No other place in the Netherlands has as much knowledge about space as Noordwijk. Since 1968, the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC), the technical heart of the European Space Agency (ESA), has been located here.

Discover space in Noordwijk

Noordwijk is the space center of the Netherlands. The sandy soil is ideal for the ESA-ESTEC test center. It is the place where new missions are developed and tested. We have put together a video that explains exactly why Noordwijk can also be called “The Space to Be”.

ESTEC connects people from all over the world. Many conferences on this topic are organized in Noordwijk and most ESA projects are born here in Noordwijk.

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Space Expo museum

Do you want to find out more about space? Then visit the Space Expo Museum and embark on a journey through the cosmos for a detailed and fascinating insight into the world of space. The Space Expo is not just a museum. It's an interactive and educational experience that you won't forget, whether you're a passionate space fan, a curious science enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience in Noordwijk.

Get to know space and astronautics in a unique way. Experience what it's like to be an astronaut. You see how an astronaut eats, sleeps and lives. Learn everything about planets, star formation and gravity. Discover how space travel is fully present in our daily lives. See rocket parts and a full-size model of the lunar lander. The Space Expo is a fun and educational excursion for the whole family and has been recognized as a “kidsproof” museum.

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Space Expo Noordwijk ,  speurspel astronaut , museum kinderen

Earth from Space - new expedition

In this unique and interactive exhibition about Earth observation you discover the Earth through the eyes of satellites. Via a large globe, a height map of the Netherlands and various touch screens you can see what Earth observation satellites observe and what we do with this data on Earth.

Investigate changes in land, water, ice and air and project them on a large globe. Find the fastest flowing glacier in the world. Have new islands been created near Dubai? With the special elevation map you can explore the future of our country. What would your province look like if we had no dikes? Or if sea levels rise? Satellites answer from space!

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Walk of Space in Noordwijk

Since 2013, a Walk of Space is being created on Noordwijk’s Koningin Wilhelmina Boulevard. The first tile was one with Wubbo Ockels’s astronaut boot print. Since then, fourteen more tiles with hand- and footprints of famous astronauts have been laid. This year and in the coming years, new astronaut prints are set to follow.

You can find the foot and handprints from the following astronauts:

  • Wubbo Ockels
  • André Kuipers
  • Lodewijk van den Berg
  • Ed Mitchell
  • Frank de Winne
  • Paolo Nespoli
  • Alexander Gerst
  • Claudie Haigneré
  • Dirk Frimout
  • Oleg Kononenko
  • Samantha Cristoforetti
  • Rusty Schweickart
  • Walt Cunningham
  • Matthias Maurer
  • Pedro Duque

So you can literally walk in the footsteps of your favourite astronaut in Noordwijk!

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Did you know?

  • There are scientists who believe that space originated because of the Big Bang? It’s estimated that the Big Bang took place 15,000 million years ago.   ​
  • Apollo 11, with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins, was the first manned mission to land on the moon in 1969?​
  • Laika, a dog, was the first mammal that orbited live around the earth?
  • Of all the European astronauts, André Kuipers spent the second longest time on a mission in space?