KSat Stuttgart e.V.

The International Space University in Strasbourg hosted a SpaceUp (un-)conference last weekend. Unconferences are characterised by their casual atmosphere, plenty of time for numerous discussions, personal interaction and a schedule that is created spontaneously by the attendees, the so-called grid. All attendees are encouraged to actively participate by creating presentations and initiating discussions.

KSat members Maximilian von Arnim and Julian Heinzel attended to present both our society and our current REXUS ROACH. As early as 9:30, the conference began with breakfast and a lecture by the romanian cosmonaut Dumitru Dorin Prunariu. Prunariu spoke of his personal path to space, of his eventual spaceflight in 1981 and the various organizations founded to promote manned spaceflight. A topic he especially emphasised was the necessity of international cooperation in space. Thenabled his joining of the soviet space program as Romanian citizen.

Regularly interrupted by meal and coffee breaks, further sessions commenced simultaneously in three rooms. A SpaceUp uses regular 15 minute presentations, slightly longer general discussions and short T-5 talks. Presentations covered, among other topics, the smell of the moon, baking bread in space, the use of satellite-based thermal imagery for optimization of urban heating and cooling and, being a purpose of our visit, our experiment ROACH. Discussions touched on broad decisions like “Moon vs Mars”  as well as on the recurring theme of space related startups. T-5 talks usually were more humorous with topics ranging from the 10 best space films to CanSats in Nepal and our student society, KSat.

Opportunities for interesting talks with experts, young professionals and other students arose frequently. A student from Turin, currently attending ESA’s second master’s programme SEEDS, could help us contact an electro-adhesion researcher. During a short break the opportunity arose to visit a prototype for an inflatable habitat designed for use in hostile environments. Beyond the strictly technical sessions, there was sufficient time to enjoy the saxophone choir consisting of ISU students and to visit the city center of Strasbourg. KSat will be happy to join again!

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