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The Finnish Astronaut Hat

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The Finnish Astronaut Hat

BoxersBlack rocket boxers. In the front there a rocket logo and in the back text "RAKETTI"Read more »


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Huomenta Suomi (morning television in Finland)

Wednesday 9/20/23 time 9:35 PM

I was a guest of Huomenta Suomi -program today. The theme of the program was: "Vacation with a rocket? This is space tourism now and in the future.". The host of the program was Ivan Puopolo. Another guest was Annetto Toivonen, who has studied space tourism, and I am going to space as a tourist. We had a really nice conversation.

Interview link-> Good morning Finland

Picture from the interview


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The Galactic 04 flight is coming in early October

Monday 9/18/23 time 10:03 PM

The next flight is coming on 05.10.2023. Now Virgin Galactic makes a flight a month. Ron Rosano is on this flight. I have met Ron a few times and he has also been to Finland. On the trip to Finland, he wanted to see my Raketti-Uno. Ron is a long-time space junkie, a bit like me. Great that Ron is among the first!

More information-> Virgin Galactic

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Galactic 03 was a successful flight

Friday 9/8/23 time 10:39 PM

Today was Galactic 03. Ken Baxter who was on the flight, is nearly a good friend. He's my Facebook friend. However, Ken has more than 4000 Facebook friends.

More information

-> Virgin Galactic


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Galactic 03 flight coming in early September

Monday 8/28/23 time 9:51 PM

The Galactic 03 launch window starts on 09.08.2023. This is Virgin Galactica's fourth space flight this year. These Virgin Galactic astronauts bought their tickets in 2005, so their wait will be over now. The ticket cost $200,000 at the time. If I wanted to, I could now go to watch the flight. I got an invitation for it from Virgin Galactic.

More info-> Virgin Galactic

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Galactic 02 was a successful space flight

Thursday 8/10/23 time 10:39 PM

Galactic 02 flew to 88 kilometers and everything went well. Now there have been several of these flights and it looks good. I expect 4-5 more flights before the end of the year.

Attached is a video of the flight and another video of the press conference. The video from the press conference was interesting! The first mother and daughter in space, the first Olympic champion in space! A year from now, there will also be the first Finn in space.

Youtube -> Galactic 02 flight

Youtube -> Galactic 02 press conference

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Galactic 02 flight on Thursday 18:00 (Finland time)

Tuesday 8/8/23 time 3:37 PM

On the Galactic 02 flight, Jon Goodwin, Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers fly into space. You can follow the flight on e.g. the Virgin Galactic  website.

More information about the flight -> Virgin Galactic

Picture Virgin Galactic


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Galactic 02 is coming in August

Sunday 7/16/23 time 7:33 AM

Virgin Galactic is now starting regular flights. The Galactic 02 launch window begins on August 10, 2023. This is Virgin Galactica's third space flight this year. My flight can be Galactic 35. There will be live tracking of the flight again. This time, it would be nice to hear what the pilots and passengers are discussing.

More info-> Virgin Galactic

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Galactic 01 was a successful space flight

Thursday 6/29/23 time 10:32 PM

Galactic 01 flew to 85 kilometers and everything went well. Here it begins. I'll be in that rocket after some time and I might be waving the Finnish flag.

More info> Virgin Galactic

Picture Virgin Galactic


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Galactic 01 flight, 29 June 2023

Monday 6/26/23 time 11:04 PM

Now it's finally public. This flight is the first commercial flight. This is where it starts, I've been waiting for this news for 10 years.

News -> Virgin Galactic

The flight crew in the picture. Picture Virgin Galactic.


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Virgin Galactic announcement about the start of flights

Friday 6/16/23 time 1:38 PM

Virgin Galactic announced today the start of commercial space flights.

Virgin Galactic 01 is at the end of June and Virgin Galactic 02 is in August. After that, Virgin Galactic will fly every month. Later there will be flights weekly.

Link ->Virgin Galactic announcement

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Unity 25 visited space

Thursday 5/25/23 time 9:38 PM

Unity 25 made a planned space flight. Everything went well, the rocket went to  87 kilometers (54.2 miles). It had already been two years since the last flight. Now everything looks good and new flights are coming.

More imformation-> Virgin Galactic

Video from the flight -> Youtube


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Virgin Galactic will return to space 25.05.2023

Thursday 5/18/23 time 10:46 PM

Now it's confirmed. The date of the flight is 25.05.2023.

