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Pedro Duque: Spaceship take-off is less noisy than Valencia’s ‘mascletaes’
19 March 2019 @ 20:13

VIBRATIONS and noise generated by the mascletà during the Fallas in Valencia city are even greater than those felt when you are about to take off for outer space – it’s official.

Science minister Pedro Duque – Spain’s first man on the moon, a seasoned space traveller and national hero among kids born in the 1990s – joined the fiesta queens or falleras mayores and regional president Ximo Puig on the city hall balcony for one of the mascletaes, the last of which for this year was let off at 14.00 today (Tuesday).

His facial expression in the above photograph says it all – the ground-trembling experience and earth-shattering roar go above and beyond what Duque remembers from his days as an astronaut.

This is not the first time he has watched the spectacle from the city hall balcony, however – he did so many years ago, and has noticed how the ‘complexity’ of Valencia’s mascletaes has improved ‘considerably’, especially now computerised and electronic equipment is used.

Mascletaes normally just produce grey smoke, especially in other towns in the region which celebrate the Fallas, but the ones in Valencia include clouds of red, yellow and blue, in the colours of the Senyera, as the regional flag is known.

Duque said he found the experience ‘emotional’ and ‘exciting’, and that ‘everyone feels it’.



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