Thursday, January 28, 2010

'SEI donates engraved Walk of Honor Commemorative Sidewalk Brick

July 4, 2006: 11 Students of the SEI paying tribute to Dr. Feldman (AMF) at Cape Canaveral

The months of January, February and April remind us of the worst disasters of manned spaceflight. The International Space Education Institute (SEI) would like to remember and commemorate these events and the sacrifice of those involved:

January 28, 1967
3 Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee lost in the Apollo 1 ground fire

April 24, 1967
Loss of Cosmonaut Komarov in crash of Soyuz 1

January 28, 1986
Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion during early ascent of STS-51L taking the lives of 7 astronauts including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe of today's Challenger School in Tamarac, FL (near Miami)
Lost: Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory B. Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe

February 1, 2003
Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) lost during re-entry break-up killing 7 astronauts including Israeli Ilan Ramon
Lost: Kalpana Chawla, Commander Rick Husband, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Laurel Clark, Pilot William McCool, Ilan Ramon

The SEI presented the first Certificate of Condolences from Germany to the Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) at Cape Canaveral in 2005. The AMF manages funding used to commemorate those who gave their lives in the pursuit of spaceflight. The AMF currently maintains active relations with the Challenger School in Tamarac, FL near Miami. This is the school today from which Christa McAuliffe (lost in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion January 28, 1986) taught. The SEI presented the Certificate of Condolences to AMF Director Dr. Feldman on Independence Day, July 4, 2006.

SEI at the Challenger School in Tamarac, FL (near Miami)

Cosma Heckel (age 2) at the AMF office near the Apollo 1 memorials

The SEI is now an honorary member of the Foundation. Yvonne and Ralf Heckel (and family) have donated as well by purchasing a "Walk of Honor" memorial engraved Sidewalk Brick. Engraved on this brick is "Ralf, Yvonne and Cosma Heckel".

This year their Institute has donated again to the "Walk of Honor" in its 5th year of international space education dedication. This stone will be ready when thier students again visits NASA while visiting the US for the spring 2010 running of the Great Annual Moonbuggy Race (held in Huntsville, AL).

The new brick's engraved inscription reads:


Anyone interested can also donate and immortalize themselves in supporting the AMF. The AMF maintains its own education center for students and promotes the international Space Education.
SEI also reciprocates this support and encourages others to assist AMF by donating $75 in exchange for a brick added to the Walk of Honor.

Spacewalk of Honor:

Donors Ask:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CAD Workshop for NASA Moonbuggy

Leipzig, January 24th 2010
from Ralf Heckel

This weekend all german students worked at their Moonbuggy drawings again. The boys are designing the seat, flat molds for the fenders out of carbonfibre, boxes for the telemetry, brackets for the brakes, pieces for the chassis and steering. Thommy is working on the angel limiter (torsion joint). There are two large journal bearings from polymer (IGUS). Philipp is working on the CFK-fenders and their attachment. He also designs the flat molds from foam. Sasha is designing the seats with curved and welding tubes. All components are asselbling by René at the computer.

Susan was complete the blog in german language. The students of Team Russia were complete the blog in russian language. So the first multi-national work has started.

The result of this weekend are the first drawings on paper. Now the industrial partners commence production of the first pieces. Thus, the turnery "Guenther Jacob" starts with the differenciel gear, while turnery "Wittenbecher" see to the axles and pieces for the chassis. The chamber for handicraft is prepaering the big assembly workshop for the five Moonbuggies of all teams, starting in February 2010.

more photos:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Final Day

from Ralf Heckel

Today I make my last work. It is an extended day. Normaly my airplane flow yesterday. But the aircompany went out of business. So I take a next flight and this gives me two days more.

So I visit some friends from the "Konrad Adenauer Association" in Moscow, let me give some hints and go forward to the office of Novosti Kosmonavtiki (Space News). There we disciss about the "OKB-1 Grand Tour" in Germany 2010 and speak about the future. I also was seen pictures of a real russian banya. The chied editor has one at his weekend house. He went in with cosmonauts and astronauts some times. In winter they go swimming in the "Freeze!" lake.

