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The Space Tweep Society European Branch

@SpaceTweepsIt’s been two years since the European Space Agency (ESA) first opened it’s doors to Space enthusiasts, and already the SpaceTweeps community has grown into a vibrant solid group in Europe, with new members joining everyday.  Inspired by some of the Society’s core U.S. members, who crossed the pond to attend the 1st SpaceTweetup on September 18, 2011 in Germany, the European SpaceTweeps have grabbed the torch and.. have been running ever since!

In the past two years, SpaceTweeps have been invited to more than ten Tweetups in Europe organised by numerous Space & Science Institutions such as ESA, DLR, CNES, OeWF, CERN, ISU etc., and they have spontaneously attended almost all major space related conferences and events on this planet, including the 2012 ISS Symposium in Berlin, Germany, SpaceFest V in Tucson, Arizona and the 64th International Astronautical Congress in Beijing, China. They have also  joined forces with scientists and space professionals in already organizing four SpaceUp un-conferences all over the continent.

While having tons of fun in the process, SpaceTweeps have been spreading their excitement and love for space exploration and scientific research to thousands of people, with their tweets, posts and blogs.  Happily, officials in Europe have not been shy in publicly acknowledging SpaceTweeps’ contribution to increasing outreach and public awareness of their activities on twitter or on their official websites.  ESA was even bold enough to host the second largest European SpaceUp in its Paris headquarters and to promote it on its official website.

The video below was produced, during last week’s ESA/DLR SocialSpace event, by Henning Krause of Helmholtz Association (CC-BY 3.0), who has been fascinated by the Society’s momentum and drive. Many claim that this says it all 😉

SocialSpace interviews: The Space Tweeps Community


SpaceUp Paris, T-64 days!

When I could not make it to SpaceUp Europe in last september, I jokingly told Damien, a friend who was attending, that maybe we should co-host together the first french SpaceUp. He came back with a list of 4 others ready to join the fun… and asked me if I was still in. Mmmm, not *just* a joke then!

We tried to cover all the bases, so you may have already read it on Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn or the global SpaceUp website…  SpaceUp Paris will take place on 25th and 26th May at the European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in central Paris. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the SpaceUp concept whereby participants are invited to actively contribute in presentations and talks on a variety of space themes.

« Room A », ESA Headquarters in central Paris (Credit : SpaceUp Paris / B. Bailleul)

The point is… We’d love to meet you there.

ESA Headquarters in central Paris, France (credit: ESA)

ESA Headquarters in Paris, France (credit: ESA)

But why were we invited to hold the SpaceUp at ESA heaquarters?

Fernando Doblas, Head of ESA’s  Communication Department, replies to the question : “Because we can relate to the basic concept of the SpaceUp. ESA, as a space agency depends on cooperation between European states who understood a long time ago the importance of uniting to undertake together space projects far beyond the scope of what could be achieved by any single European country. Cooperation implies a willingness to listen, to be open to others, and to be ready to learn from each other. This is the spirit of ESA, its ADN, and this is also the spirit of SpaceUp. We are pleased to welcome this event, the first of its kind in Paris and at ESA headquarters, where decisions on space for Europe are taken! ”

Equally convinced by this innovative initiative, CNES, the French space agency, invites the SpaceUp attendees to learn more about the future ESA launcher, Ariane 6. On Friday 24th May, engineers from the CNES Launchers Directorate and ESA’s Launchers Directorate will present their work, take part in interactive workshops and submit challenges to the participants.

Apart from those official events, we look forward to evenings of fun between spacetweeps. Sadly, there will be no Endless BBQ… but I’m sure we’ll nevertheless manage to enjoy each other’s company!

Everything you want to know is on the spaceup.fr website (or so we hope!), but if you have questions, do not hesitate to hail us on any social network!


SpaceUp Saudi Arabia: A story worth being told!

A small group of female Saudi spacetweeps has taken the challenge to organize the first SpaceUp Unconference in the Middle East. It is really great to see the US-born SpaceUp movement now quickly taking over the world. Last September we saw the first non-US event take place in Europe, while this December 1st we will see the first @SpaceUpIndia event in Bangalore. But the event in Saudi Arabia in January 2013 promises to be a breakthrough event for several reasons: (more…)

SpaceUp Poland Livestream!

