Share |

The Finnish Astronaut Hat

Finnish Astronaut HatBlue hat, one size. Made of acrylic. Text is SUOMALAINEN ASTRONAUTTI = FINNISH ASTRONAUTRead more »

Random photo

Recent photos

Counter

Visits on website:582321 pcs

I bought my ticket 10 years ago

Tuesday 1/21/20

On January 21, 2010, Area announced that the second Finn had bought a trip to space. I was the buyer of the trip and I went public on 4/02/2010 on morning television. In 2010, I was supposed to fly into space 2013. I didn't fly, and at the moment it looks like I'm flying in 2021.


These 10 years have been full of fun and interesting events. If my trip had already happened in 2013, I would have missed many nice events. Below is a list of the most interesting events for me over a decade and some ideas for the future:

2010 my first appearance on television, interviews with various magazines and radio

2011 visit to Spaceport America, meeting with Richard Branson and other Virgin Galactic customers

2012 I did buy Rocket Uno and Virgin Galactic meeting in England

2013 visit to rocket factory in Mojave, Zero-G flight and centrifuge training for G-forces

2014 astronaut fitness school started and 100km walk in 22 hours

2015 Virgin Galactic Meeting in England

2016 Rocket Uno in two car shows (Helsinki and Lahti)

2017 Eukonkanto World Championships

2018 Rocket-Uno version 3

2019 Apollo 50th Anniversary Gala in Florida and Virgin Galactic Meeting

2020 Rocket-Uno version 4 will be ready by 01.05.2020 and Richard Branson will be 70 years old 18.07.2020 = Virgin Galactica's 1st Commercial Flight to Space?

2021 own flight to space

Leave a comment.

2020 Finnish Satellite Workshop in the next week

Thursday 1/16/20 time 8:32 PM

In the next week (20-22.1.2020) there is a three-day space seminar, Finnish Satellite Workshop 2020. I will go to the seminar to learn more about satellites and other space-related issues. The seminar has dozens of speakers from different countries and has nearly 100 different presentations. There will be a problem with which presentations to choose! As last year, the seminar will be held in Dipoli, Espoo, and 250 people will attend. Jaan Praks, professor at Aalto University, is the organizer of the event, just like last year.

For more information:

Home: 2020 Finnish Satellite Workshop

Daily program

Leave a comment.

Rocket-Uno version 4

Sunday 1/12/20 time 9:00 PM

I bought a new spare Uno, KUU-3, which will give parts to KUU-1. The plan is to build a transparent rocket to the right-side door. There will be two rockets in the front of the car and a Space Communication Center(SCC). SCC will be installed to the back of the car.

Version 4 should be ready by 01.05.2020. KUU-1 is coming to Stadin Crusing Pre-Partyyn 01.05.2020.

Some pictures:
KaksiUnoa.jpg
Two Unos, KUU-3 and  KUU-1.
KaksiRakettiKeula.jpg
Two rockets to the front of the car.
KommunikointiKeskusTarvikkeet.jpg

Parts for the Space Communication Center (SCC).

Leave a comment.

What happened in 2019 and what do I expect from the year 2020?

Tuesday 12/31/19

The top events in 2019: 

Virgin Galactic 

In February, Virgin Galactic (VG) made another test flight to space. This time the flight reached 89.9 km and there were 3 astronauts in the rocket. I was expecting to hear about more test flights to space, but eventually there were no more.

VG staff and equipment moved from California to New Mexico near Spaceport America during the summer. VG is thus preparing for launching commercial flights. The transfer was completed in the summer to minimize inconveniences caused to the families involved.

In mid-October, VG introduced us the space suit that will be produced by Under Armour. The costume looks really great, and I may keep the costume for myself after the flight. At the end of October, VG was listed on the New York (NYSE) Stock Exchange.

All these actions aim at launching commercial space flights in 2020. My personal journey with expectations began in January 2010. It will not take long any more!

My own projects

Tuning Rocket-Uno has continued throughout the year. In the summer, Uno got a new three-rocket-rack on its roof. In the autumn, construction of the space communication center began. When the communication center will be completed in the spring 2020, Rocket-Uno version 4.0 will be released. I have plans up to the version 8.0. In the version 7.0, Uno will have an electric motor, and Uno version 8.0 will be sent to space to accompany Elon Musk's Tesla. Versions 5.0 and 6.0 are smaller projects, I will reveal more of them later.

