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Space suit is ready

Wednesday 10/16/19 time 8:41 PM

Today the in-flight space suit was introduced at New York. The suit is made by Under Armor. I got invitation to New York but it was a little too far for me to go there. It would have been a fun evening with Virgin Galactic. After my fligt I can keep my suit.

Youtube video

Pictures Twitter

Technical details from the suit Under Armour

The space suit, picture Under Armour

SpacesuitUnderArmour20191016.jpg

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The Finnish Astronautical Society celebrates its 60th anniversary

Saturday 10/5/19 time 9:44 AM

Today, the Finnish Astronautical Society celebrates its 60th anniversary in restaurant Carelia at dinner. The guest of honor is Juhani Westman, who in 1959 was one the founders of the Finnish Space Research Society.

Further information: Finnish Astronautical Society

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The second rocket, "Etta", will be ready soon

Tuesday 9/24/19 time 12:37 PM

Virgin Galactic wants to send thousands of people to the space in the near future. For that they need a fleet of rockets.

The second rocket is now half finished.

More information: Virgin Galactic

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Apollo 11 movie

Friday 8/23/19 time 3:28 PM

I went to see an Apollo 11 movie which is made using original films. The animations attached to the movie were great. I recommend!


More information in IMDB


For the movie, I did dress myself with an Apollo shirt, an Apollo jacket, rocket stockings, rocket shoes, and a hat, with the Apollo 15 astronaut signature.


VesaApollo11Elokuva.JPG

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Mothership, VMS EVE, did move to Spaceport America

Thursday 8/15/19 time 10:25 PM

Virgin Galactic is preparing to start launching space flights from Spaceport America. They need to move equipment and staff there. VMS EVE flew to New Mexico on 12.08.2019. I did see  VMS EVE flying at Spaceport America 2011. It was great to watch.

Photo: VMS EVE at Spaceport America. (Virgin Galactic)

MotherShipAtSpacePortAmerica20190812.jpg

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I have returned back the earth after my trip

Tuesday 7/30/19 time 10:08 PM

After my memorable space week I have returned to the earth. I was two times television to tell my trip:

Ylen aamu-tv 22.07.2019 (morming television in Finland channel YLE1)

"Kuulentoa juhlistanut avaruusturisti odottaa jo omaa matkaansa."

and

Huomenta Suomi 23.07.2019 (another morning televison in Finland channel MTV3)

Klipit - Suomalainen avaruusmatkailija tapasi Apollo-astronautteja

However, my favorite memory is the hat with the signatures of three astronauts. I did use this hat  during my space week. I got the signatures of three different astronauts: Al Worden (Apollo 15), Bruce Melnick (STS-41, STS-49) and Dave Mackay (Virgin Galactic).

TheHat.jpg

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My space week in Florida 12-18.07.2019

Monday 7/22/19 time 9:20 PM

Thanks to Virgin Galactic, I spent one of the best weeks of my life in Florida in July 2019. My heroes are Yuri Gagarin, Alan Shepard and the Apollo astronauts. I could never have imagined, for example, wearing Alan Shepard’s pilot jacket from 1947, drinking beer and playing golf with Apollo astronauts. Or that I attend an annual astronaut parade at Cocoa Beach, listen to a concert where Neil Amstrong's son was playing, or take a private tour of the Kennedy Space Center and the Boieng Factory. Florida has an extensive history of conquering space. When I talked to the locals, everyone seemed to have some connection to space. One’s grandfather may have been building some part of the rocket, and I heard over and over again stories about rocket launches that have probably been hundreds over the past 50 years.

My space week exceeded all my expectations. Here are my observations in the form of a diary. If anyone else would like to make the same trip, I’ll be happy to give some tips.

It all started with the dinner ticket

Thanks to Virgin Galactic, I was able to get hold of a dinner ticket for the Apollo Gala on July 16, 2019, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight departure. Ticket prices ranged from $ 1,000 to $ 3,500. Mine was a modest $ 1,000 ticket, the buyers of the most expensive tickets had the privilege to sit at the same table with one of the Apollo astronauts. After I got the gala ticket, I decided to take as much space activities as possible while in Florida. So, I attended several events organized by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the Aldrin Family Foundation and the Virgin Galactic. The two above mentioned can be accessed by anyone who buys tickets in time.

A golf tournament and a pub tour all in one day

The week began with golf together with astronauts Al Worden (Apollo 15), Bruce Melnick (STS-41, STS-49) and Laura Shepard (daughter of Alan Shepard) on Friday, July 12, 2019. We were total about 100 players. The astronauts circled among the players so everyone could exchange at least a few words with them. The actual golf tournament was computer-assisted, we hit the balls on the second floor.