During this weekend (24-25th of November) SpaceUp Poland will take place in Warsaw.

It is great opportunity to meet people who are fascinated by space and excellent chance to discuss with them and share experience in this field. Traditional and local food with the atmosphere of the capital of the country will be a great background for the unconference and with inspiring presentations and talks will create an unforgettable SpaceUp Poland!

If for some reason you cannot take part in SpaceUp Poland,

you can reach us on our livestream channel:


Starts at 11.00 AM, CEST, 24th November.

SpaceUp Poland is dedicated to the fact, that Poland became 20th European Space Agency member state this month, which is great milestone for all space and astronomy enthusiasts in Poland!

SpaceUp Poland is coming!

#SpaceUp events are doing great in Europe. After @SpaceUpEU and @SpaceUpStuttgart it is time for Warsaw to be the host of @SpaceUpPL!

Expression #SpaceUp rings a bell for more and more people around the world. An “unconference” with the possibility to share your ideas with other “space freaks” sounds like heaven for many human beings for whom “the sky is no limit”. Shorter, longer presentations, talks, films, discussion panels, workshops and more discussion in-between create the unique atmosphere of this event and reveal more and more space enthusiasts across the globe.

Such an atmosphere was also present on the #SpaceUpEU event in Belgium this September. Open and friendly people with huge knowledge and their fascination to the space were amazing and extremely inspiring. This impression, connected with the fact that Poland soon becomes a 20­th member of European Space Agency encouraged us to think about organisation of @SpaceUpPL event.

So here we would like to invite everyone to come to Warsaw and help Poland and its space enthusiasts to make first steps into international space society. Join us during SpaceUp and share with everyone your experience, interests and thoughts. Make a discussion about future space exploration, find out what other participants can offer you à listen, actively participate in different SpaceUp sessions and talk, talk, talk with everyone around! Everything is about sharing – so help us to share and spread space-spirit around Poland!

SpaceUp PL is a great opportunity not only to meet enthusiastic and ready to join ESA group but also to visit the capital city of Poland and fall in love with it 😉

We’re looking forward meeting you in Poland 😉

Your @SpaceUpPL Team – @imperator_jarek, @llirael, @liwyj, @cissidy.

More information:

Website: http://spaceup.org/near-you/poland/

Registration: https://newspace.wufoo.eu/forms/spaceup-poland/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SpaceUpPoland

The First International Space Exploration Symposium in Japan

I will be attending a two day symposium organized by JAXA in Tokyo. The theme is Space Exploration for Humanity and the Future. It will open Tuesday October 30 at 1300, Japan time. The complete program can be found at the following address:


I will try to cover the event live on Twitter with pictures. Even if it proves difficult (power supply problems, etc.) I will write about it here later in the week.

As you can see, the philosophical aspects of space exploration will be discussed but also its future. With the attendance of top executives from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Mitsubishi HI, SpaceX among others, we can expect some interesting talks about the commercial aspects of space exploration.

I also intend to make use of the event to contact persons interested in starting a SpaceUp or Space Tweetup events in Japan in the near future.
Anyone interested can contact me through my Twitter account @ScienceInSpace
I am looking forward to having an active exchange with my fellow Spacetweeps from all around the world.

Philippe Valdois


SpaceUpEU – A personal perspective

Wow. How do you sum up one for the coolest things you have ever done?! When I went to Florida last year for STS-134 I thought that experience would take some matching. SpaceUpEU did just that.

As I’d never done anything remotely like a un-conference or SpaceUp before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found impressed me, excited me, blew me away almost. I think what I have experienced at SpaceUpEU is a huge melting pot of passionate, enthusiastic people both individual in their views and interests but also united equally by their love of space and curiosity to discover other people’s passions and interests. Everything from the range of topics to the massive age range of the participants, the 15 countries participating, how far people had travelled. It made you think very differently and it helped me be more encouraged and open about something I usually only talk about online.

With so many topics, talks and discussions and, of course, overlapping slots it is impossible to absorb everyone’s ideas during the weekend but hopefully with the abundance of video equipment and recording hopefully some things I didn’t get to see might filter down later on, probably a good idea given the rather crammed state of my brain! From square one, even maybe before the event began on Friday night I have learned lots of great stuff that I hope I can remember when I need it. The sheer range of topics was also mind-blowing. From the meticulously prepared to the totally ad-hoc, enthralling to the brain-cell popping (Yes, I’m still recovering from Christer Fuglesang’s mass, weight and particle physics!!) to the down-right controversial (Mars One caused by far the most discussion!) and pretty-much everything in between.

