GSA Open Days, linking space to citizens
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) opened the doors of its Prague headquarters to the public for the 4th year in a row on 16-17 November. As the final event in this year’s Czech Space Week, the GSA Open Days 2018 welcomed visitors eager to get an insider’s look at the European GNSS services and the people behind them.
This year’s event saw over 2,000 visitors visit the GSA to learn more about the European space programmes and how they benefit our daily lives. This included over 400 school children and their families, who enjoyed a full and exciting programme that included seminars and space workshops (in both Czech and English), competitions and quizzes, and other fun educational activities.
From Launch to Services
Visitors to the event were able to experience the journey of a Galileo satellite from the rocket launch in Kourou, French Guiana, to the services used by citizens and business worldwide. What’s more, visitors were able to build Galileo satellites, take a selfie in space, try landing a plane with EGNOS and experience a Search and Rescue with the help of Galileo.
The ambience at this year’s Open Days was very friendly – the visitors were very enthusiastic and curious, asking many questions about what the European Union is doing in space, the role of the GSA, and the impact of satellite navigation on modern life. Some of the visitors had the opportunity to meet with Claudio Mastracci, previous ESA Director of Application Programmes, one of the founding fathers of the Galileo programme who signed the contract for the first Galileo satellites in 2003. What a path!
As the culmination of Czech Space Week, the GSA Open Days was an opportunity to present an award won at one of the first events of the week – the Space Applications Hackathon, held in Prague on 9-11 November. The GSA was a partner in this event, which aimed to find the most creative solutions in four main categories: Navigation/GNSS, Earth Observation, SpaceTech, and Blockchain in Space.
The winning application was Dronetag, an IoT device providing real-time drone identification and flight data sharing. The device can be adapted to all drones and the winning team is ready to bring their idea to the next level and to develop a business.