Back in Stockholm!

Here we are, back in our KTH headquarters! Six lucky members of our team: Georg, Jorge, Vlad, Emil, Viktor and I (Audrey) had the great opportunity to spend one week at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) near Munich. Of course, this wasn’t (only) a week of leisure; we had to present our Preliminary Design Review in front of 16 experts from DLR, ESA and SSC.  Their main worries are focused on the structural integrity of our Rocket Mounted Unit (since we plan to have two big hatches of 25x7cm). Our experiment is indeed one of the most complicated; the ISAAC team won’t lack work!

Nevertheless, let’s focus on the “funnier” part of this PDR week!  On Monday, we had our opening event: a visit at the Kloster Andechs, a monastery which produces its own beer! We had the opportunity to experience the Bavarian typical “diet”: meat, potatoes and… well meat again. Prost!

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On Wednesday, we had a tour at the Columbus Control Center, which was actually in the same building as our lecture room. Since most of the teams already had had their PDR presentation, the REXUS and BEXUS teams were more relaxed on Wednesday night. It was definitely time for a huge snowbattle organised by the Italian team mixing Romanian, Scottish, Polish, Spanish, French, etc. Our night ended when the hotel manager kicked us (25 students…) out of one of the room around 1.30am (including one expert whose identity shall remain secret).

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Thursday was not meant to be a quieter day; indeed, we were all waiting for the closure event on the evening. During the day, we visited the Robotic Research Center where we saw some quite cool prototypes and we also had a glimpse at the Aerospace Research Center. The closure event took place at the Deutsches Museum Airfield.  This evening was not only a REXUS/BEXUS event; it was above all the fifth anniversary of the docking of Columbus, the ESA lab on the ISS. We had the opportunity to meet the French astronaut Léopold Eyharts, who was in charge of the Columbus first installation, the operation manager and his team. Afterwards, dinner was served in the main hangar under the planes, a dream place for any aerospace engineer. The night was not over; we had time for one last snowbattle and to chill out with our favourite Scottish team.

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Our last day turned out to be more dynamic than expected as we experienced a fire alarm exercise just before departure. However, we had the opportunity to take one last look at the Columbus Control Center where Léopold Eyharts was preparing to contact the ISS. Sadly leaving our  REXUS/BEXUS friends, we had a few hours to enjoy München and a last Apfelstrudel before going back to Stockholm… (Well to be more accurate, Vlad and I vanished into the European continent while Georg, Jorge, Emil and Viktor headed back to the airport).

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More pictures are available on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/isaac.rexus),

Liebe Grüsse von München!

Audrey

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