SpaceUp Paris, the first space-related unconference in France, was held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May 2013 at the European Space Agency headquarters in Paris. An Ariane 6-themed kick-off event organized by CNES took place on the SpaceUp’s eve.
More than 125 people coming from 21 countries and 4 continents attended SpaceUp Paris 2013, all of them passionate about space. Among them, 50% were French and a third were women.
As with other unconferences, sessions were run freely by participants, with a huge variety of high-quality topics, from orbital debris to space tourism and from orbital simulation software to planetary sciences.
Among the participants were many professionals who wished to share the passion they have for their jobs and present some of ESA’s amazing missions, such as Gaia (now on its 3rd data release) or Rosetta (which had not yet woken up!). Other experts from the industry and other organizations also presented their current work.
Throughout the weekend, four ESA astronauts (Jean-François Clervoy, Léopold Eyharts, Luca Parmitano and Thomas Pesquet) shared their space flights experience for the two former, and their training and future missions for the two latter. Luca and Thomas now have 2 missions each under their belt. With 396 days, Thomas is the ESA astronaut who has spent the most time in space, while Luca comes third with 366 days. The longest European mission in space is Luca’s Beyond mission, with 200 days, closely seconded by Thomas’ Alpha mission at 199 days.
Several themes emerged from the SpaceUp, most notably a brainstorming on how to raise the general public interest in space, via social networks or missions in which anyone could play a role, but also the emergence of an open source/open hardware space community.
“The result of SpaceUp Paris is outstanding. To cooperate you must listen, be open to each other, learn to know each other. This is the spirit of the ESA, and this is also the spirit of SpaceUp.”Fernando Doblas, head of the ESA Communication department at the time
We had asked attendees to share their pictures in a Flickr group; see them here 👉 https://flic.kr/go/kpzLY