For me personally, the diversity of information and the friendliness and openness of the crowd stands out a lot at events like this. I wore a replica NASA flight suit to day 1 of SpaceUpEU and so many people commented on how cool it was and how good it looked. Also I knew very few people there, probably only half a dozen at most, but *everyone* was open and friendly and wanted to get to know you and talk to you. Most impressive however was actually giving a talk to a group of people, in my case an Astronomy Kickstarter, who were genuinely interested in what I had to say. Although I’d have loved more time and to open the discussion to the people there with me, I still got a massive satisfaction from talking to them about a shared interest and presenting helpful information to people who wanted to get going themselves.

My only regret is perhaps that a lot of passions, information and ideas were presented but perhaps that we didn’t always have time to discuss those within the SpaceUp event format. A lot of the discussion occurred in the evenings and outside the talks themselves which is sort of what SpaceUp and ‘un-conference’ is supposed to be working to bring into the main event. I don’t think this was necessarily a failure of the event so much as so many people were so interested in sharing their passions and, being the first European SpaceUp event, it uncorked a rich source of this passion and sharing. As a first event, an opener and a launch of the SpaceUp concept in Europe, though, it was a hugely successful and exciting event to be part of. Hopefully (and I know there are other SpaceUps already happening or being planned, starting with SpaceUp Stuttgart in October) this will be the spark that ignites the fires of other people to continue the flow of ideas and information in our area of the world.

Last but by no means least, I couldn’t write a blog post about SpaceUpEU without offering massive thanks to our organisers:

  • Remco Timmermans  (@timmermansr)
  • Eico Neumann   (@travelholic)
  • Angie Kanellopoulou  (@akanel)
  • Alex von Eckartsberg (@starlingLX)
  • Marco Frissen   (@mfrissen)
  • Joachim Baptist   (@JustBe74)

Although, as they kept reminding us, SpaceUp is as much a product of the participants as the organizers, their amazing efforts and hard, dedicated work opened the door for so many people to get together under this common banner to share and ignite discussion, some of which will still be going for a good while I’m sure (but hey, the rovers will do it!).

The SpaceUpEU Story So Far

As September is approaching fast, it will also be almost one year ago that I attended my first SpaceTweetUp. Being ESA & DLR’s first foray herein this is all the more fitting. This is the last place where I need to explain what a SpaceTweetUp can do to a person, so not going there.

So SpaceUp Europe, that’s what I would like to talk about. To me it’s a beautiful full circle story. One of the things that immediately struck me was how a Barcamp like event would be great for this topic/crowd. Little did I now at that time that it already existed and the first SpaceUp had already been held in San Diego in 2010. So one throws up the idea but it stayed with talking at that point. The fun part is that at the same time some US SpaceTweeps that already attended a SpaceUp were also talking to some other EU SpaceTweeps about the same topic. But also here, it stayed as an idea to pick up at a later time.

The next step. At some point before #SpaceKoelsch2 some SpaceTweeps started talking about SpaceUp and doing this in Europe. At this point the 2 groups that first talked separate are now talking together, space unites once again! This was the perfect time to bring it to the table and see which traction it could gather. And traction it did gather! One week later 5 SpaceTweeps were exchanging mails and on January 23 we had our first hangout (G+ is great for this:) together. SpaceUpEU was born! The first EU organising crew consisting of @akanel (GR) @mfrissen (NL) @timmermansr (NL) @travelholic (DE) and myself @JustBe74 (BE), a real European team.

Fun and work, lots of both luckily. I think it’s fair to say none of us really knew on what journey we were embarking. Finding a location (Genk, Belgium) and date (22-23/09) primarily and secondly logistics, sponsors, legal things, set-up registration and so on. This last point bringing us to today. T-1 actually! Starting tomorrow registrations will open for the first ever SpaceUpEU. Another great milestone for us, but for sure not the last. So keep an eye out on @SpaceUpEU tomorrow to be part of it.

To be continued!



SpaceUp San Francisco!