At the evening Pavel Sharov invited me to a meeting with Sergey Ryazansky. He is a cosmonaut and make his training now. He directly came back from Star-City. But most interesting for me is: Sergey was commander of the Mars 500 project (2nd stage). He was simulated a manned flight to Mars in for 100 days in super isolation. He had a 6 man crew. Also his grandfather was a famous soviet rocket designer togethr with Korolev. They and some othr designers were the head office of soviet rocket designers since the WWII (OKB-1). So I also made copys of very old pictures of this time.

We spoke about the experiences inside of the module and I made a lot of notes. Our institute and Bruno Banani have the contract to design the clothings for the next experiment. He gave me most important informations.

The history of Mars 500 and the dream to connect the Moonbuggy with it - has tradition in our student education. A Marsbuggy makes the students most excited and hopful. Lets see what is in future!

Mars 500 on SEI:

Mars 500 on BBC:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Welcome Team Russia 2011

from Ralf Heckel

Finally, here is it! This is the Moonbuggy Team 2011. Evgeniy, Ivan, Mikhail, Kirill and Evgeniy are the first russian Moonbuggy pioneers. Today they signed the membership of their host "International Space Education Institute". Kirill is invited, he was the winner of the Crimea Moonbuggy Race in summer 2009.

This day is a historical day. It has a history of 3 years. The first activities were in January 2007. From this time the International Space Education Institute was systematic looking for russian colleges, institutes and schools who want to join this american contest. A lot of lessons and travels were follow. But for state schools it is not possible to finance an own team. Also no russian teacher has the ability to coach a team for a contest outside of the country. Private schools in engineering or spaceflight are not exist in Russia.

So the International Space Education Institute was prepaering itsself to be a host for international student projects. It organized VIP-tours of very important russian scientists and reporters to show them Huntsville, the contest and a Moonbuggy. Then it was organizing a promotion tour to russian Space Camps with a Moonbuggy, in summer 2009. There the leaders made lessons for 240 russian space students. At the end there was a little contest with the german Moonbuggy and most interested russian students.

They are here today after a process of 6 month. All primary questions were solved and the documents signed. After this meeting we take a dinner at the russian Burger King and made a first teamphoto. Untill a winning place it will be a long way. Today was the beginning. The next step will be a workshop in Leipzig (Geremany), February 2010. Then one or two students want to be a part of the first multinational team in 2010. Now they have 14 month time now until April 2011. At this month will be the 50th years celebration of Yuri Gagarins flight. For every russian space student it is a proud to give his best for this goal.

See the whole story in pictures here:

Good luck Moonbuggy Team Russia!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Russian Banya

from Ralf Heckel,

It is a honor to be invited into an original russian banya (very hot sauna). But it is a special honor to make this visit together with the leading professor of russians life support systems in space. I am his guest today.

It is my 3rd visit (2003, 2005, 2010). And these are the hotest experiences in my live. I made photos today, but the most of them are bad. So hot was it today. The lens got wet after seconds.

The guests are seperate in man and woman. After the entree are separés with soft chairs and tables. There you can sit, drink tea and relax. Behind this areal is a room for the preperation. Here the guests are prepearing their oak, towels and their fedora (chapka).

Some iron mans are going into the hot room. There is an oven with 15 tons glowing steel. It is 600°C (1112°F) hot inside! The room has ca. 130°C (266°F). They make 4 dishes fuel with water (each ca. 10l / 2,6 gal). With a large dipper one put the water into the oven. It makes noises as a the steam train "Big Boy". The steam went out of this oven like an explosion and makes the air wet. After each dipper the man is covering hisself.

"1, 2, 3, GO!" The door opens and all people runs into this room. Now you will learn that this fedora (chapka) is very good. If you dont have one, your head will burn. All are lieing on the floor. It is a little bit higher and made from rustical wood. At this moment you will realize that nomally this is unpossible. You lie with your nacked skin there as a grilled chicken. But this is not all. Now one from the iron man comes, take a big blower (it looks as a shovel) and blowes the hot air over your skin. It is as a fire-roll comes over you! After 2 minutes all people turns their bodys and you get the shower over your best parts.

Now all stands up and runs to the pool. There is cold water in (2°C / 35°F). They jump into this water. The first two seconds are good after this hot experience. But after this time you feel yourself as a victim of the Titanic-desaster. You only want to go out of this icecold pool.

