In the pursuit of inspiring young minds with the space exploration and the potential of asteroids, the Asteroid Foundation, with support of the European Union Erasmus+ programme, organised six events in Bucharest, Romania and in Luxembourg. Asteroid Foundation’s Vice-president and the only Romanian cosmonaut, Dumitru Dorin Prunariu, the European Space Agency (ESA) Mission Manager, Ian Carnelli, Astronauts Christer Fuglesang and Paolo Nespoli shared their invaluable knowledge about space exploration, asteroids, manned-space missions, and even the role of space in combating climate change.
Swedish Astronaut Christer Fuglesang talking to the students of Lycée des Arts et Métiers
The Luxembourg Events:
In June, the Asteroid Foundation extended its educational endeavours to Luxembourg with the Astro & Experts School visits. Astronauts Christer Fuglesang and Paolo Nespoli met with the students of St. George’s International School, University of Luxembourg, Lycée des Arts et Métiers, and Lycée Aline Mayrisch.
Italian Astronaut Paolo Nespoli with the students of Lycée Aline Mayrisch
Christer Fuglesang and Paolo Nespoli shared their firsthand experiences as astronauts, giving the students a glimpse into the life of those who venture into the depths of space. From manned-space missions to the role of space exploration in combating climate change, the topics covered were diverse and enlightening.
During these visits, the students showed great curiosity, asking plenty of questions and engaging in fruitful discussions with the astronauts. Their fascination with space and eagerness to learn left a profound impression on everyone present.
On the UN-recognised Asteroid Day on June 30, Asteroid Foundation hosted the Asteroid Day Space Lecture. This event held at Tramsschapp, Luxembourg, provided a unique opportunity for students, teachers, academia, and the general public to gain insights into the latest updates in asteroid and space research.
The event featured a distinguished lineup of speakers and a panel of astronauts. You can watch the recording here.
Young Researcher from Romania Daria Alice Ciobanu was one of the speakers at the Asteroid Day Space Lecture – Group Picture of the Speakers of the Asteroid Day Space Lecture
Ian Carnelli, ESA, with the students of Colegiul Național “Mihai Viteazul”, Bucharest
The Bucharest Events:
The events in Bucharest took place on 10 and 11 May 2023 and were nothing short of inspiring. The young attendees had the privilege of interacting with the two visionary speakers, Dumitru Dorin Prunariu and Ian Carnelli. With an aim to educate and inspire, both speakers emphasised the importance of space exploration, while also talking about current asteroid missions and highlighting the risks and opportunities that asteroids present to our planet.
On May 10 Dorin Prunariu and Ian Carnelli were joined by two remarkable Romanian speakers, Daria Alice Ciobanu and Catalin Beldea. Daria, who is only 18 years old, showcased her impressive scientific publications and asteroid-related research, proving that age is no barrier to scientific achievement. On the other hand, Catalin Beldea, the initiator of the ASTROSHOW and an acclaimed Romanian science journalist and Eclipse hunter, shared his experiences of chasing eclipses on six continents, inspiring the young audience to venture into the fascinating field of astronomy.
The attendees of the Asteroid Foundation event on May 10
Gabriel Stefan, SES Romania, talking about the role of satellites in space exploration
The second day of the events was equally captivating, with Gabriel Stefan, the Operations Manager of SES in Romania, introducing the students to the world of satellites, a perfect complement to the topics of asteroids and space exploration. With his expertise, the students gained a deeper understanding of how satellites play a vital role in space exploration and in our daily lives.
Moderated by the renowned Alexandru Mironov, who is celebrated for his contributions to science publishing and TV science shows in Romania, the events were engaging and full of excitement. The students eagerly participated, asking plenty of questions, indicating their fascination with the captivating world of space.
First Romanian Astronaut Dorin Prunariu with the students, Bucharest, May 11
The events were featured in the local press in at least two online magazines and in the Romanian National Education Portal EduPedu.
The events organised by the Asteroid Foundation in 2023 and supported by the European Union (ERASMUS+ Programme) have truly been a source of inspiration and education for young minds. These events have successfully ignited the passion for space among the students in Bucharest and Luxembourg.
The curiosity and enthusiasm shown by the young attendees are a testament to the success of these initiatives. By empowering the next generation with knowledge about space and asteroids, we are fostering a new generation of explorers, scientists, and thinkers who will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the advancement of the fast-developing space sector. As we reflect on these events, we are looking forward to the accomplishments these budding minds will achieve in the future.