Cité de l'espace
Ariane 5 mock-up at Cité de l'espace
|Opened||27 June 1997|
|Visitors per annum||200,000 (2004)|
|Area||3.5 hectares (9 acres)|
The Cité de l'espace (French for City of Space) is a scientific discovery centre focused on spaceflight. It was opened in June 1997 and is located on the eastern outskirts of Toulouse, France. As of 2012[update], there had been more than 4 million visitors.
Exhibits and installations
One can visit full-scale models of the Ariane 5 rocket (55 metres or 180 feet), Mir, and Soyuz modules. The original planetarium has 140 seats and presents shows throughout the day. Cité de l'espace also has numerous exhibits, often interactive; for example, a mock-up of a control room near the model of Ariane 5, allows visitors to prepare the launching of a rocket, help with its flight and then place a satellite in orbit. Terr@dome (a terrestrial half-sphere 25 metres or 82 feet in diameter) presents the history of space from the Big-bang to the solar system. A building named Astralia, which opened in 2005, includes: a 280-seat planetarium, called the Stellarium, equipped with a hemispherical screen 600 square metres (6,458 sq ft) in area; a 300-seat IMAX cinema, which shows the film Hubble 3D (previously Space Station 3D, a 3D film made on board the International Space Station); and conference rooms.
- 1994 to 1997 : Development of the Cité de l'espace spearheaded by Jean-Michel Oberto, the founding director of the park
- June 1997 : Opening of the Cité de l'espace by Dominique Baudis, Representant-Mayor of Toulouse, and Claudie Haigneré, spationaut and godmother of the park.
- July 1998 : Opening of the full scale Mir.
- September 2000 : The millionth visitor is welcomed to the Cité.
- October 2000 : Opening of the Terr@dome.
- October 2002 : Opening of a permanent exhibition hall about Mars.
- July 2003 : Start point of the 13th stage of the Tour de France.
- October 2003 : The Cité de l'espace is officially designated a "Tourisme et Handicap" site for the four types of handicap (mental, visual, motor, hearing).
- April 2005 : Opening of "Astralia - le 6ème continent", (the 6th continent), notably housing the planetarium and the IMAX cinema.
- May 2006 : Opening of an area for children, "la Base des Enfants".
- 200,000 visitors in 2004
- Park area: 3.5 hectares (9 acres)
- 2,000 square metres (21,500 sq ft) of exhibition space
- 2 planetariums of 140 and 280 seats, 15 metres (49 ft) and 20 metres (66 ft) in diameter respectively.