We started with a reception to get to know the other BEXUS and REXUS teams. Most teams where present at the ESTEC selection workshop, but because this workshop was split in two, we didn't know all teams yet. Also, some teams where represented by other members.
After a short introduction of what we could expect this week, we had the preliminary design review (PDR). We where the first team and didn't know what to expect. The review committee had great feedback and helped us improve our design so we can deliver a functioncal experiment at the launch campain. We couldn't be happier to be the first team, as from now on we could focus on learning the information we need for the IRISC project.
After some lectures about implementation, verification of requirements and ground safety we went to the Andech Monastery. We did this, in the dark, by walking with candles and gluhwein. After a great dinner and getting to know the other teams we went back to the hotel.
This day was focussed on lectures. We learned a lot about thermal, risk management, GPS and navigation and finally a kindergarten session. During the kindergarten session all teams noted what they thought could interfere with other experiments and made a cardboard mockup of their experiments. There were some great discussions between the teams about the interfacing of the different experiments on the gondola's. In total two gondola's will be provided, so there was some room to move.
At the end of the day there were presentations of all the BEXUS teams. During this time we learned even more about their experiments. This way we could continue the interfacing discussions later in private. During the coming workshops this will be reviewed and some experiments might be moved to a different gondola.
Wednesday started of with lectures. We learned about software design, provided BEXUS onboard systems and BEXUS flight dynamics. After the lectures we had a guided tour through the Institution of Robotics and Mechatronics. We learned a lot about the famous KUKA robot arm. There we nice examples of how this arm could be used for space and medical applications.
After the guided tour, the REXUS teams presented their experiments. It was really interesting to hear about what they where doing, even though we aren't directly connected. Back at the hotel we had a voluntary lecture about astronaut selection and training.
Thursday started of with lecture about EMC requirements and outreach. Then we went of to the second guided tour, this time through the German Space Operation Centre (GSOC). We learned about the ISS construction, the various rockets that the GSOC is involved in launching, the Columbus module, and finally were permitted onto "the bridge": the viewing platform from which you can see into the various control centres of various space missions. We saw a live feed from the ISS, including a detailed schedule for the day, but sadly it seems most astronauts were camera shy at the time.
One of the highlights of the day was the "Ask an Expert" session, where we each had very helpful discussions with Stefan, Koen, and others about the concerns we've had for the experiment. Suffice to say we're feeling a lot more confident in the experiment setup and any modifications we have to make. Finally, we had a technical drawing lecture.
Then the fun began. We found ourselves on a bus headed for the Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim, an aviation museum outside of Munich. We watched a presentation about OTRAG, a former German Aerospace outfit that found themselves in a bunch of tragic positions in Zaire and Libya following WWII. The museum itself was incredible. They treated us to dinner and drinks in amongst the museum exhibits, as well as a Bavarian themed floor show, which we quite enjoyed!
In the morning we took the bus to DLR MORABA, Oberpfaffenhofen, for one last time. The day began with a lecture about system engineering. This function is in our team done by multiple people, we learned a lot about this function and how to devide it. Then we had a lecture about the REXUS/ BEXUS campain and gave us info about the next review, the CDR.
Then we had to say goodbye to our hosts and new friends. We did make a Whatsapp to keep in contact with all the teams. Good bye Oberpfaffenhofen/Munich/Germany! It was a great time!