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The Netherlands

04 October 2019

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The Netherlands is featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. This image was processed in a way that included the near-infrared channel, which makes vegetation appear bright red.

Amsterdam, the capital city of the country, is visible towards the top of the image, on the edge of the IJmeer lake. The city's complex network of canals can be seen in the image, and the city is said to have over 1000 bridges.

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and is visible in the lower left, along the banks of the New Meuse River, which divides the municipality into its northern and southern parts. Rotterdam's port is the largest port in Europe, stretching over 40 km in length and covering over 10 000 hectares.

The Hague is north of the port, visible along the North Sea coast. The Hague is home to the Dutch seat of government, and the city also hosts the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

To the north of The Hague is the coastal town of Noordwijk, home to ESA's European Space Technology Research Centre (ESTEC). ESTEC is ESA's technical centre where new missions are designed, their industrial development is managed and, in some cases, the spacecraft and instruments are tested.

On Sunday 6 October, ESTEC is hosting its annual Open Day, where it will open its doors and give general public the chance to meet astronauts, space experts and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of ESA's largest establishment. The Open Day is now fully booked.

The theme of this year's event is ESA to the Moon – where Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers will be joined by pioneering Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham, who flew on the first crewed Apollo mission, and Rusty Schweickart, who was the first person to fly the Lunar Module and use an Apollo lunar spacesuit for a spacewalk.

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