This is the inaugural year of SpaceUp San Francisco. The amazing space enthusiasm is going to happen on March 31 and April 1, 2012 at Citizen Space and is in partnership with the AIAA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Space is limited so register now to make sure you get a spot.

SpaceUp is a space unconference, where participants decide the topics to discuss and everyone is encouraged to give a talk, moderate a panel or start a discussion. Sessions are proposed and scheduled on the day they’re given, which means the usual “hallway conversations” turn into full-fledged topics.

If you’ve been to a SpaceUp elsewhere, then you know the fun and stellar ideas that are born there. It is truly the place for space enthusiasts, students, pros and wide-eyed kids. What makes SpaceUp SF unique is that we are also encouraging the strong SF culture of hackers, makers, artists, entrepreneurs, and web pros to attend. For example, organizer Sam is part of the steampunk culture, a bot maker and space tourism advocate. Crossing those ought to make for a really radical space movement! We hope to see the brilliance Bay Area people bring to startups, art and tech companies melded with the space community. Come to SF to see a new take on SpaceUp!

If you’ve never been to a SpaceUp, this is your chance! You will be amazed at what comes out of SpaceUp. Based on past SpaceUps, we expect to see businesses started, problems solved, projects kicked off, plans hatched, and amazing friendships born. Plus there is the amazing fun of Moonpie eating contests, the cool gadgets in the Artware Alley, and a chance to talk about the space topics that interest you! From rockets to space settlements, science projects to scifi, if you’re into it, it goes at SpaceUp!

We hope to have the Space Tweeps community in full force at SpaceUp SF. Get more information at www.spaceupsf.org. Please spread the word if you can! We are on Twitter and Facebook.

Vote for an Amazing SpaceTweep panel at SXSW!

Vote for an Amazing SpaceTweep panel at SXSW!

Tweeps, we have proposed a great panel for the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive festival. Our panel is called, “How to Win Friends and Influence Space Exploration,” and you can read about it here. While you’re there, please help us out by voting for the panel and giving us your feedback in the comments on the voting page.

We have a great group lined up including me from the Space Tweep Society, @Chris_Radcliff from SpaceUp@tim846 from Yuri’s Night@harbingeralpha from Valador, Inc. (a NASA contractor), @mrdoornbos from Evadot.com and @Astro_Ron from NASA of course, but also Fragile Oasis.

We really need your votes to ensure our panel is chosen from among the thousands of others. Yes, you’ll have to log in, but please take the time to do it. We’ll appreciate it more than you could know and if chosen, we will use our panel to spread the space tweep goodness to a whole new audience.

Thank you!


Talk with Astros, Play with Moon Rocks, Be at SpaceUp Houston

Talk with Astros, Play with Moon Rocks, Be at SpaceUp Houston

I will be at SpaceUp Houston and I think you should come too. SpaceUp Houston is an “unconference” that makes sessions from the awesome conversations people have in the hallways and informal gatherings at regular conferences. In essence YOU are the conversation.

My personal experience with this event started from a tweet by @txflygirl on Twitter. I met @txflygirl during the STS-132 JSC Mission Tweetup, it was an amazing experience for me and I have stayed in touch with many people from the tweetup. The @txflygirl tweet explored the possibility of a SpaceUp event in Houston and asked for people who would like to help and I thought, “why not”. I had heard about SpaceUp DC but I didn’t find out enough about it before the event to attend and since I still wanted to go to this type of event I thought I could put my programming/computer science skills to good use. In addition, having my interest in space exploration rekindled after attending the NASA Tweetup I thought I would have to be crazy to let this opportunity pass me by. Once the SpaceUp Houston’s team started to form, I helped out @harbingeralpha (Dennis Bonilla) with the website and technical set-up for SpaceUp Houston. I helped find a web host along with setting up a domain and Dennis and I set up the site despite being several states apart. I did a lot of the fighting with the website customization and have learned many things through this process. I’ve now worked with the WordPress blogging environment, and integrated various social media sources such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn into a powerful communications platform. I will be responsible for managing the scheduling software once the event gets under way so that attendees are aware of what events are happening in which room at the Lunar and Planetary Institute during the event. As the event gets closer I am becoming more and more excited about being a part of an event that includes speakers such as Boeing, SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA), Sierra Nevada, and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) which will be part of a commercial space panel, and hear from Astronaut Clay Anderson on Saturday, February 12.

