What a week in Wisby! That’s probably what a lot of balloon and rocket scientist must think right now.
Two weeks ago we (François Piette and Ingo Wagner) had the unique chance to go to Wisby in Gotland to participate in the Balloon & Rocket 23rd Symposium!
Wisby is a wonderful place and somehow magical. The wall around the old town and the churches ruins makes the place dreadfully good-looking. And yes on Gotland an old dialect is spoken that is closer to German and they actually use the letter W. So yeah, Wisby is really spelled this way. We already wanted to return there when we were there. It kind of speaks for itself.
And of course, we have been welcomed like Kings!
The organisers from SSC found some medieval costumes that were left in the conference building. Presumably the costumes were left there because of the annual “Medieval Week” in Wisby. This royal welcoming wouldn’t be the only royal fun happening during our week. The food during the whole was quite exquisite. In the beginning we feared we would have to eat the usual pasta again. But it turns out Wisby has a lot of restaurants with delicious, albeit expensive, food and many many breweries. The highlight was the trip to the south of Gotland accompanied by homebrewed honey beer and lamb.
But of course food was not the main reason of the whole trip. There were also 4 days full of presentations and talks with people from the balloon and rocket science industry. All the national agencies of the EASP member states as well as Canadian and American (US) scientists were present. A big group of attendees were other students from REXUS/BEXUS. All of them, except for Erik from Team Wolf, were from the two previous cycles, so we met lots of new (and Hmmmmm… Supra!) people.
The presentations ranged from scientific presentations about X-Ray observations to more technical presentations about different experiments and implementations like thermal simulations and overviews of the different educational programmes. We were right in the middle, relatively early on the second day with our presentation. I (Ingo) was quite nervous beforehand, but in the end everything went well and we got very positive feedback.
Coincidentally the week during our visit also marked the 10th Anniversary of the REXUS/BEXUS program. We (Team IRIS) are now represented on the banner that was signed by all members of the program that were attending the small celebration.
All in all it was a great and successful week in Wisby with lots of interesting presentations and people and we are looking forward to the next ESA PAC Symposium in two years in Germany. We would also like to the thank everyone who made it possible for us to attend.