Normally you need time to relax now. Your heart is beating fast. But you are in a russian banya. All people make the whole procedur three times again, without a break. Then you have a break of 10-15 min, drink a cup of tea, eat cakes and start from the beginning. This routine also all make for three times. After this nine hot-cold-experiencenes you are a ready-to-serve meal. My skin gets red-white dotted.

At the short breaks the professor put some cosmonaut food on the table and said: "This is best. Eat this". It is increddible too - real cosmonaut food have a prize of 1000 $ each day. So we eat ca 200 $ cakes! These are some gramms.

Yes, all this is hard - but at the next morning you will feel as a new born people. And this is a most better experience. For this you can clench one´s teeth this nine times inside of a steam engine!

Gagarin Medal

from Ralf Heckel
The highlight of today was the story of the medals. It starts 16 years earlier. One of our teacher was in Kaluga in 1994. He recieved a medal of the "Association of the museums of cosmonautics of Russia" (AMCOS). The delegation had no much time and so the teacher dont recieved the certificate for this medal.
He told me this story last year and was a little bit unhappy. Since this time in Germany a lot of things has changed. He loosed the contact to Kaluga. I said: "No matter. I will be there and want to ask".
Now I am in the office of the Space & Rocket Museums general director of Kanuga. I show him the letter from ouer teacher, telled the story and ask for the certificate. Mr. Kusin asked me for the name and the year. Then he went to his archiv. After 4 minutes he came back and said: "Gerber is under G. There is really his certificate." Then he presented me a small paper and showed me the sign. "This director of the association was a cosmonaut and died a long time ago. He made his work correct." My first idea was: "This is unpossible!"
This is a super-long-term experiment! This certificate needed 16 years to be at his owner. And it is also a good evidence for the correct work of the russian space museums. I put it in my case and are happy to bring it to home.
Then I presented our international work to the general director. Two woman made the table fine. They made tea and cakes. After 10 minutes the director said: "Ralf, there is another thing to do. Please stand up." I stand up. Then he opens a little box, taked a medal and put it on my revers. "This is the Gagarin Medal for your excellent work in international space education and to solve the space history." Then he had a small paper in his hands and gave it to me. "For this certificate you will not wait 16 years."
Wow! This is the 2nd special honor in my life for space flight. The first Yvonne and I recieved 5 years ago from the Astronaut Memorial Foundation in Cape Canaveral. I am a little bit proud and be very thankful.

Space & Rocket Museum Kaluga

from Ralf Heckel
The Space & Rocket Museum in Kaluga is a state museum with a lot of scientific employees. You will find it from far. It has a large rocket on the outdoor rocket carc. This is Gagarin´s Rocket "Vostock" (east). This rocket is standing vertical in a mobile railway construction. This construction is still working. If in Kaluga will come a storm, so the hydraulic put the rocket into a horizontal position. To see this process is a gigantic spectacle!

At the rocket parc (it is similar to the US Space & Rocket Museum in Huntsville) you will see the history of russians spaceflight. Today it is snow covered.

Inside is a large hall with original russian space hardware. There you can see the whole history from the first russian liquid rocket engine to the mars spaceships. Interesting are the:

- Lunokhod (automatic Lunar Rover Vehicle)
- Mars 3 (automatic marslander)
- Luna 16 (automatic lunar lander with returncapsule)
- real moon soil from Lunar 16
- the russian space shuttle "BURAN"
- capsules of different cosmonauts and animals
- rocket engines from Soyuz to BURAN
- different space stations

See the hardware here at this gallery:

Kaluga - Tsiolkovskys home

from Ralf Heckel,

It is early morning, dark and -15°C. I only was sleeping 2 hours. To many photos and student infos I uploaded untill late nigh. It needed time. So I am tired now, make myselfe ready and go to the metrostation. The subway is busy, every 30 secons a new train drive into the station, on each direction!

Finally at the trainstation "Kiev" (Kievskaya) I entered my train to Kaluga at 7:20 am. It is an electric express train. The seats are comfortable and with a little table. So I can work a little bit on my computer. Outside I see a snow-covered landscape. There are forest, grassland and small villages with houses from wood. Long electric cables spins along the railway.

