2022: ready for throttle up!
2021 was an exhilarating year for Space. Many achievements from many companies, institutes and individuals were frontpage news this year. Eye On Orbit was part of some of those successes as I consulted for a number of institutes and companies that moved the needle this year. Most assignments I did this year were related to Earth Observation for small satellites. A sincere thank you to all my clients in 2021 that put their trust in me to help them thrust more!
That 2021 was a record year for Space, I also noticed by the attention from the media I received. I counted a total of 14 news items for which I was interviewed, and the James Webb Space Telescope is not even launched yet! Although it takes time away from billable hours, I am always happy to talk to journalists to get their stories straight. I was also a regular guest in the BNR Space Cowboys Podcast and this will continue into 2022.
The interest for Space at InHolland Aeronautical & Precision Engineering, where I am a part-time teacher, also accelerated. I am actually quite busy now, together with a number of my colleagues, setting up a Space Minor for 4th year students and creating content. This will be a semester full of Space lectures, practicals, projects, guest lectures and company visits. The first students will enroll in september 2022.
2022 is promising to become a good year again for Space. Will there be orbital launches of Starship and SLS? Will ExoMars be safely injected into a Martian Transfer Orbit by a Proton rocket? Will there be a shake-out in SmallSat launcher business? Will the Space SPACs survive on the stock market? Will the Chinese outnumber SpaceX again on the total amount of launches to Space? How will the Space environment hold given the current geopolitical instabilities? Questions that only 2022 knows the answers of.
For 2022, I have a number of personal development goals:
- I want to get more in depth experience with mechanical design. I intend to get a certificate in Siemens NX as this is the CAD programme of choice by the InHolland Aeronautical & Precision Engineering students.
- Based on my own future CAD drawing, I intend to 3D print a number of compliant mechanisms to support my Design Principles for Precision Engineering classes. I have never actually created a 3D print myself, so that will happen in 2022!
- I like programming, and this is one of the reasons I got involved in the Astro Pi project. I am mentoring a team of schoolkids age 9-10 that intend to programme a special raspberry Pi computer on-board the International Space Station. While mentoring the kids, I intend to up my game in Python programming, specifically in the field of Machine Learning.
- My engineering competences are rooted in optomechatronic design for Space Instrumentation. I want to broaden my scope more so I intend to complete this TU Delft self study course: Introduction to Aerospace Structures & Materials
- In my spare time, I started reading Science Fiction books this year: Sevenes (Neal Stephenson), Pushing Ice (Alistair Reynolds), Rendez-vous with Rama (Arthur C. Clarke) and The Gods Themselves (Isaac Asimov). For 2022, I plan to read the remaining 3 Rama novels by Arthur C Clarke, Foundation by Isaac Asimov and Red, Green and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.
What I also experienced in my personal live in 2021 is that health of your close family is most important. Long live medical science & hoping for all the best in 2022!
Have a great main engine shutdown of 2021 and see you for ignition and lift-off in 2022! If you are in need of independent, reliable, creative and focused expertise for policy, programmes, projects and proposals for space activities, I do hope our paths will cross (again) in the new year!