An important fact of astronomy and space science is for me that you do not have any borders. If you watch the night sky, you will not see any borders. If you watch earth from the ISS, you do rarely detect borders. Borders can simplify thinking, but it also limit it.
This start of the satellite Sentinel-2B showed me again, that if all countries working together they can reach so much. They can implement systems to monitor the earth - and no only the own areas - to learn more how mankind changes the world; to learn, how mankind can safe the world.
All the participants from all over the world celebrating this event together, in a time, when more and more countries focusing again on its own. This keep me hoping, this will change again and we and our children will work for a better world. We will "think global and act local". I am realy happy to be parts of this great community.
Sentinel2go was not my first social event but for sure was the bigger and the one with more participants of all. It was wonderful to meet again people I already met at the previous ones as much as to meet new friends. As Joe would say #spaceunite! and this time there were actually people from all over the world, people of different ages, of different cultures, with different minds all united to follow a gold box sent into space by a flamed rocket
This is particular marvelous for me as I am one of the older “sentinerds” present at the event, you have to know that when I was a child, I had a dream: to become an astronaut, an astronomer, or a physic scientist or...
But I was a female countryside child in the seventies, when the high school were different for boys and girls and there was still a lot of prejudices of what "female" were able or not to do.
When it was time to choose the University course I would like to study I went to the Engineering faculty open day and the president of the school asked to the girls in the room (just me and another one on 200) to stand up. He advised us not to enroll that course because we had never been able to pass his exam, as we were women and women cannot be engineers.
I found the same attitude also in the course I actually chose (Chemistry) and this all finished with me leaving the University without a degree, also because I was waiting for my baby and in the 80's in my country it still was enough to stop every career.
Years went by, I found a job not science or space related at all, but I still looked up in the sky, I was always obsessed by space, planes and everything that it is capable to fly.
The internet was at its beginning, there was nothing like a "social media" but it becoming easier to find information, NASA and other scientific organizations started their first web sites, forums, blogs, and suddenly everything I always dreamt to know was available, just with few "clicks" on my computer.
Then came the social media, not only was possible to read info but to interact with people actually working in space and science!!
Long story short in 2011 I participate to ESA Mars500 tweetup and I met other fans of space and science, someone of them was working in space companies and I started thinking that maybe to work in the space industry was not as impossible as I thought ... maybe it could be possible for me too…
I thought that it worth a try, so I started my evil plan to conquer a space job, first, I needed to finish my study, as I really needed at least a bachelor. Instead of re-start my chemistry one, I chose to get an engineering degree (none said me anything about be a woman this time!) and I was able to get it in less than 3 years, while I was working full time to pay for it.
Besides looking for an actual job I think that just be involved in something like the social events is more than I thought possible... I mean last Monday I was seated near one of the principal scientist of Sentinel 2, he was actually speaking to me about his job, showing me the latest pictures taken by the satellite and explaining the meaning of what was in the picture… To me! Isa from the countryside, Isa who should not be able to be an engineer, who should not be able to understand science stuff because she is a woman…
Ok I have been exaggerating a little bit but these were basically my thoughts in that moment, the same thoughts that I had while I was talking to SpaceOps or others technicians, while I walked into the controls rooms and asked questions, while I took pictures of screens and consoles.
I had told to a bunch of space nerds in the hotel hall that morning that the social event could have changed their life, I said so cause that is what happened to me, it push me to try to change my life to get what I actually want instead of keeping what I already have.
My message for all space nerds out there is to “dare to say yes”, never think to be inadequate or too old, or too young, or not smart enough to try to get what you dream.
Do not fear what other people can think of you but keep doing whatever you feel right for you no matter if society think you should not, it’s your life, it’s you dream.
“Never give up, never surrender”
I applied to the event but I didn't think I would be accepted for many reasons like: few vacancies, restricted profile selection for people working in space activities , security procedures...
So when I got selected I was very happy and felt very honoured too. Like a dream come true.
Then it came the travelling agenda! Could I afford it? Could I fit it into my usual budget? Yes.
So there went why, days later, replying to Social Space for ESA team when all I wanted was to answer by the time I first received my eMail invitation! So I gladly replied and starting to wonder all about the place and the people I was about to meet!!!
Then time went by and we started talking through FB through the group and I found the great Cindy which was gathering people to an activity and I thought: "What a nice way to meet people before the event? " so I joined. Best thing I have done. Cindy deserves a special THANK YOU for being hard working, not giving up even when she realised she had lost the luggage with the Datanaut material.
Being able to know the interior of a Space Agency was one of my biggest curiosities and dreams come true. Realising that there are so many cool people with the same interest for space was memorable, from all ages, all countries with different occupations but all united in the same goal.
Then the event itself, the building facilities, the souvenirs as if our memories weren't enough and the tour listening to the specialists in each section/department of ESA.