I arrive in Kaluga 2,5 hours later. It is 10 am. A lot of snow is everywhere. So all voices are damped. You cannot hear the loud traffic of the city. It is as I am at a sanatorium. You only can hear the crunch of the snow under the shoes of the passengers. They are walking to the busstop. Taxi drivers are standing there and offer their service.

I went through. At the busstop workers are chracking the ice on the streets and make clusters. They have large pick-axes and shovels. I take the bus (marshrutka) no 1. My ticket cost 10 rubels (50 cent). 15 min later I am at the Tsiolkovsky (Ziolkowski)-Parc. This is a little forest with a memorial for Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. At the side is a large Space & Rocket Museum. Not far from this is Tsiolkovskys house. It is at the near of the river Oka. Today it is a museum. First I go to this home-museum.

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskiy (1857-1935) is russians "grandfather of spaceflight". He formulated the mathematical fundamentals of modern astronautics. He showed that space travel was possible only by means of rocket propulsion.

He also said the sentence:

"The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot eternally live in a cradle. So the solar system will be our kindergarden."

As I entered the office of the home museum. There was a "Big hello". All people are happy to see me and asking for Yvonne and Cosma. I meet the great-great-granddaughter of Tsiolkovsky. Her name is Elena and she is the director of this state museum. We drink tea, talk about the last year and our travels around the world. She is very surpriced about the Moonbuggy contest and looks to all photos. I ask her for a contact to schools in Kaluga, to make exchange and collective projects. I explain that we have an independend way to travel to all space places of the world to show the youth the future - and to solve with them actual technical problems. Then she pics up the telephone and calls a lot of people.

The time runs fast and so I have to go forward. At 12 o´clockI meet the general director of the big and modern Space & Rocket Museum of Kaluga. His name is Evgeniy Kusin and he is waiting for me in his new office. After a conversation he has a surprice for me. I will describe it in my next report. See at: "Gagarins Medal". Then also the time runs fast and I have to go. Mr. Kusin introduced me Leonid. He will be my driver. Then he said: "Go forward, you have to work. A next director is waiting for you! Good luck".

Leonid has a car and he drives fast over the snow covered streets. At 2:30 pm he stops infront of a red buildung. It is the school were Tsiolkovsky was a teacher. Today it is the "Tsiolkovski-Gymasium No. 9". The director Evgeniy Ivanov is waiting for me. He is a long and smart man. His secretary is rubberstamp me quick. In his office I present our intrnational spce education work and offer him cooperation. He is impressed and agrees with my arguments. We change our businesscards, some presents and files. Then I have to go. The train to Moscow is not waiting for me at 3:21 pm.

After 2,5 hours I am back in Moscow and went to bed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Moscow Marsbuggy Day

from Ralf Heckel

At 11 o clock I am at the door of the IMBP (Institut for Biomedical Problems). Since 5 years I know this Institute. Nobody will believe what is behind these gray walls. I also was not shure as the leader Prof Baranov said "We will start a testflight to the Mars". Then we visited a dirty hall with some modules under construction. "This is our Marsship-Simulator". Our students were excited but all teachers and adults sceptic. We had fall 2005.

Since this time I visited this institute regular. We discussed how we can involve. Beetween this time the construction of the modules finished. The Mars 100 Experiment finished successful. Now the public knows more. Two ideas are the result: We involve the first brand designer in space (Bruno Banani) and make a competition to design a marsrover. This is a student challenge after the Moonbuggy Race.

Today I was waiting for 40 min in the cold Moscow winter. My hands were freeze. Then Prof. Demin cames out and said: "Excuse me. We have a conference with ESA." He gave me the contract and we discussed the design for the under- and activewear of the Mars 500 teammembers. Also we spoke about the rules for the Marsbuggy. That is all - we are on the way to Mars.


At the afternoon I went to the publishing company "NaUka" (science books). The present in my case is the 1st volume of "Father" from Prof. Korolev in german language. Mrs. Batkina unwrapped it and gets happy. "Finally the germans can read our space history now! Thank you Ralf." Yes, it is two years ago. In January 2008 I put the original russian version in my case and went with the author to Huntsville USA. We celebrated 50 years US in space and then I came back to Germany.

We contacted a german publishing company, they translated it and now I am back.

