Find out what it’s like to live as an astronaut, how to create a career in space, all about the mission to Mars, and whether alien life really exists. There’s something for everyone, from fun activities with children's presenter Maddie Moate, host of Cbeebies Do You Know?, to the chance to meet the team behind the Airbus Mars Rover.

These half-hour sessions take place daily at 12 and 1.45pm in the Mediterranean Biome. See the full programme below.

Space experts programme

27 July: The ocean ecosystem seen from space

Shubha Sathyendranath and Trevor Platt, Plymouth Marine Laboratory Ocean Observation

Find out how optical remote sensing can provide a window into the ocean ecosystem. Join Shubha and Trevor to explore the seasonal cycle in the ocean ecosystem and its significance.

28 July: What astronomers like to look at

Gareth Cotrell, Roseland Observatory

Curious about the night sky? Let Gareth give you a good overview of the types of astronomical objects that are available to view with amateur equipment, including nothing more than the naked eye! Explore the Universe and some of the exotic phenomena in the Cosmos from the comfort and surroundings of the Eden Project.

29 July: The stars beneath our feet

Brian Sheen, Director Roseland Observatory, Director Cornwall Sea to Stars, former member of the RAS Education and Outreach Committee

In recent years we have become more and more aware of the astronomy carried out in Cornwall many thousands of years ago. Research by the Roseland Observatory team has made many fascinating discoveries. Join Brian to find out more.

30 July: What makes the Sun shine?

Clint O’Connor, Roseland Observatory

Join Clint from the Roseland observatory for a fascinating look at our magnificent Sun.

31 July: Sci-fi, space fact

Cathrine Armour, Director South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications

Is our future written by the stars? Science fiction and space science are indivisible and equally inspirational. When contemplating the future let’s not think about where we are going in terms of miles. Instead, think about the journey of space as one that will by its nature remain unknown but whose trajectory will remain dependent upon our most far-fetched flights of fancy. 

1 & 2 August: The search for Earth’s twin

Dr Stuart Clark, award-winning author and journalist, Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

There are now more than 3,000 planets known to exist around other stars, yet none resemble our own world. After more than two decades of discoveries, we have found planets blacker than coal; ones bathed in molten lava; others which are perpetually scoured by hurricane-force winds; some that have not one sun, but two, to rise in the morning, and yet more that are perpetually drowned in global oceans.

This talk will take you on a journey through these exotic realms in search of a planet like our own that can sustain life. Stuart’s books have been translated into 20 languages. His latest book is 'The Search for Earth’s Twin'.

3 August: What has space done for me?

Nick Appleyard, European Space Agency, Head of Integrated Applications and Downstream Services

You'll be surprised at how useful space is. Dr Nick Appleyard of the European Space Agency is in charge of developing the business applications of space. This means helping European companies find new ways for satellites to improve our lives. It's surprisingly easy, because if you can see the sky, you can use a satellite, and there are now thousands of them over our heads, loaded up with antennas and clocks and lasers and cameras. Is it working? Have you used a satellite today? 

4 August: Plants in space!

Dan Ryan, Eden Project Learning Curator

A whistle-stop tour of plants in science fiction, experiments to grow plants in space, and what all that means for space travel and future colonies elsewhere in the Universe.

5 August: Astrobiology – the hunt for alien life

Prof. Lewis Dartnell, Astrobiology research scientist presenter and author based at the University of Westminster

'Astrobiology' is a brand new field of science, encompassing research into the origins and limits of life on our own planet, and where life might exist beyond the Earth. What actually is 'life' and how did it emerge on our own world? What are the most extreme conditions terrestrial life can tolerate? What would an alien actually look like?

Join Prof. Lewis Dartnell on a tour of the other planets and moons in our solar system which may harbour life and explore one of the greatest questions ever asked: are we alone...?

6 August: Exoplanet hunters – the search for life on Earth-like planets around other stars

Simon Rix, Roseland Observatory, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

As we discover more and more Earth-like planets around other stars, the tantalising prospect of discovering life on one them is exciting scientists, policymakers and the public alike. How do we even know that these stars have planets? How can we possibly detect life on them when they are so far away?  This talk will give you the answers and get you thinking about what you might do if and when we finally confirm, 'we are not alone!'

7 & 8 August: Is there life on Mars?

Catherine Bateson and Alexander Hall, Airbus Mars Rover

In 2020 the European Space Agency, in collaboration with the Russian Roscosmos State Corporation, will send the ExoMars rover, developed by Airbus in the UK, to Mars. This mission aims to drill into the surface. What do you think we’ll find? Evidence of life? Join the team from Airbus to find out more about ‘Bridget’ the ExoMars Rover and visit her prototype in our Solar System Safari.

9 August: Sci-fi, space fact

Cathrine Armour, Director South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications

Is our future written by the stars? Science fiction and space science are indivisible and equally inspirational. When contemplating the future let’s not think about where we are going in terms of miles. Instead, think about the journey of space as one that will by its nature remain unknown but whose trajectory will remain dependent upon our most far-fetched flights of fancy. 

10 Aug: Plants in space!

Dan Ryan, Eden Project Learning Curator

A whistle-stop tour of plants in science fiction, experiments to grow plants in space, and what all that means for space travel and future colonies elsewhere in the Universe.

12 & 13 August: Things that go bang in the night

Andy Newsam, Professor of Astronomy Education and Engagement, Liverpool University, Director of National Schools Observatory

The Universe is a dynamic, ever-changing place full of extremes. From black holes to asteroids, massive exploding stars to elusive distant planets, every part of the Universe poses its own questions. So, how are astronomers trying to find the answers? And how can you help?