The evening continued with a relaxed pub tour ­ -  beer drinking and chatting with the astronauts. Al Worden turned out to be a very laid back and fun person. He is now 87, but seems to be quite busy as there is a demand for senior astronauts in various positions. Al is actively contributing in e.g.  a program called Back To Space, a program created to attract young people to work in the space industry. The United States has a great history in the space sector, but today's young people don't find it interesting in terms of their careers. Probably the main reason for this lies in the short-sighed policy, which can end your career short. Sometimes NASA gets the money needed but sometimes the funding stops ending the process.

Entertaining public events as well as space-related reflections at the weekend

Saturday, July 13, 2019 featured a big astronaut parade at Cocoa Beach. There were about thirty astronauts in their cars and children of the astronauts were present, too. The cars were mainly convertible Corvettes and Mustangs. Neil Armstrong's 1967 Corvette was also on the parade. Its selling price would reportedly be $ 2,000,000 if it were for sale. After the parade, a party in the marketplace took place with many kinds of space themed stalls. The evening ended in a free outdoor concert with Rick Armstrong (Neil Armstrong's son) playing.

Sunday, July 14, 2019 was a day for panel discussions. I attended three panels: Apollo Astronauts Children Tell About Their Life; Women In Space; and The Future Of Space. The panels were really interesting and gave me a peek behind the scenes.

In the evening, we visited the renovated Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center. The biggest new items were the statue of the Apollo 11 Pilots in the new park, and the lunar module. The Saturn V rocket is truly impressive and you only realize its dimensions when you see it in its natural size. It is over 100 meters long and has about 5,000,000 parts. Everything had to function flawlessly when the rocket was launched.

Monday chilling out with Virgin Galactic customers

On Monday July 15, 2019, I spent time with American Virgin Galactic customers. They have seen several rocket launches and were well aware of the state of the space project. SpaceX, Blue Origin and Boeing are for them familiar companies, and are being closely monitored by them. 

Tuesday July 16 was The Day

The Apollo Gala on July 16, 2019 was organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. The gala venue was perfect, a place that already was familiar to me: under the Saturn V rocket. There were about 500 guests. Three Apollo astronauts and one Apollo flight controller were present: Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Gerald Griffin (controller) and Charles Duke (Apollo 16). The gala program had just the right amount of speeches allowing plenty of time to have easy conversations with other guests. Both mens’ and womens’ costumes were stunning. Me being the only Finn on the spot, wore an outfit in the colors of the Finnish flag, a nice blue suit with a white shirt. To add some personal touch, I had my Rocket Design Shoes on my feet and a propeller hat on my head. The propeller hat was my response the organizers request to have some "twist" in the suit. The gala was definitely a memorable experience!

Networking is always worth :)

On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, I met Gisli Gislason, an Icelandic customer of Virgin Galactic. Gislin believes that I'm crazy, and maybe that's why we have so much fun together. As he  personally knows Elon Musk, I asked Gisli to order form Musk one small electric motor with battery for my Fiat car, the Rocket Uno. Well, we’ll see what’s to come.

Towards the end of the week we got a peek into something that others can't

Thursday, July 18, 2019 we were taken on a Virgin Galactic Private Tour at Kennedy Space Center. We visited the huge hall where the Saturn V rockets were assembled. An impressive experience, the height of the hall is over 100 meters and there was actually room to assemble four Saturn V rockets at one time. Now the hall has been redesigned to house a new SLS rocket (Space Launch System), which is even larger than the Saturn V. The SLS rocket is expected to be used in space flights for the next 30 years. The first launch of the SLS rocket is expected to take place in the near future. If everything goes as planned and the necessary funding is provided, its rocket will allow the United States to return to the moon in 2024.

We also visited the Boieng plant, where new CTS-100 (Crew Space Transportation) capsules are being built. The factory was absolutely immaculate and the capsules were assembled with doctor's equipment. Everything was very very clean. Each capsule can be used 10 times and is able to transfer 4-5 people at a time to the ISS (International Space Station). The capsule test flight should take place by the end of this year. It is not allowed to take any pictures in the factory and no ordinary tourists can enter it. Through Virgin Galactic, I get to go to places I wouldn't otherwise get.

After the tour, we had lunch. This same day, July 18, 2019, Rickard Branson turned 69 and he joint us for the lunch and gave us a speech. Richard told us that he vividly remembers Apollo 11 flight. He recalls watching TV the landing on the moon at home with his family. After the speech, Richard returned to his island of Necker and did not stay to attend the dinner with us in the evening.

The week culminated in Virgin Galactic's own dinner, once again under the Saturn V rocket. A total of 100 people were present. Dave Mackay and Beth Moses, pilots at the Virgin Galactic were also present. It is them who flew a Virgin Galactic rocket into space in February. They told about their experiences on the flight. They said that the sky is really black up there and the colors of the earth are even more incredible when you see it with your own eyes. They said the rocket flew up and down nicely. I can’t wait to have that experience in the space!

