A model of Ariane 5 at Cité de l'Espace
Toulouse is an important base for the European aerospace industry, hosting among others the HQs of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre (the largest space centre in Europe). It therefore seemed appropriate that we should visit its space theme park Cité de l'Espace when we were at SIL's.
You will need at least a day to visit this theme park. There are exhibitions, demonstrations, experiments, a Mir station, an Imax movie and 3D movies in the planetarium to catch. We didn't set out early enough and couldn't finish visiting the whole park.
The Mir station
Better not be claustrophobic
French food onboard
We started our visit with the Imax move Hubble 3D and it was really interesting. The earth looked really really beautiful when you looked at it from the Hubble. Then we visited the Mir station that they bought from the Russians, watched a few demonstrations and the Babies got to practise their moonwalk. Hub and Babinette also tried out this machine where they turned you round and shook you senseless in some kind of preparation for a space mission.
Are you resistent enough to go into space?
I particularly enjoyed our 45 minutes in the Planetarium. The seats were so comfortable and "gazing" at the stars in them so peaceful I could stay in that room for a long time. The film we caught set both Hub and myself into a renewed interest in the making of the universe and all the metaphysical questions that they entail and I would see him on his iPad in the days to follow reading up on the subject. He sort of exchanged his usual set of "Stars" for the real thing :-).
The ticket that you buy is valid for 24 hours so you can always return the next day (it's open like from 9:30 to 5/6/7) to finish your visit. The prices are quite high, but then Imax and 3D movies are often quite expensive and they are included in the price. We've enjoyed the visit very much.
Cité de l'Espace
Av. Jean Gonord
31506 Toulouse cedex 5