2019 was definitely one of those rollercoaster rides in the history of my company Eye On Orbit (since 2013). I have never been so busy keeping so many balls in the air. Some of the give-it-a-try balls became beautiful projects. Some of the steady ones crashed unexpectedly mid-air. Thanks so much to all the family and friends that stood by me and cheered for Eye On Orbit in 2019!

Two of the key topics that I worked on for Industry this year were Methane Remote Sensing from Space and (Optical) SatCom. One of the projects I worked on (and I can disclose) has a special mention in this post: Bitlinq. This project emerged from an idea that popped in my head during my work on the BlockStream Satellite project, that concluded so beautifully with a test at ESTEC this summer!

For Bitlinq, the hopes and expectations are high for some good news to share in the first quarter of 2020.

Another topic, close to my heart, that I encountered on the outreach & PR front was 'Space Exploration'. As the Apollo 11 landing celebrated its 50 year anniversary on July 21 this year, I have not before talked to the media so often. I 'endured' a total of 31 unique media interviews this year! Although it is superclear to me that the general public in the Netherlands is very space minded, this example does not lead our government to invest more in the programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA). The Netherlands has become a backbencher in the United Space of Europe and runs the risk that there will be more pull to ESTEC resources to outside of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, I continue with full force my Space outreach & PR efforts and my agenda for January and February is filling-up!

Also, on the outreach & PR front, I did 10 Eye On Orbit Ruimtevaart Podcasts this year. Most of these podcasts were in close and very pleasant cooperation with Peter Steggerda and Wim Zonneveld from the radioshow MediaMix on Den Haag FM.

As part of my education activities this year, two have stood out:

  1. the LEGO SPACE workshops with Ellen Pennings from de Bonte Bouwplaats in Delft. This is a follow-up of the great LEGO Moon City project from 2018. With the 1 million LEGO parts available at the Bonte Bouwplaats, anything can be built at the Bonte Bouwplaats. Using SPACE as the context, we have experienced the power of the combination of LEGO and SPACE first hand, in our workshops and training events for kids and adults. Keep an eye on this website for more info and progress on our LEGO SPACE workshops
  2. InHolland Aeronautical Engineering: This University College Education provider is one of the leading institutes for the education of the Space Engineer of the future. I am priviligized to be part of their team where I teach classes on Precision Engineering, of course fully immersed in Space Engineering. In 2020, I will work with them in 2020 to increase the amount of Space content in their projects and classes. Special thanks to Monique Martens from Delft Municipality for hooking me up with them this year!   

Have a great main engine shutdown of 2019 and see you for ingition and lift-off in 2020! If you are in need of independent, reliable, creative and focused expertise for policy, programmes, projects and proposals for space activities, I do hope our paths will cross (again) in the new year!