The International Congress of Planetology brought together more than 1,500 scientists coming from 42 different countries.
From the 3 to 9 October 2011, 1,535 scientists made it to Nantes for the International Congress of Planetology in La Cité Nantes Events Center. Those passionate about planets and stars came from 42 countries, and amongst them more than 550 Americans – the largest country represented – followed by 296 French and 167 Germans!
France, and in particular, the expertise of the Laboratory of Planetology and Geodynamics (LGPNantes) had been chosen for the challenge of that first communal edition of the European Planetary Network and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, which took place at the Cité Internationale des Congrès de Nantes.
The Congress allowed 14,000 visitors, including 2,000 schoolchildren, to meet experts in the fields of Planetology, Astronomy and Science History and to discover, alongside them, models of space probes, the movement of robots on Mars, the launch of micro-rockets, the inflatable planetarium and the CNES Spatiobus.
They were carried away by the imagination of Jules Verne through old navigation instruments and artefacts related to his work, and lulled by stories of the largest worldwide specialists, like Jean-Loup Chrétien, the first Frenchman and Western European to go into space in 1982.
A 12 metre higt elephant
The delegates are not ready to forget the creativity and imagination of the people of Nantes: after the cocktail at the « Machines de l’Ile » amongst the giant creatures from the marine world, the 12 metre high elephant which escorted them up to the Loire, and the dinner on the floating barge Nantilus.
Next year’s EPSC will take place at IFEMA-Feria de Madrid, Spain, from 23 – 28 September 2012.