On 14–22 September, Gothenburg and West Sweden celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Around 60 organisations arranged 150 activities during a week dedicated to the theme of space, to highlight West Sweden’s role as a strong space region.
“We are enormously pleased with the success of Space Week – a unique joint venture with academia and business, cultural institutions and other organisations. It drew a great deal of publicity as well as a lot of visitors. Everyone involved has done an outstanding job of publicising and disseminating knowledge about space, from the early days and into the future. We hope we have succeeded in raising awareness of all the exciting space-related activities taking place in the region, as well as inspiring children and adults to explore the subject further. Knowledge and understanding of space are important for the whole of society in many different ways, not least for the environment and climate,” said Catrin Mattsson, project manager for Space Week.
Space Week was eventful. It included a visit by Matilda Ernkrans, Swedish minister for space matters, who opened the new Space Travel exhibition at the Universeum Science Centre, and a concert entitled The Step on the Moon by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang. Chalmers University of Technology arranged a ground-breaking ceremony at Onsala Space Observatory to mark the start of work on a new visitor centre. Activities for all ages were arranged at Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre and at Tre Stiftelser retirement home.
Although Space Week itself has ended, several other space-related activities are continuing. The recently opened exhibition at the Universeum Science Centre has now been made one of its permanent exhibitions. The same applies to the Hasselblad and the Moon exhibition at the Hasselblad Center. During Space Week, Chalmers University of Technology set up a technology competition for students in 6th grade. This will continue throughout autumn and the winners will be announced in March next year. Chalmers will also be holding a seminar on 4 May on the subject of Production in Space.
“This year our theme for Space Week was based on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. But we are convinced that space exploration will remain important in the future in some form, not least in light of the very successful space industry and research that exists in our region,” said Christina Backman, CEO of the Hasselblad Foundation.
Space Week was initiated by Chalmers University of Technology and the Hasselblad Foundation. The event is co-hosted by the Universeum Science Centre, the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre, among others. Space Week is also supported by the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and Region Västra Götaland. The event is part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary in 2021 and the focus theme for 2019: Knowledge and Enlightenment.