The 2017 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science has been awarded to the team behind the outstandingly successful exhibition, ‘Comets – The Rosetta Mission: Journey to the Origins of the Solar System’, at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. Ulrich Köhler, Barbara Stracke and Ekkehard Kührt, of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, will accept the award on behalf of the exhibition’s curation team.
Thierry Fouchet, Chair of the Europlanet Prize 2017 Judging Panel, said, “The judges were impressed by dedication and enthusiasm of the curation team in developing this exhibition, and the energy they have put into disseminating it worldwide through the scheduled tour and online version. Rosetta is one of the most complex space missions to ever explore the Solar System and a great success for European planetary science. This exhibition has made a very significant contribution in sharing the achievement and excitement of Rosetta with the general public.”
Tilman Spohn of DLR, who nominated the team for the Europlanet Prize, said, “The curation team profited from some members that were going the extra mile more than once. Without their tireless efforts, patience and vision, the exhibition would have never been realised.”
The centrepiece of the exhibition is a thousandth-scale model of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko based on data from Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera system, surrounded by backlit photographs of the comet and mission highlights, selected spacecraft and instrument hardware and memorabilia. As well as historical and technical background on comets as important building blocks of the Solar System, the Rosetta mission and its scientific achievements to date, the exhibition includes film-clips highlighting the personal stories of the men and women that made Rosetta a reality and the deep emotions evoked by involvement in the mission.
The special exhibition was visited by 820,000 members of the public between August 2016 and January 2017 at the museum in the heart of Germany’s capital. From 2018 on, the exhibition will start a tour of leading venues, including the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria, and other traditional museums in Germany, Switzerland and possibly the United States. Discussions with additional host locations around the world are in progress. A virtual version of the exhibition will also be available online later this year and will be updated in the years to come with new scientific results from Rosetta.
The Europlanet Prize, which includes an award of 4000 Euros, will be presented during the European Planetary Science Congress 2017 in Riga, Latvia on Monday 18th September.
The full Exhibition Curation Team consists of:
Ulrich Köhler, Barbara Stracke, Ekkehard Kührt, Tilman Spohn, Susanne Pieth, Stubbe Hviid, Stefano Mottola, Horst Uwe Keller, John Lee Grenfell, Frank Preusker, Frank Scholten, Stephan Elgner (DLR Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin); Stephan Ulamec (MUSC – DLR Microgravity User Support Center, Cologne); Sabine Hoffmann, Klaus Gering, Michael Müller, Petra Scholz, Cordula Tegen, Elke Heinemann, Philipp Burtscheidt (DLR Communications, Cologne); Dieter Stöffler, Ansgar Greshake, Kai Wünnemann (Museum of Natural History, Berlin); Holger Sierks, Urs Mall, Harald Krüger (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen); Kathrin Altwegg, Adrian Etter (University of Berne, Switzerland); Sylvain Lodiot, Bettina Braunstein (ESA Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt); Maria Menendez (ESA Head of Corporate Exhibitions and Events Office, Communication Department HQ, Paris); Karin Ranero Celius (EJR Quartz, translations). The exhibition was designed, planned and produced for DLR by CD Werbeagentur, Toisdorf, Germany.
The exhibition has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 686709.
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