At the evening I met with russian Moonbuggy students again. We are in the restaurant "American". I want to test their spirit. All are back. Nice! And so the evening gets long and creative. A Moonbuggy contest in an other country is a hard challenge. But the Marsrover is harder and so he needs the Moonbuggy as first step.

Moscow Moonbuggy Day

from Ralf Heckel

After only 4 hours I stand up again. Today are big adresses on the schedule. At 10 o clock I am at the Roscosmos headquarters, public relations. Mr. Vorobyov welcomes me and we sit in his office. The list for interesting points is long. One of the main point is the support to the russian moonbuggy team for 2011. We finish the speach with a result after 2 hours and change presents. He gets a Helicopter from SOLARWATT. The next date is at the ILA-Pressconference in Berlin.

At the near of Roscosmos is the NASA office. I make a short visit there. The womans are from Houston and very friendly. We are knowing the same people in Houston. Then I start my travel to Korolev City. I passed the very beautiful Metrostations and buy a ticket for the "Sputnik"-Train.

In Korolev-City the leader for international relationships of the administration welcomes me. We visited a hotel and discuss about the youth exchange programms beetween Huntsville and Korolev City. We also finisched with a result and went back together to the trainstation.

At the evening I met five russian students and the leader of the SEI-Moscow-office. He works by IBM ow and was leader of russians largest Youth Space Center (Baumann-Uni). We sit a long time together in an american restaurant and discuss about the Moonbuggy. At 1:30 I am at home - finally!

It was a successful day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Korolev and friends at home

from Ralf Heckel

This get together at the home of the Korolev family is not official. Here are all private friends of the former chief designer together. They give toasts to a lot of histories. Also some officials come to be there.

Today there were u.o.:
- Mr. Lopota (actual chief designer, Energia)
- Mr. Davydov (vice president of Roscosmos)
- Boris Tchertok (98, pioneer of the beginning)
- Cosmonaut Kubasov
- wife of Cosmonaut German Titov
- Yuri Kara (regisseur of the Korolev-movie)
- and many other.

It is a pleasure for the International Space Education Institute to be a part of all this people. Very touchable is the speach of Boris Tchrtok (98), a real pioneer of space exploration and rocket scientist from the beginning:

Korolev at the Kremlin Wall

vom Ralf Heckel

The Kremlin has along the Red Square a cementary. Here are the VIP´s of russians history. In the middle is the mousoleum of Lenin. He was the revolutioner in 1918. His body is inside as mummy and looks like as he is sleeping. All the other politicans, scientists and cultural VIP´s have their urn inside of the Kremlin Wall. We went with all guests along this restricted areal. I see names of cosmonauts and rocket designers. Also Gagarin is here. The convoi stops at the plate of "Korolev".

The same procedure starts from beginning. All guests put flowers to this place. There is a very touchable story. In january 2008, I was organizing the USA-trip of Korolevs daughter. In Huntsville/Alabama was the celebration for 50 years US in space. The man who was launched the first american satellite "Explorer One" was the german scientist Ernst Stuhlinger. As we came to Huntsville he was not in a good shape and in the Huntsville Hospital. I moved all leavers to get a permission for a visit at his bed. It was possible. Stuhlinger gave to Korolevs daughter a paper and 30 US$. He said: "Please buy red roses and put them on your fathers grave".

Mr. Koroleva did it at the day of Cosmonauts (April 12th 2008). I sent the photo to Struhlingers wife in Huntsville. She gave it to her husband. Only 5 weeks later he died. It was the day as the Marslander Phoenix was landed on the Mars surface. Prof. Stuhlinger had a long and successful live. He was sent the first spaceships to the Mars and beyond. So I am proud to make his last wish real.

Today are young russian space students with us at the Kremlin Wall. Perhaps they will read this story and remember later: "In space - we are one".

The Titans of Space

von Ralf Heckel

It is an unbelieavable monument: 107 meter (350 ft) high and with a skin of titanium. At the end is a rocket. This is the "Tsiolkovski-Monument" in Moscow. The areal is not far from the old exposition center. Konstantin Eduardovitch Tsiolkovski was russian scientist. He is the "father of spaceflight". His calculations are the basics of the spaceflight today.

