Space Travelers Make a Guest Appearance in Linz

Planetary Congress 2016:
Space Travelers Make a Guest Appearance in Linz

Pressetext “WeltraumfahrerInnen zu Gast in Linz” / PDF

Chekov: “What course, Captain?”
Kirk: “Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.”
(from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

(Linz, October 5, 2016) All of us are familiar with the pictures of our planet floating through space. The most famous photo of the brightly lit globe was taken on December 7, 1972 by the crew of Apollo 17 who were, at the time, 45,000 kilometers from Earth on their way to the Moon. As world-renowned as these shots of Earth are, only a handful of folks have ever had the privilege of seeing the Blue Planet with their own eyes from outer space. And today, October 5, 2016, several of them have gathered in Linz. In speeches and presentations, space travelers sent aloft by NASA, Roskosmos and JAXA will provide accounts of how it feels to leave our planet and to orbit Earth aboard the ISS at an average altitude of 354 kilometers.

29th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) in Austria

They’ve come to Linz to attend the 29th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers. The ASE is an association of over 400 astronauts and cosmonauts from 37 countries. Since 1985, it has organized an annual Planetary Congress to get across the fascination of space travel to the general public, and the 2016 event is taking place in Austria. Most of the events on the conference’s program will be held in Vienna October 3-7, but on Community Day on October 5th, about 100 astronauts and cosmonauts will be touring the entire country. Austrian cosmonaut Franz Viehböck and the OeWF–Austrian Space Forum are the official hosts of this 29th Planetary Congress.

Community Day 2016: Ars Electronica Center receives visitors from outer space

Michael Fincke (US) is a NASA flight engineer and co-pilot, Oleg Germanovich Artemyev (RU) is a flight engineer for Roskosmos, and Kimiya Yui (JP) is a JAXA staff researchers and test pilot—and all three will be making a guest appearance today, October 5, 2016 in Deep Space and the Seminar Room at the Ars Electronica Center. Plus, Ars Electronica will be offering quickie tours of the new Spaceship Earth exhibition, and there’ll be space-themed arts & crafts activities for kids in the Museum of the Future’s Lobby. Rounding out the lineup are a speech especially for teachers, as well as a special edition of Deep Space LIVE from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.

Fascination Cosmos – Astronomy is an ongoing focal-point theme at the Ars Electronica Center

Astronomy is one of the main areas of emphasis at Ars Electronica Center Linz. In addition to the Spaceship Earth exhibition curated jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA), Deep Space 8K screens spectacular visualizations of outer space on a daily basis. Plus, the facility’s program regularly includes themed weeks dedicated to astronomy. Since June 2016, the Ars Electronica Center has been the official European Space Education Resource Office in Austria.

Uniview 8K: Virtual journey to the theoretical end of the universe

From the Moon landing to a stroll on the rings of Saturn to a 360° panoramic view of billions of star clusters—they’re all provided by Uniview, a three-dimensional scale model of the entire known universe developed by a Swedish company, SCISS. This amazing technology lets visitors to the Ars Electronica Center’s Deep Space 8K go on interactive flights through our solar system as well as distant galaxies. Plus, Uniview can offer breathtaking displays of the orbital paths of heavenly bodies and the Earth’s magnetic field. Uniview 8K at the Ars Electronica Center takes you on virtual journeys through outer space at speeds billions of times faster than light!

Saturday & Sunday, October 22-23, 2016: Astronomy Weekend in Deep Space 8K

16×9-meter panorama images of the Milky Way in 8K resolution, a time-lapse video created especially for Deep Space 8K showing huge eruptions on the surface of the Sun, sensational images taken by the Juno, Rosetta, New Horizons and Dawn space probes, and Uniview 3-D visualizations of the cosmos are the highlights of Astronomy Weekend on Saturday & Sunday, October 22-23, 2016. The stars of this show include Rolf Hempel of the DLR–German Aerospace Center, Herbert Raab and Erich Meyer of the Astronomical Society of Linz, and the Ars Electronica Center’s Birgit Hartinger and Michaela Obermayer.

Spaceship Earth – ESA exhibition at the Ars Electronica Center

Impressive satellite imagery of Earth and the information that can be gleaned from it about our home planet occupy the focal point of an exhibition produced jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Ars Electronica. “Spaceship Earth” provides insights into the ESA’s earth observation program, the subjects of this research, as well as its findings having to do with weather trends, the expansion of cities, and the effects of climate change. The centerpiece of the exhibition is arrayed about a three-dimensional depiction of Earth—seven rotating steles, six representing a continent and one for Austria. They offer a fascinating selection of satellite images—an algal bloom in the Barents Sea, irrigation systems in Castile, a cloud of ash above Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano—and elaborate on the backstory of each one.

Ars Electronica Center is Austria’s ESERO since June 2016

The Ars Electronica Center was officially named Austria’s European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) on June 22, 2016. The ESA launched its ESERO program 10 years ago. Its primary mission is to get young people interested in outer space as well as the scientific and technological fields associated with the cosmos. Accordingly, ESERO’s efforts chiefly target primary and secondary school teachers, who are provided with a wide array of instructional material and a continuing professional education program. ESERO Austria also offers students the opportunity to meet space experts from the private sector and academia and thereby obtain insights into the fascinating R&D work being done in this field.

Tabakfabrik is serving as a “landing zone” today

Exactly 25 years after “Austronaut” Franz Viehböck became the first Austrian in space, the 29th Planetary Congress of ASE is being held in Austria. And today, in conjunction with the group’s Community Day, the Ars Electronica Center and Linz’s Tabakfabrik are hosting a meet & greet with the space travelers. The creative economy organizations headquartered in the Tabakfabrik and interested members of the public will receive briefings on what’s happening in outer space from a variety of perspectives:

Open workshop in Tabakfabrik: Spacelab – Design Thinking Workshop
12 Noon-4:30 PM / AXIS Linz Coworking Loft; Tabakfabrik Linz, Peter-Behrensplatz 2, 1st Upper Level

This workshop is for professionals—scientists, students, artists, designers and other experts from high-tech fields and the creative economy. In cooperation with AXIS Linz Coworking Loft (, SPLEND OG ( and Creative Region Linz & Upper Austria GmbH (, astronauts and workshop participants will give some thought to approaches to innovatively configuring (co-)existence in an interplanetary future.

Space travelers live in Tabakfabrik: Landing Zone – Open Space-Forum
6-7:30 PM / Quadrom; Tabakfabrik Linz, Peter-Behrensplatz 15
Space travels from several countries will elaborate on their experiences in space, approaches to space travel as well as space technologies and their application on Earth. Participants are Oleg Artemyev (cosmonaut), Nikolai Budarin (cosmonaut), Chris Hadfield (astronaut), Carmen Köhler (analog astronaut), Andrea Kurz (ESA technology transfer program), Carl E. Walz (astronaut) and Stephanie Wilson (astronaut).


Kimiya Yui / Credit: NASA / Printversion


Michael Fincke / Credit: NASA / Printversion


Raumschiff Erde / Credit: Florian Voggeneder / Printversion


Uniview / Credit: Florian Voggeneder / Printversion