Belgians and spatial exploration


On the occasion of the World Space Week, Belgium is celebrating its astronauts. Twenty five years ago, Dirk Frimout was the first Belgian to go to space. Ten years later, Frank de Winne follows his lead and heads off for a first trip. In 2009, he re-enlists for a long-term mission, during which he will become the first European commander of the International Space Station (ISS).

In 1999 the United Nations decide to celebrate the World Space Week each year, from the 4th until the 10th of October. This week allows to highlight the contributions of space technology and spatial science to the betterment of the human condition.

This year, the theme revolves around “Exploring New Worlds in Space”. With this subject, the organization wants to demonstrate that space exploration has no limits, as well as to raise awareness for the benefits of spatial technology.

Anyone can organize and register an event for the World Space Week, anywhere in the world. Five events are already planned in Belgium. Since this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the first Belgian travel in space, many organizations have decided to celebrate our astronauts.

This is why, on the 4th of October, the University of Ghent hosts an interview with Dirk Frimout in person and with Frank De Winne via Skype, on the occasion of its Space Exploration festival. It will be followed by a panel discussion on the subject of ‘Men in Space’.

Another event will take place two days later to celebrate the 25th, 15th, and 8th anniversary of the Belgian space travels, this time in the presence of De Winne. This event is organized by the SCK•CEN, the Belgian nuclear research center, and will be dedicated to the Belgian contribution to future spatial exploration.

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