14 & 15 August: Is there life on Mars?

Dean McBride and Ashley Cook, Airbus Mars Rover

In 2020 the European Space Agency, in collaboration with the Russian Roscosmos State Corporation, will send the ExoMars rover, developed by Airbus in the UK, to Mars. This mission aims to drill into the surface. What do you think we’ll find? Evidence of life? Join the team from Airbus to find out more about ‘Bridget’ the ExoMars Rover and visit her prototype in our Solar System Safari.

16 August: Exoplanets – the search for alien worlds

Alex Brown, ESERO Manager (UK Space Education and Resource Office), National STEM Learning Network

How do we find planets outside of our solar system? What might the conditions be like on these planets? Join Alex for an introduction to the search for exoplanets, suitable for all of the family. 

17 & 18 August: A Universe full of stars

Gary Fildes, Founder and Director, Kielder Observatory

A look into the evolution of our understanding of the Universe.

19 August: Astronomy in Cornwall – what the future holds

Brian Sheen, Director Roseland Observatory, Director Cornwall Sea to Stars, former member of the RAS Education and Outreach Committee

Far from being an astronomical back water, Cornwall is now part of the leading edge within the country. From Goonhilly as a centre of space communication to The Dark Skies Landscape that is Bodmin Moor, we have it all. Find out more with Brian from the Roseland Observatory.

20 August: Exoplanet hunters – the search for life on Earth-like planets around other stars

Simon Rix, Roseland Observatory, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

As we discover more and more Earth-like planets around other stars, the tantalising prospect of discovering life on one them is exciting scientists, policymakers and the public alike. How do we even know that these stars have planets? How can we possibly detect life on them when they are so far away? This talk will give you the answers and get you thinking about what you might do if and when we finally confirm, 'we are not alone!'

21 & 22 August: Where will you work? Humanity's future journey to Space and the careers needed

Mike Grocott, National Space Academy Lead Educator, National Space Centre

We have conquered Low Earth Orbit and set foot on the moon, humanity is now poised for the next great leap within the forthcoming decades. This talk will outline the future plans for this step, and illustrate that you can truly have a career out of this world.

23 August: Orbiting the planet – what it's like to live on the International Space Station

Kate Arkless Gray, Space journalist

Find out what it’s like to live in space, how astronauts stay healthy, and why even simple things such having a cup of tea have to be done differently in microgravity. 

@SpaceKate will give you a whistle-stop tour of the most complex international engineering project and bring it to life with stories and photographs from the people lucky enough to have called it 'home'. 

She'll even tell you how you can get a glimpse of it flying over your own home – without the need for a telescope! 

24 & 25 August: Aliens and the Weather – the climates of distant worlds

Nathan Mayne, Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics, Exeter University

Nathan will reveal what cutting edge research can tell us about the possible conditions on alien worlds we have discovered orbiting distant stars. Using a combination of high-tech telescopes and satellites, and state-of-the-art climate simulating software, we are starting to peer into the atmospheres of these distant planets, discovery a staggering diversity.

In the future this research may also hold the key to answering the question of whether we are alone in our galaxy.

26 August: Imaging the Cosmos in Cornwall

Paul Hughes, Roseland Observatory

This presentation demonstrates what can be done in Cornwall. Paul’s breath-taking images of deep sky galaxies and nebulae make this a show not to be missed.

27 August: Do you want to join my space race?

Anita Heward, Communications Manager, Twinkle Space Mission, Outreach Coordinator, Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure

In recent years, technological advances, reduced costs and global collaboration have opened up the exploration of space beyond the preserve of national agencies. Anita will talk about where the next phase of space exploration could take us and how members of the public can get involved.

28 & 29 August: White Mars

Dr Beth Healey, Medical Doctor, former ESA Research MD at Spaceflight Analogue Concordia, Antarctica

Concordia Station, Antarctica, is a spaceflight analogue, known as ‘White Mars’, in view of its isolation, inaccessibility, altitude, low light levels and skeleton crew. Beth has recently returned from a year-long mission there where she was working for the European Space Agency implementing research protocols to investigate the effects of this extreme environment on the physiology and psychology of the overwinter crew.

30 August: Life is astronomical

Dr Marek Kakula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Most people would probably agree that astronomy is an inspiring subject, blowing our minds with astonishing facts about exploding stars, alien worlds and far-away galaxies. But what have all these distant objects and strange theories got to do with our everyday lives here on Planet Earth? A surprising amount as it turns out. Our familiar surroundings are full of amazing astronomical connections. Life really is astronomical!

31 August & 1 September: The frontiers of space exploration – and how you could play a part!

Sophie Allan, National Space Academy Lead Educator, National Space Centre

From alien hunting to understanding the origin of the Universe, the next 30 years of space exploration promises to be a hugely exciting time. With demonstrations and discussion, this talk will look at how you could be a part of the next generation of space explorers.

2 & 3 September: Maddie's mission to Mars

Maddie Moate, Children's presenter of Cbeebies Do You Know? and YouTuber 

You’ll get off to an explosive start as you discover how rockets work. Then you’ll climb into your spacesuits and use Maddie's special camera to find out how they are made. On a spacewalk you’ll get a good whiff of the planets as we experience the smells of space and you'll end with a fun lesson in robotics as you go in search of the Mars Rover!

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