At the ground is a big statue of Tsiolkovski. Under this menument is a very nice Space & Rocket Museum for public. Along a way from the monument to the south are a lot of statues from rocket designers and cosmonauts. The largest of them ist "S.P. Korolev". Our bus stops. Again all guests are walking to the place of memory and put flowers down.

I am in the car of Korolev´s grandson Andrej. He is medical professor (surgey) and owner of a modern private hospital in Moscow. In while of the travel he phones with his 6 secretaries. Private hospitals are new and very popular in Russia. Andrej told me that he has 4 rooms for operations and 30 beds. In winter the most people are comming from the snow areals, also from Germany, Austria and Swizerland. He has a lot to do.

And I remember - Korolevs mother was a medical too. Only Sergej Pavlovitch was designing rockets for space.

Korolev - the rocket-city of Russia

von Ralf Heckel

There are two highways, a train and a large rocket company. OK, there is no Monte Sano, but some skyscrapers. The sign of this town is a white rocket, the R-1 (russians first long distance rocket, a copy of V2). She is standing on a podest at the border of the town. Korolev-City has the same size as Huntsville Alabama.

But today it is colder as in Alabama, 10 degrees under freeze. White trees are gleaming in the deep sun. The bus convoi stops at a next memorial of Korolev. Now it is a big statue of his complete body. He "walks" with lage steps and a "blowing" jacket to west. The guests put also flowers down and beetween Korolev´s shoes.

This town has a lot of memorials to honor S.P. Korolev, Sputnik and its rockets. On each street you can read a name of rocket hardware or cosmonauts. It is a town into the future. A lot of things were changed in the last years here. The Korolev-administration want to change this town into the cleanest and most ecological town of Russia. Now it is really not so gray as in the history.

ENERGIA - the Space & Rocket Company

von Ralf Heckel

It was a short time after the WWII. In a little industrial town in north of Moscow a factory was produced tanks. It had the name Podlipki. Then the rocket scientists came back from Germany and changed this company into the largest Space & Rocket Company of the world. Here Korolev designed the Sputnik and all his rockets. Today it is the home of the Soyuz spaceships for the ISS. Korolev went every day by an old german "Horch" (later Audi) to his office. It was a small gate with a door. Today the workers call it "Old gate".

The delegation puts flowers in this gate and walk forward to a memorial of the first intercontinental rocket, to the Sputniks rocket, to the Vostok-Rocket. Here the people also put flowers to the ground of this memorial. In front of the rocket is a plastic of Korolev´s head.

6 years before I made pictures from the very same rocket and got prisen for some hours. I had no registration! Today I am back as a VIP-guest of the family Korolev.

Moonbuggy at the Energia Space & Rocket Museum

from Ralf Heckel

Today is the birthday of russians former chief designer S.P. Korolev. He designed the Sputnik, his rocket, the spaceship of Gagarin and the actual Soyuz rockets/spaceships. The rocket company Energia has his name. Also the town in north of Moscow have his name: Korolev. Each year at this day the russian designers are celebrating the birthday of S.P. Korolev. It starts in the morning at 9 o´ clock at this Rocket and Space Museum.

It is my 3rd time today at this museum. It is not for public. You must follow a procedure of registration and security to enter this museum. Not many people are able to do this. It is on the ground of the spaceship factory "Energia". It is a little bit the same as you will enter a museum inside of the Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville/Alabama. Without badges and registration - there will be no way.

A speaker of the city administration opens the ceremony. Thr mayor give some words and the chief designer of the Energia company too. But in the middle is the daughter and family of Korolev. All people are listen to her words. Press is there.

Then the administration honors young students and engineers for her excellent work. I got a speach also. So I telled the story of the german Moonbuggy in 2009 and his travel around Europe and Crimea. A calendar collects all important photos of the last year. I give it to the chief designer Mr. Lopota. Applause.

Then the people made small talks or lokked into the big hall of the museum. There is real russian space hardware. I made photos of Gagarin´s capsule and a lot of other Vostok-, Voschod- and Soyuz-Spaceships. The spacestation MIR is also there, as mockup.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One wing for 1000 passengers

from Ralf Heckel

To make future, you must be a lateral thinker. These people made a meeting today. At the internet cafe´ of the Moscow Aviation Institute were: Prof. Demin (IMBP, Mars 500), Prof. Zotov (MAI, Aviation Systems), Prof. Malozemov (MAI, Life Support Systems) and me. Also there were two interested students for the SEI-programms. We changed presents and work. Also this was the signing moment for the Bruno Banani Contract at the Mars 500 Programm. This first brand designer in space now makes the clothings for the next Mars 500 Crew.

