This is the new flagship experience of Cite de l’espace in Toulouse! LunaExplorer takes you to the Moon with the Artemis astronauts through an extraordinary sensory experience and breathtaking realism. Futura was able to test with visitors first.
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Already in 2022, Cite de l’espace opens its Martian show with the arrival of a Martian arena, where scientific animators operate life-size replicas of the Perseverance and Zhurong rovers. Recently, Cite de l’espace revealed to the public an asteroid sample brought back by the Japanese probe Hayabusa-2. Today, to remain at the center of current events, the city is taking us to the Moon with LunaExplorer, in a highly immersive and sensory experience including a centrifuge!
in the shoes of the moonwalker
The experience lasts approximately 40 minutes and begins with a comparison between the Apollo and Artemis lunar programs using a speech given by a facilitator and several models. From the beginning, it has been emphasized that Artemis has a strong international dimension with the participation of the European Space Agency, which provides the Orion lunar spacecraft service module for each mission.
Before settling into the centrifuge, we are entitled to a brief briefing, conducted neither more nor less, by European astronauts Thomas Pesquet, Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer. With the participation of former European and French astronaut Claudie Hagnery.
Lunar flight simulation: up to 2 grams!
Before takeoff, we are placed in a capsule and placed in an environment whose accuracy is highly anticipated. we are looking go no-go poll From the control center, as the astronauts intended. This final round of discussions between operators gives the green light to the launch.
The centrifuge starts up and simulates several stages of lunar flight, which here last a few minutes (instead of four days, actually!). Capsule travelers experience up to 2g (traveling patients refrain!). If astronauts on the Artemis mission will experience 3 to 4G when flying from SLS, we are getting closer to the “comfort” of passengers on Blue Origin’s New Shepard (the small rocket that takes us to altitudes of 100 kilometers). are, the limits’ of space) Once the centrifuge stage is complete, a debriefing is conducted by Thomas Pesquet and Matthias Maurer.
Experience a new dimension presented by Cite de l’espace
LuneXplorer is an old project, with origins dating back over ten years. According to General Director, Jean-Baptiste Debois, it is not a question of offering an alternative to space tourism, where the experience would be based entirely on sensations. We’re talking about here Put yourself in the shoes of an astronaut who goes on a mission to the moon » Where, in fact, the acceleration steps are shorter than the entire mission: ” The dynamic phase lasts for 5 minutes over a course of 40 minutes. “. LuneXplorer aims to be the first to be a vehicle for sharing: ” We are in both space news and popular science », specifies Jean-Baptiste Debois, summarizing the project ” An important brick that we add to the Cite de l’espace ,
How did Cite de l’espace manage to deliver such realism? , We have worked a lot with MEDS, CNS, astronauts and the EAC, the ESA Astronaut Training Center (EAC). », believes Jean-Baptiste Debois. Christophe Chaferdon, who manages all scientific mediation and museography, says, ” Beyond the acceleration, it’s all about the scenery. There are different types of sounds in one capsule. We already worked on this with astronauts like Jean-François Clairvoy, ESA astronauts and even ESA astronauts boss Frank de Vinne, who gave us some hints on this realism. Then we worked with scenographers, museographers, people who develop audiovisuals and who are able to put environments into capsules to be as close to reality as possible.”
LunaExplorer is a unique experience in the world, in the sense that we share the emotions of the Artemis astronauts as they explain their mission. Jean-Baptiste Debois specifies: ” Astronauts Jean-François Clairvoy, Claude Hagnere and Philippe Perrin came up and told us, “We can’t describe what we experience when we go into space.” “. LuneXplorer offers rather the same, an experience we can only recommend!