How will you be getting there? I’m personally driving a little over 1,100 miles each way to be at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX on February 12-13 (hopefully my professors don’t mind me missing a day or two of class), below you will find links to get more information and to purchase tickets so that you won’t miss out on this opportunity to meet some cool people and engage in productive conversation. I am also looking forward to hearing what many people think is next for NASA and the future of Human Space Flight in general. I hope to see you there!

Official website: http://www.spaceuphouston.org
Tickets: http://spaceuphou.eventbrite.com/

Our official press release:

Grassroots Space Conference Announces Houston Dates: Astronaut and Others to Attend February Event

SpaceUp Houston Opens Registration and Invites the Public to Play With Moon Rocks and Telescopes, and Mingle with Fellow Science and Science Fiction Fans

Houston, TX – January 15, 2010 – SpaceUp Houston has announced availability of tickets for its February 12-13 “unconference” to be held at The Lunar & Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX. Tickets are available at http://spaceuphou.eventbrite.com. The third conference of its kind, SpaceUp Houston will include spontaneous sessions created by attendees as well as telescope viewing of the night sky, costumed Star Wars characters courtesy of the 501st Legion, and a Saturday evening presentation by Astronaut Clay Anderson. Other sessions at the two-day event will include a commercial spaceflight panel and a space show-and-tell. Lunch will be provided with every ticket to the event.

Attendees have previously arrived from across the country with ages ranging from seven to seventy years old. SpaceUp Houston, as described on the unconference’s website, “will nurture new and radical concepts, will help develop partnerships, and is meant for you to create a future worth living in.” Previous attendees had this to say about SpaceUp events:
“SpaceUp was about the people.”
“The conversations people care about by the people who care about them.”

Space unconferences have been held in San Diego, CA as well as Washington, DC to promote discussions on cutting edge technologies, space outreach, and the future of the space industry in the United States. This will be the first SpaceUp event in Houston; it has been planned and promoted by members of the Houston tech industry as well as space enthusiasts from across the country. Major sponsors for SpaceUp Houston include The Boeing Company, United Launch Alliance, and Telestream’s Wirecast software. The event will be livestreamed on February 12-13 at http://spaceuphouston.org.


A SpaceUp is a space unconference, also known as a user-generated conference or a BarCamp. Participants will decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event.

SpaceUp, founded in 2010, has successfully been held in San Diego and Washington D.C. SpaceUp Houston will build upon their success by involving the Houston-Clear Lake community in sharing and discussing the possibilities for space exploration covering NASA programs, hobbyist projects, start-up companies, research, and the arts. SpaceUp strives to include children, university students, and anyone who has a passion for space exploration. There are no spectators at SpaceUp Houston, only participants. All attendees are expected to give a demo, present a talk, or participate in a panel or roundtable. Above all, SpaceUp events are designed as catalysts for future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics development.

SpaceUp Houston has partnered with the Clear Lake Area National Space Society (CLANSS) which has 501(c)(3) status.

The official SpaceUp Houston Twitter stream can be found at http://twitter.com/spaceuphou

For more information visit the SpaceUp Houston website at http://spaceuphouston.org or call Dennis Bonilla at (202) 670-4740 or email SpaceUp Houston at press@spaceuphouston.org

Ultralight Spaceflight: Space Up DC?

This week @ULSF Alex @Csete submitted a fix to the Gnu Radio user interface, Gnu Radio Companion.  Digging into GRC and Gnu Radio will help us to establish a way for anyone to build a ground station and download the RF configuration for anyone’s mission tracking and communications.

I discovered another interesting part of the world in Modelica, an open source electro-mechanical dynamics modeling and simulation tool based on the Modelica Language and intended for graphical user interfaces.  It’s quite mature, with a substantial commercial following in Europe including Dassault Systèmes.  A model is defined and compiled into a simulation from the graphical user interface.

That code base has already given me some good pointers for my own work on Sagittarius.  A post entitled “Atoms and Molecules” describes the work in progress.

Mike @mrdoornbos and friends including Tiffany @astrogerly are working on Space Up DC this August 27th and 28th at the Space Policy Institute.  Follow @spaceupdc for more to come including registration this Tuesday.

Space is up, i.e., ad astra.