And what’s now?

Virgin Galactic will have to take a few more test flights before commercial flights can begin. The first flight will quite likely come true next year. I assume that I will be invited to follow the first flight, and that means I will have a travel to Spaceport America in the United States ahead. There will definitely be a memorable party after the flight, and I don't want to miss it!

Back to Alan Shepard's pilot jacket from 1947  ... It was so cool, it was just my size and suited me perfect. If it were for sale, and if I had the money to buy it, I would buy it.

Pictures:

http://en.suomalainenastronautti.fi/albumi/picturesoftheapollogalaandspaceweek2019/

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Morning television on Monday and Tuesday

Saturday 7/20/19 time 4:18 PM

I will come and tell about my trip:

Yle aamu-tv Monday 7:45 and

MTV Huomenta Suomi Tuesday 8:07.

This is a picture from my trip:

Statue of Apollo 11 -astronauts at Kennedy Space Center.

Apollo11Patsas.jpg

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Apollo gala

Thursday 7/18/19 time 4:54 AM

There were 500 guests at the gala. There were 3 Apollo astronauts and one Apollo flight director. The gala was a memorable experience. The gala was organized by Aldrin Family Foundation.

From left to right: Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Gerald Griffin (flight director) and Charles Duke (Apollo 16)

ApolloGala_3_ApolloAstronauts.jpg

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Going to Apollo -gala tonight

Tuesday 7/16/19 time 5:24 AM

The gala will begin soon. VIP -passes and other things has been picked up. I got instructions how to dress and how to go the gala. Soon I will hear speeches from Apollo -astronauts and others.

More information: https://apollo50thgala.com/

Gold ticket includes items in the picture and Duran Duranin concert after the gala at Kennedy Space Center. The concert will be held under the rockets.
ApolloGaalaTavaraa.JPG

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Greetings from Florida

Saturday 7/13/19 time 3:06 PM

I did reach Florida after after 17 hours of travelling. Yesterday I already met two astronauts, Al Worden (Apollo 15) and Bruce Melnick (STS-41 and STS-49). Both were nice men. Today, there is a parade of astronauts in the program, followed by party on the streets. If I am lucky I can meet more astronauts.

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My trip to Apollo -gala has started

Thursday 7/11/19

My trip to Apollo has started. I fly through London to Orlando and then take a rental car to the Cocoa Beach hotel. Thursday is a travel day and the actual program starts on Friday. On Friday, I attend the astronaut golf and can try a copy of Alan Shepard's golf club. In the evening, there is a pub tour with the astronauts. This holiday is a real space vacation, and on many days there is a space program from morning to night. In the Apollo -gala, which is the main party, there will be three Apollo astronauts: Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Michael Collins (Apollo 11) and Charlie Duke (Apollo 16). I will try to talk to them, but I do not know if I am lucky because there are probably 500 others who want to talk to them.

For more information:

Rusty Schweickart

Michael Collins

Charlie Duke

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Apollo gala is approaching

Thursday 6/20/19 time 2:41 PM

My Florida journey begins three weeks from now, and now I've got all the things agreed. During the week I will attend 11 different space related events. There will be 100 -500 participants depending on event and I am the only one from Finland. The main event is on July 16, 2016, when the launch of the Apollo 11 rocket 50 years ago is celebrated at the Kennedy Space Center. I heard about Apollo Gala in 2017 and now I can do it. Gala tickets cost between $ 1,000 and $ 3,500. I have a $ 1,000 ticket. The most expensive ticket buyers can sit at the same table with the Apollo astronauts. Buyers of the Mid-Range ticket can sit with NASA astronauts at the table. I'm really looking forward to this week. Because it is an event organized by the Americans, it involves charity, sponsors, and auctions. A $ 100 bottle of wine with Apollo label will be available at the auction. Maybe I will buy it.

For more information:

https://apollo50thgala.com/

https://www.astronautscholarship.org/celebratingapollo.html

My space week program:

Time

Event

More information

 

12.7.2019

 

Astronaut golf

I can try replica of Alan Shepard's club, which he hit a golf ball in the moon

12.7.2019

 

Pub tour with astronauts

Visit the local  pubs

13.7.2019

 

Astronaut Parade

Astronauts in Corvettes and Teslas

 

13.7.2019

 

Outdoor concert

Rick Armstrong is playing in the concert (son of Neil Armstrong)

 

14.7.2019

 

Breakfast with astronaut families

The children of Apollo astronauts tell us what it was like to grow up in a family with astronauts

14.7.2019

 

Women in Space

Discussion of the role of women in space

14.7.2019

 

The Future of Space Travel

Discussion about the future of space travel

 

14.7.2019

 

Getting to Know the New Apollo Saturn V Center

Get to know the revitalized Apollo Saturn V center before it opens to the public

16.7.2019

 

Apollo Gala under the Saturn V -rocket

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 rocket. There will be around 500 guests and Apollo astronauts at the gala

 

16.7.2019

 

After Gala party

Celebration continues until morning. Duran Duran is playing.

