March 26th is Asteroid Day – the United Nations’ Day of Global Awareness and Education about Asteroids – a remarkable operation organised by the UN and the European Space Agency (ESA) to connect Europe and the world with astronauts and celebrities with a message of hope and inspiration at this troubled time. The subtext is “living in isolation”.
The event (called ‘SpaceConnectsUs’) kicks off at 3pm (GMT).
The programme brings together well-known TV and Hollywood personalities including Professor Brian Cox, neuroscientist and Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, Star Trek Picard actor Alison Pill, actor and singer Olivia Newton-John, celebrated actor Brian Blessed, as well as British astronaut Tim Peake and more than a dozen of his ESA and NASA astronauts and colleagues.
The programme runs in five languages: Dutch, English, German, Italian and French, running one specific language with different hosts and different participants straight after the other. The Central European timings are:
Dutch 16:00 – 16:30
German 17:00 – 17:30
Italian: 18:00 – 18:30
French: 19:00 – 19:30
English: 20:00 – 21:00
The SpaceConnectsUs organisers commented: “While we fight this battle and defeat the invisible enemy, solidarity and mutual encouragement are more important for us than ever before. We want to send out a message of unity and hope, join forces and give us, especially our children and youngsters, confidence in our intelligence, our science, ourselves and the place we live in.”
“When we asked space agencies and astronauts whether they could help us to learn how to go far and beyond, how to cope with staggering challenges and find mental and physical practices to live in isolation, the answer was overwhelmingly positive. We are launching a virtual global town hall meeting to exchange with them and all those who are fascinated by space and ready to learn from it,” they added.