space engineering


Cité de l'espace is constantly bringing current space events to life. Nowhere else can you simulate walking on the Moon, enter a Soyuz capsule, visit a genuine Mir station, admire a Moon rock brought back by Apollo 15 ... and the next day experience a space launch.

Three Raisons d’Être

Designed both as a scientific culture centre accessible to the widest PUBLIC, Cité de l'espace is also the common home and a sounding box for the SECTOR. It is also a tool for the REGION's outreach, on the cultural, tourist and international fronts.

  • 7 M visitors since its opening
  • 400,000 visitors annually
  • 55,000 school students
  • 16% foreign visitors

L’Envol des Pionniers :  DARE THE IMPOSSIBLE

100 years of Human Adventures

It was right here, on the former airfields of Montaudran, that one of the greatest pages in the history of French and world civil aviation started, on 25 December 1918 to be precise.
Since then, Toulouse has never stopped designing and building aircraft...

A Lively Mediation and Staging

Here History is told by actors in costume, embodying the adventurers of the time, but the present and future can also be found here in an exciting and living scenography which celebrates the innovative state of mind that is Toulouse's own.

In the Land of the Pioneers

Here, interactivity and global experience offer the public the universal keys of audacity and success to accomplish their most ambitious projects. The choice of this location owes nothing to chance. At Toulouse Aerospace the spirit of the pioneers of the Aéropostale meets that of the aviation and space innovation of today's stakeholders.

  • 1918
    Birth of Lignes Latécoère, then of the Compagnie générale d’entreprises aéronautiques
  • 1927
    It becomes the Aéropostale
  • 1933
    It merges with Air France
  • 2018
    Opening of L'Envol des Pionniers

Semeccel news

  • Event
    Capitole de l’éducation
    14 June 2024
    On Saturday June 1st, the Cité de l’espace took part in the Capitole de l’education with its travelling Astronaut lab. Organized on place du Capitole by Toulouse Métropole, the event highlighted over 100 Toulouse educational projects carried out during and after school, for children and kids from infants to 18-year-olds. It was an invaluable opportunity […]
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  • Event
    A European month of May
    14 June 2024
    Spring has sprung, ushering in a celebration of European events at both Semeccel sites. On May 18th, for the fourth year in a row, L’Envol des Pionniers took part in La Nuit Européenne des Musées. This year which marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Antoine de Saint Exupéry, visitors had the opportunity to […]
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  • Focus
    Launch center : update completed
    14 June 2024
    After the space debris area and an initial focus on New Space, the Launch Center at the Cité de l’espace has added an Innovations Gallery. This plunges visitors into the heart of the latest innovations driven by private space sector actors in the Toulouse region including Comat, Hémeria, and Kinéis, all Cité de l’espace partners. […]
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