18.7.2019

Virgin Galactic tour to Kennedy Space Center

To see where Saturn V -rockets where made, see STS-100 capsule factory and celebrate Richard Branson birthday

18.7.2019

 

Virgin Galactic Meeting under the Saturn V -rocket

Virgin Galactic's own meeting with dinner and fun

ApolloGaala2.JPG

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The Finnish Astronautical Society celebrates its 60th anniversary

Sunday 5/19/19 time 10:34 PM

The Finnish Astronautical Society is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. There are many different events in the anniversary year, and today there was a rocket launch event for the public. We flown dozens different rockets to height of 100-400 meters in Kulmakorpi, Espoo. The weather favored us and there were about 50 rocket boys and girls. Many children were able to launch a rocket with an electric trigger. The joy was great when the rocket left for the sky!

This flight and many other events have been shooted during this year. The Finnish Astronautical Society will later publish a video of the anniversary events.

For more information:

The Finnish Astronautical Society http://www.sats-saff.fi/

In the picture, one of the rockets is launched.

RakettiLahdossa.jpg

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Virgin Galactic moves to New Mexico

Sunday 5/12/19 time 9:53 PM

On May 10, 2016, Virgin Galactic released a newsletter stating that it will transfer rocket and personnel to New Mexico. Virgin Galactic made 2 test flights to the space from Mojave, California. Now is the time to move the rocket and the required number of staff with their families, about 100 to New Mexico. New Mexico has Spaceport America, where commercial flights are made. The move begins immediately and is ready after the summer. So now we are close to the start of commercial flights. This move is not done for fun.

Virgin Galactic newletter-> www.virgingalactic.com

Spaceport America-> www.spaceportamerica.com

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Rocket-Uno version 3.2

Saturday 5/4/19 time 7:59 PM

I bought my Fiat-Uno in May 2012. Tuning it has been a good hobby while waiting for the flight. I have used about 1000 hours to modify it in 7 years. The latest improvement was the new rocket racks. Now I can drive a car with rockets on the roof. And when the car is not moving I can lift the rockets up. The car is especially appealing to boys.

RaketitAutonKatollaSivulta.jpg

RaketitPystyssa.jpg

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Stratolaunch first flight

Monday 4/15/19 time 10:50 PM

Stratolauch is the world's largest airplane and its purpose is to launch rockets into space. The idea is the same as Virgin Galactic. Statolauchn is designed by Scaled Composites. I have for many years followed Stratolauch, because it is quite staggering device: It flew for the first time 04/13/2019. I would have been there!

Videos: Stratolaunch first flight!!! ja World's biggest airplane takes flight for first time over Mojave desert

Scaled Composites: Stratolaunch

ScaledComposites-StratolaunchAircraft_FirstFlight_20190413.jpg

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SodaStream invention helps astronauts in space

Monday 4/1/19 time 7:17 AM

Finnish Astronautical Society has studied the invention of SodaStream: video

This is a small burb for a man but a giant bubbling leap for mankind! SodaStream and @StationCDRKelly have made the life of astronauts in space much better.

Check out more from here: video

Update April 2th,2019

This was April Fools day joke:)

video

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Second flight to space, 89.9 km high

Friday 2/22/19 time 9:45 PM

Virgin Galactic made today another test flight into space. This time the rocket went to 89.9 km high. The pilots were Dave Mackay and co-pilot Michael Sooch Masucci. There was also Beth Moses in the rocket. Now looks really promising! The first commercial flight into space can become a reality within half a year!

More information->  Virgin Galactic

Below are a couple of photos of the flight. Photos Virgin Galactic.

Pilots.jpg

FlightData.jpg

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My pilots got their commercial astronaut wings

Saturday 2/9/19 time 8:03 PM

My rocket flew to 83 kilometers in December 2018. It was piloted by Mark 'Forger' Stucky and 'CJ' Sturckow. The space begins with a height of 80 kilometers, according to the Americans, so the local authority, U.S. The Department of Transportation, gave to the pilots commercial astronaut wings in a separate ceremony. Ceremony was held in Washington, if I had been there, I would have been able to see the ceremony. Sturckow has already been a space shuttle pilot. This was Stucky's first flight into space and he became 568th man who has been in space.

I will be around 800th person in space and I will get the wings below possible in 2020.

More information:-> Virgin Galacic and Youtube

Picture: commercial astronaut wings

US_FAA_Commercial_Astronaut_Wings.png

Picture from the ceremony Feb 7th, 2019 in Washington

2019AstronautWingsGroupShot.jpg

Picture: Virgin Galactic

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