This Sunday 9 October, ESA will host a tweetup at its European Space Research and Technology Center ESTEC in the Netherlands. This facility is ESA’s largest facility. It is the technical heart of ESA, roughly comparable to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Most European space missions are developed and tested here. Facilities include a large diameter centrifuge, the largest space simulator vacuum and solar chamber in Europe, a robotics development department and the European Propulsion Laboratory.

ESA has invited 30 tweeps for this special event, which coincides with a public open day. It is an exciting time to visit ESTEC, as in a few months Dutch astronaut André Kuipers will launch to the International Space Station. In his blog André notes that ESTEC “holds a special meaning for me personally, because my aerospace career essentially began here.” In order for the Dutch space industry to support André during his stay in the ISS, ESTEC is home to the Erasmus User Support and Operations Centre (USOC). From this brand new facility André and other astronauts will be supported during scientific experiments in the European research module Columbus.

Please follow hashtag #SpaceTweetup on Twitter to follow your fellow spacetweeps during this exciting European event.