Most interesting is this "One-Wing-Plane". It was calculate by russian students. Now the german space students have to make a model from it. Then the tests will begin. In future this plane will host more than 1000 passengers an tons of cargo.

At the evening I met the editors office of the Space News Magazine of Russia. The "Novosti Kosmonavtiki" - Team is very friendly. Wer made a lot of conversations and are planing articles for the future. Also we discussed possibilities for the international space education.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Наконец-то в Москве!

from Ralf Heckel

Finally Moscow!
It is real. Today I went by airplane to Moscow. It was a "Snow-slide". Long time we were standing on the runway of Leipzig. Ice and snow made a flight unpossible. But 3 hours later the airplane moved forward. "But it does move!" Gallileo had right.

The aircompany "Blue Wings" is new and I am surpriced. Service and prize are correct. I have a two way ticket to Moscow for not more than 150 Euro. And the airport is close to our institute. This is double correct!

Moscow is cold, -15 degrees under freeze and we have a star-bright sky. Cozy is the life in Moscows winter. It is the last day of the christmas holidays. In Russia is christmas at January 6th. Nobody is working before January 11th. So there are a lot of flashing christmas trees, pictures of Santa Claus and promotion lights for "Happy New Year".

The Moscow airport "Sheremetyevo" has changed. There is a new terminal. The passport controls are fast and I get a shuttle bus to the airport-express. This electric train is new also. It is a sky train. I sit in and drive into the city in 20 min. Very nice! 3 years ago this same place was stressful. I went with a 30 years old smoking bus "IkaRUS" from socialist times into the city. I had no seat and must stand there for more than 2 hours. But all this is history and I am thankful to got this adventure.

Now I am in my hostel and look forward to explore the most changing town of Europe - again. It is my 12th visit in 6 years of Space Education. It is a trailblazer work - and most fascinating. But today is the first year that you can be with me - in real time. This is the schedule for the next 7 days. You are invited.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snow-chaos and Moonbuggy-training

from Ralf Heckel

Today Germany is under 2-3 feet snow. Last night a snowstorm crossed over the country. No traffic works. Silence is everywhere - not so at the headquarteres of the Moonbuggy Team Germany. This weekend is scheduled to design parts and to make a training. The TV team of the middle german brodcast wanted to make a shot. They phoned and said: "No matter, we come later."



But the students answered: "No, you can come, we make our training with or whithout snow. It is a present for us to have a tough obstacle on our course, because the race is tough." And so Sasha, Philipp and Susan gave their interviews, finished their CAD-drawings and rolled the Moonbuggy out of the garage. The team needs 45 min to cleen the home area from snow. At the course they need 45 min again. An the the Moonbuggy runs through the hardest german winter since 20 years.

The reason is: A piece of the steering mechanic was broken. Susan said: "It is good to make this experience today, better as at the race."

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Friday, January 8, 2010

VIP-Programm in Moscow



This annual visit is tradition since January 2007. It is for meetings, discussions to forward cooperations and to make the friendship to partners and students deeper. This year we will prepare international exchange programms: NASA Moonbuggy Race, German OKB I – Tour 2010, Mars 500 Rover, Space Olympics. We are part of the international delegation for the 103rd birthday of chief designer S.P. Korolev and present the new german book: “Vater”, a translation from “Otez” by N.S. Koroleva. All projects are on the tracks of the preparing to the 50th Years Celebration of Yuri Gagarin´s flight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eröffnung des SEI-Blog

Hiermit ist das SEI-Blog eröffnet.
Ihr findet es auf unserer Webseite:
oder auch direkt:
Jedes Moonbuggy-Teammitglied kann sich als Redakteur bei mir anmelden und seine Berichte per email auf diesem Blog veröffentlichen.
Ralf Heckel,
International Space Education Institute
gemeinnütziges freies Institut zur Förderung der Studien- und Berufsorientierung im Ingenieurwesen und der Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.,