My “Space Week” in Florida, summer 2019, was the result of long-term planning. During the week I participated in 12 different space events that culminated 16 July 2019 in the Apollo Gala held under the Saturn V rocket. I met several astronauts of the era during that week and ended up drinking beer with Al Worden, an Apollo 15 pilot. Stories are plenty from this week, and they will be remembered even when I’ll  sit in a rocking chair!

The Finnish Space Research Society turned 60 years. The milestone was celebrated in different ways throughout the year, the main event was a banquet on 5 October 2019.

Sports and fitness are in my mind all year round. I keep  myself in good shape and I am ready to go spaceflight anytime!

 

Expectations for the year 2020: 

I am 90% sure, that VG will finally make the first commercial space flight in 2020. And this flight will carry Richard Branson and five other people into space. It will be a remarkable occasion and I expect to get an invitation to celebrate the event.

I will continue with physical exercises and tuning Rocket-Uno – there  will be enough to keep me busy on my free time.

Leave a comment.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday 12/24/19 time 12:44 PM

Now at Christmas time, you can listen to Richard Branson's thoughts and see views of space from the Virgin Galactica rocket. This Christmas, I did not get yet into space, but before Christmas 2021 I've probably been there :).

Video-> Virgin Galactic

Leave a comment.

Beth Moses Describes Her Life-Changing View From Space

Sunday 12/15/19 time 8:16 PM

Beth Moses flew on the Virgin Galactic rocket to the space in February 2019. She says the view was simply incredible. I will probably see the same view in 2021.

More information: Forbes

Leave a comment.

The second rocket, Etta, got her tank

Tuesday 12/3/19 time 8:56 PM

Virgin Galactic will build several rocket. The first rocket has made two test flights to the space. The new rocket, Etta, got her tank installed. The oxygen tank is needed in space because there is no oxygen in the space. A few other things still have to be done and then Etta can also fly to the space.

More information-> Virgin Galactic

Picture of the tank, picture Virgin Galactic

Main-Oxidiser-Tank-1280x720.jpg

Leave a comment.

Rikard Steiber had a ride with the Rocket-Uno

Tuesday 11/26/19 time 4:14 PM

Rikard Steiber is one of the Virgin Galactic's astronauts. He lives in the United States and visited Finland because of Slush. I contacted him and he got a ride with the Rocket-Uno. He was very excited about the car. I told her I could pimp her Tesla with rockets, but he wasn't interested.

Rikard was the second VG astronaut, which I've met in Finland. He's a really nice person!

201911RikardSteiber.jpg

Leave a comment.

Virgin Galactic was listed on the New York stock exchange

Wednesday 10/30/19 time 12:33 PM

Virgin Galactic was listed on the New York (NYSE) stock exchange on October 28, 2019. Former Facebook CEO, Chamath Palihapitiyan, invested $ 800 million in Virgin Galactic and got a 49% stake in the company. The company has a market capitalization of approximately $ 3.2 billion. One share (SPEC, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.) costs about $ 12. So now you can buy a stake in a company that aims to send ordinary people into space.

Virgin Galactic was founded by Richard Branson in 2004, and the first tickets to space were sold in 2005. Currently, around 600 persons have purchased tickets from 60 different countries. If you buy a space ticket now it costs $ 250,000.

Virgin Galactic has been loss-making for years, but as space flights will start then also profit will come. In 2020, Virgin Galactic plans to make 16 commercial flights to space and generate $ 31 million in revenue. In 2020, the company will still make a loss of about $ 100 million, in 2021 there will be no loss or profit, and by 2023 the profit should reach $ 274 million. To achieve this goal, 2023 Virgin needs to have 5 rockets which can be launched into space. In other words, no dividend is coming in the next years, but after 2023 the dividend may come.

You cannot list a company on the stock exchange unless you are serious. Now Virgin is serious and everyone has the opportunity to buy their stake in Virgin Galactic. I will buy at least 10 shares myself. What if stock owners get a discount on space travel in the future!

More information:

Space.com

Spacenews

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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/

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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

Leave a comment.

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.

Leave a comment.

Older entries »