Between listening, uploading my social media with content, charging devices talking to people I tried not to miss nothing and remarkably stood awake without ever feeling sleepless for the first time in many years, true.
It's different from watching on a screen alone laying in bed or sofa, as I usually do when I watch the launches but it was super special and exciting being there though I kept me in low profile. I promise next time I won't be so discreet.
I return to my daily life more happy and motivated and even a bigger fan of space activities specially now that I can interact with so many amazing people like Mark and many others. I guess we are forever connected and it makes me feel very happy.
Because, after the room gets empty of guests, after all the champagne and cake is gone, after the cheering echo turns again into silence... there is a bunch of people staying behind. A bunch of really daring pioneers, dedicated to making mankind wiser and keeping its dreams and aspirations alive. This is a post for you, great people of ESA - European Space Agency at #ESOC.
Thank you for letting us into your glorious, exciting, yet demanding world. Tomorrow morning, walking to your offices, please know you have our gratitude.
And you know what? Part of us will always be there with you. For we shared a night full of the most deep, sincere and original feelings human beings can experience. Thrill of exploration, admiration of what team work can achieve, and that magic sense present only when people get close, holding their hearts open to wonder.
You gave us an extraordinary memory to cherish, new bonds of friendship and collaboration to share- and a valuable message to spread: Our miraculous planet can be observed, can be re-discovered, can be admired. But it cannot be taken for granted.
Dear #Sentinerds: To every and each one of you present at that moment of thrill and joy, THANK YOU. Please, keep your creative, unique, dreamy spirits alive! Hoping we'll get to meet again...
#Sentinel2Go #satellites_do_not_say_goodbye #they_just_sail_to_orbit
#so_do_we #may_our_orbits_meet_again #we_love_esa #love_you_guys
Despite the fact that I was awake for a total 37 hours, I loved every single minute of the #Sentinel2Go experience and would do it again in a heartbeat!
I gained new experiences, wonderful memories, fantastic new friendships and a new found respect for the European Space industry, Until recently European endeavours in Space have always been overshadowed by the USA, at least in my mind they had as, I must confess, my knowledge of European Space was lacking until I started my current job, but the sheer history of what have done in Space, what we are looking to do and how passionate every single person is about further the advancement of Europe in Space is truly inspirational!
This event was a great way of showcasing that Space is a truly global phenomenon and that every single person is allowed to participate and care about Space. Not everyone at the event was an engineer, nor worked within the Space industry, the one thing that bound us together was that we shared a common passion and interest, and our love of Social Media allowed us to congregate in one place and celebrate a great European Space feat together, sharing our passion and excitement with anyone around the world who cared to take an interest which is exactly why I love Space; it’s inclusive and global. Anyone anywhere can be a participant in the Space industry, no matter your technical knowledge, your professional background, your age or race, Space is open to everyone. This trip further ignited my passion for space and my desire to travel more and consciously spend time with likeminded #SpaceTweeps.
My trip to ESOC was SO special. Not only did I learn an invaluable amount, but everyone – both staff and fellow invitees – were really kind, supportive, and encouraging. As someone who'd like to switch focus from fashion to science journalism, the #Sentinel2Go event was both an educative endeavour and an immense networking venture, which I feel so fortunate to have experienced. I realise now, the support and encouragement is hardly surprising since an 'aim high’ attitude is synonymous with the science community. Above all, the event has inspired me to continue carving a path for myself in the industry, with confidence and conviction… so watch this space, because I will be back! Thank you to everyone involved, it was an incredible adventure. I look forward to meeting with some of you again; I’m sure our paths will cross in the future :)
I don’t have a scientific mind, but I’ve always loved aeronautics and aerospace – there’s no sound that I love more than a fighter jet engine thrust, apart from rocket thrust, of course.
We live in a time when it’s easy to find information on any subject, and to get in touch with people. Following agencies operating in my fields of interest on social networks has taken me to some amazing places: observatories, launchpads in the USA and Kazakhstan, manned/unmanned rocket and space shuttle launches, satellite cleanrooms, astronaut training facilities, mission control centers…
I’ve met a lot of interesting people, some of whom have become friends: scientists, astrophysicists, researchers, astronauts, astronomers, instructors, test pilots… I found out that they were always glad to take the time to answer questions and share their expertise and experience. And even though I still don’t have a scientific mind, I’ve gained a lot of invaluable, scientific knowledge, which has transformed my everyday life.
The real beauty about the space sector is that nationalities don’t come first. Mankind does.
Brigitte, French, 42 years old
"I had a truly wonderful time at the sentinel 2 launch event. It was amazing finally seeing the kind of hard work and dedication it takes to put something like that together. This might sound a bit silly but before the launch I never really considered how European ESA was. But now that I've been behind the scenes and met the people involved, I can see that it is OUR space agency made up of people from all over Europe. I can't wait to see what our space agency do next"