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American astronauts reached the International Space Station with their own rocket!

Sunday 5/31/20 time 11:04 PM

Today (31.05.2020) it happened! Two American astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, docked at the International Space Station (ISS) with an American rocket. They left yesterday (May 30, 2020) on the Elon Musk Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center. The first attempt was made on 27.05.2020, but it had to be canceled due to bad weather. This is a big thing for Americans because since 2011, they haven’t had their own rocket to send astronauts to the space. When I was in Florida in July 2019 visiting the Kennedy Space Center, Americans talked a lot of need to have their own rocket back. The rocket is from private company called SpaceX. Rocket name is Falcon 9.


The space flight has three particularly dangerous phases: departure, docking, and return. The first two steps have now been successful. American astronauts will return to Earth in 1-4 months. If the return is successful, then there will be a big party in the United States! They do not any longer need Russian rockets to get into space.


Video of the launch: Youtube


Video about docking: Youtube

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Virgin Galactic made a test flight from Spaceport America

Friday 5/1/20 time 9:23 PM

Today, Virgin Galactic made its first test flight from Spaceport America. This was a glide flight where a rocket was dropped from 50 000 feets and then the rocket returned to the airport. The rocket was piloted by Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow. They might also be pilots on my flight. Dave is a nice guy, I met him last year at the Kennedy Space Center.

More information -> Virgin Galactic

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Virgin Galactic starts to sell spaceflights again

Wednesday 2/26/20 time 8:26 PM

On February 25, 2020, Virgin Galactic released a press release announcing that it will start to sell spaceflights again. Currently, 600 have booked the spaceflight. The final price will be announced later, but the final price can be $ 250,000 or more. The trip cost $ 200,000 from 2005 to 2013 and then $ 250,000. Following the 2014 accident, VG did not actively sell spaceflighs.

This is proof that VG is really close to start spaceflights! If VG makes one flight a week, it will take 2 years for the first 600 to enter space.


Further information:> Virgin Galactic

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The space suit and Virgin Galactic meeting

Saturday 2/22/20 time 8:05 PM

Virgin Galactic meeting and the space suit

Virgin Galactic hosts various meetings throughout the year. I flew on 19.02.2020 to London. At this meeting, our space suit was introduced. It was introduced by Tom Westray, who has been designing the suit. The suit consists of 150 parts. The suit has padding on the shoulders, a place for the flag, a place for the name, several pockets and other details. I spent the evening with 30 other Virgin Galactic customers and we were really happy with the suit. You get the suit after the flight.

Mars research

The meeting was held at the Desing Museum, which also had an exhibition on Mars exploration. There are many projects aimed at exploring or colonizing Mars. Elon Musk wants to make permanent housing on Mars. NASA plans to build a space station for exploration of Mars. It was amazing to see this exhibition. I recommend!

Virgin Galactic Office

Then the next day I went to the Virgin Galactic office in London. Virgin Galactic is in the same building with other Virgin companies. When I was at office, I thought that I would ask at the VG office one thing that I've been thinking about for 10 years. In 2010, two Finns bought a space trip a week and I was the second. In 2010 you were able to pay for part of the trip, where the start number is after persons who have paid the full price. I paid the full price in 2010, but I didn't know what the other Finn had paid. I got to know that I'm going to be the first Finn in space, which is nice thing.
Below are photos of the space suit and Mars exploration.

AvaruuspukuVesa.jpg
 AvaruusAsemaMars.jpg

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My rocket, VSS Unity, flew to New Mexico

Saturday 2/15/20 time 8:20 PM

VSS Unity flew to Spaceport America on February 13, 2020. Now all the necessary equipment has been transferred to Spaceport America, where commercial space flights will begin in the near future. Virgin Galactica still needs to do some test flight before Sir Richard Branson goes into space.

More information-> Virgin Galactic

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Spaceport America is waiting Virgin Galactic to start space flights in 2020

Saturday 2/1/20 time 9:47 PM

Spaceport America, in New Mexico, is waiting for Virgin Galactic to start commercial space flights this year. According Albuquerque Journal Spaceport America is now making profit. It did cost $220 million. Virgin Galactic has been tenant since 2009, but VG has not done yet spaceflights from Spaceport America. I visited Spaceport America in 2011 and it is very impressive place.

More information: www.abqjournal.com

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Finnish Satellite Workshop 2020, Espoo, Finland 20-22 January 2020

Tuesday 1/28/20 time 11:50 AM

Finnish Satellite Workshop with Finnish remote sensing days

I participated in the Finnish Satellite Workshop, a Finnish satellite seminar held on 20-22 January 2020 at Aalto University in Espoo. The seminar has grown since last year and the number of registered participant was now 558. There were total 87 presentations in two halls this year. Each presentation was 20 minutes long.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to attend all sessions. Among others, about 30 satellite projects were introduced at the seminar. Below you will find some notes of the presentations that for me were most interesting.

Small satellites

The smallest satellites are 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm and weigh approximately 1.5 kg. The size of a satellite of this size is defined as 1 unit (1 U). The satellite needs both a power supply and a communication system in order to function. In addition, its cargo may be, for example, a camera and a measuring device. There are several types of measuring instruments. Building a small satellite (1 U) costs about EUR 50,000 - 200,000 and sending it to an altitude of 400 - 700 km costs about EUR 50,000 - 100,000. The Suomi100 satellite is a small satellite (1 U). It was launched into space on 3 December 2018 on Falcon 9 rocket, and there is a camera and a measuring device aboard. The Suomi100 satellite has taken several pictures which are available online.

Further information: finland100satelliitti.fi

 

Slightly larger satellites

The satellite can also be for example 3 units (3 U) in size, measuring 10 cm x 10 cm by 30 cm. The modular structure makes it possible to construct and transmit satellites in a reasonable manner. The largest satellites presented at the seminar were 16 U in size, enabling them to carry powerful cameras and measuring instruments to study the mineral shadow of asteroids, for example.

 

Measuring environmental changes

One field to make use of small satellites relates to various environmental issues. This year, several projects to measure climate change were introduced. Satellites are able to measure CO2 concentrations, ice levels, desertification, predict hurricanes or any other changes in the nature in a very short time. The new satellites have smaller and more accurate cameras than the old ones, the quality of images is thus constantly improving. In some cases, the data collected by the satellites may be available to you in a refined form via some phone applications in real time.

 

KitSat,  Finnish satellite for training purposes

At the previous seminar in January 2019, Jari Mäkinen introduced the KitSat project. Now the project has been launched. In 2019 , 50 satellites were sold and this year's forecast is to sell 400 satellites. KitSat is a small satellite (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) that can be used for training and teaching purposes. It is demountable and has the elements of a real satellite. You can fly it, shoot pictures, and communicate with it just like with a real satellite. KitSat is a Finnish start-up that has literally taken off. Many of us do not know how satellites work and what they look like - KitSat meets this need.

Further information: KitSat

 

The third satellite seminar

I attended the seminar for the third time. The content and organization of the seminar worked well. Jaan Praks and his team certainly know how organize a seminar. I will definitely participate again next year!

Further information: Finnish Satellite Workshop 2020

Suomi100.JPG
KitSatStandi.jpg
Group_photo.jpg

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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

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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

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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).

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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