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In December 2015, I had the chance to attend the 1st Symposium on Space Educational Activities in Padua, Italy. The symposium saw a great attendance of people from around the world and with a high number of students presenting their work. The topics and sessions ranged from student associations and groups that build rockets, CubeSats or international programs like REXUS/BEXUS and the ESA Academy to a citizen science organisation that conducts Mars Analog Missions and offers a variety of opportunities for students to participate as interns and team members. – That last part sounds familiar? Yes, the OeWF was represented there as well. Earlier in the year I was approached by the symposium organisers, asking if the OeWF would be interested to attend. One paper submission later – I was representing the OeWF at the symposium with both a presentation and a stand, showcasing the organisation as well as our beautiful princess Aouda.
Some of the highlights at the Symposium:
ESA Astronaut and Italian Airforce Captain Samantha Cristoforetti made a special appearance and talked very candidly about her experiences on the International Space Station (she returned in June 2015 after a 200 day stay in space). Samantha is no stranger to the OeWF, she carried 3 special versions of the TiuTerra Crystal to space and back again.
Furthermore, we were able to enjoy a great talk by Mr. Sylvain Lodiot about the Rosetta Mission and specifically about the search for Philae with some stunning images.
During the three days of the symposium I had the chance to talk about the OeWF with a lot of people and who knows, maybe a handful of future interns and volunteers came into contact with the OeWF at the symposium for the first time?Workshop: On December 12th, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) – an OeWF partner organisation, organised the European Student Workshop with some OeWF participation. The SGAC European Student Workshop was a one-day regional workshop for university students in which three working groups discussed topics of interest for European students of space-related fields. The working groups were moderated by young professionals coming from the SGAC network and working for space agencies and industry.
The workshop kicked off with a special appearance by Alexander Soucek, OeWF board member and Legal Team Lead. Alexander opened the workshop with a speech that was inspiring and he immediately connected with his audience and ensured a great start to the programme.
Chris Vasko, OeWF alumnus and former SGAC Chair, introduced the working groups and shared his experiences as a PhD student and young professional in the space sector. I attended the workshop and supported the organising team by taking pictures of the event. The outcome of the working groups will be presented at the UN COPUOS meeting in Vienna, in February 2016.SGAC Christmas Dinner
The day ended with the 4th SGAC Christmas dinner with almost 50 participants and some familiar faces in the crowd. It has been an eventful 4 days in Padua and I am happy to see the OeWF is becoming a well-known organisation beyond the borders of Austria and proud to be part its messengers.
About the author:
Reinhard Tlustos is an OeWF volunteer with 5+ years of experience, a member of the Flight Control Team and a former intern.
This article is available in: German
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