Cité de L’Espace: A Visit of Discovery.

Authored by:
Elizabeth Mbunya

Elizabeth Mbunya



Whether it’s walking on the moon, stepping aboard the Mir Station, gazing at the Ariane 5 rocket, dreaming with your head in the stars, exploring the exhibitions… are all that our students could do at Cité de L’Espace, about a 20 minutes bus ride from Place de Salin, Toulouse.

Another hot day in Toulouse did not stop us from visiting this scientific discovery center focused on space and the conquest of space. It was opened in June 1997 and is located on the eastern outskirts of Toulouse, France. As of 2012, there has been more than 4 million visitors and counting. Well today, our students made up part of the statistic.

Students walking towards the IMAX to watch the launching of Apollo II.

Students began their day as usual by attending their French class from 9-12 in the morning and then having déjeuner before getting on the bus at 1:30 pm for the trip.

At the entrance, we were each checked and issued a ticket with a personal barcode valid for the entire day visit. Students could use their ticket to visit exhibitions of their choice and the gift shop.

We had a guided tour which the students believe was very informative. With the help of the guide, students interactively understood what it takes to become an expert on the Earth and the Universe; and the daily life of an astronaut on a space mission! It is no joke! Students were alert, asking and responding to questions all in French.


Gazing at the rocket.


The rocket!
Hands-on, interactive tour.

After the tour, students had short water and toilet break as well as a chance to cool off at one of the center’s outdoor mist station before heading to L’IMAX to watch a movie on the launching of Apollo II!


Students cooling down on fresh mist.

 By 4:50 pm, we were ready to head back to Toulouse; but not after students had made a stop at the gift shop either for their eyes to do a perusal or to get souvenirs either for themselves or loved ones.

We left the Cité at 5 pm and arrived at Place de Salin, Toulouse, at 5:25 pm. It was another great day to learn something new despite the heat.

À la prochaine!

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