More information-> Virgin Galactic


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Virgin Galactic is returning to space after a two-year hiatus

Tuesday 5/9/23 time 10:36 PM

It has been almost 2 years since Branson flew into space in the summer of 2019. Since then, there has been a wait for commercial flights to begin. Now Virgin Galactic is returning to space with a four person. This flight will take place by the end of May. If it succeeds, commercial flights will start at the end of June. And my flight can actually happen within a year.

More info -> CNN

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CanSat 2023 competition in Vaasa 30.03.-02.04.2023

Wednesday 4/12/23

CanSat 2023

CanSat was organized for the second time in Finland and this time there were 5 teams. There were the same schools as last year, and a few groups had last year's students. As a whole, it can be said that the teams were better than last year. Technical solutions and team organization had developed. The information had certainly been received from the CanSat2022 teams. For example, all teams had their own media representative and Instagram accounts. The students were eager to participate in the event. Before this weekend, the students had easily spent two hundred hours of their own time on the CanSat project. This weekend culminated the students' hard work. The CanSat competition was organized by ESERO Finland and Tiedekeskus Heureka.

The teams have five main goals in the CanSat competition:

1. Performs a mandatory primary task, the built CanSat and program must measure temperature and air pressure during launch and landing.

2. Performs one or more optional secondary tasks selected by the teams.

3. To fit all parts of the satellite (including the battery, sensors, communication device) into a structure the size and weight of a can.

4. Make sure the can survives the landing.

5. Performing scientific experiments and transferring data obtained during the flight to a computer on the ground.
In order to reach the goals, the teams had been given information and ready-made components. This year, the structure of the satellites was much stronger than last year. Now the body of many satellites was made by printing.


Program of the CanSat2023 event:

Day 1, finishing tasks and fitting the satellite to the rocket.

All teams (5) got their own rocket. The most important selection criterion seemed to be the appearance of the rocket. The Finnish Space Research Society (SATS) had prepared 10 rockets for the event, so there was plenty of choice.


Day 2, rocket launch day.

Like the last year, the launches were made in Söderfjärden in Vaasa. Söderfjärden is one of the best launch sites for model rockets in Northern Europe. The weather was good for us. SATS was able to complete the required five CanSat launches in 3 hours. All launches went well, one satellite had a technical problem. CanSat satellites reached a height of 350-400 meters and a typical satellite flight time was one minute. It took about 10 seconds to go up and came down in 50 seconds. When coming down, the rocket and the satellite had their own parachutes.

SATS operated like SpaceX, which also manufactures and launches rockets with agreed payloads. The rockets were 100-150 cm long, weighed 1-1.5 kg with the CanSat satellite, and they instantly reached a speed of hundreds of kilometers per hour within three seconds of the rocket's launch. The rockets used g-class engines (Cesaroni Technology ProX-29 159G54-RLLB) that burned ammonium perchlorate. Rockets typically last for 5 launches.


3rd day, data analysis and reserve day for launches

Since there was a malfunction in one of the satellites, we launched the satellite again. This time everything went well. On the spare day, SATS had the opportunity to launch other rockets. We launched one team's satellite with a bigger rocketmoter and now the rocket reached a height of a little over 600 meters. If the future CanSat competition wants to reach a height of 600 meters instead of 400 meters, SATS already has the technology for that. Matti Lepomäki, the chairman of SATS, has played a significant role in making the new technology operational in Finland.

The students spent the day doing data analyzing and making presentations. In the evening, students, teachers and staff had a joint evening out.


4th day, presentations and prize distribution

Throughout the event, three judges have evaluated the groups' performance. CanSat2023 culminated in the presentation of the results and the distribution of awards. All teams were good.


The results were:

The winner of the competition and Finland's representative in the European CanSat 2023 final competition: @mucan_23
Highest technical level: @kvan.ttikala
The highest scientific level: @taigasat

Special prizes:
Excellent satellite parachute and best secret mission: @lillsat23
Best satellite landing: @radwil_cansat

The Finnish Space Research Society was involved in the CanSat 2023 project. Our team of 5 was:

Matti Lepomäki, rocket engines and rocket launch
Timo Toivanen, security officer
Mika Jalava, field expert and rocket retrieval
Matti Manninen, field expert and drone filming
Vesa Heilala, field expert and packing satellites into rockets


Pictures: Jan Holmgård, ESERO Finland and Matti Manninen / Astedrone Oy


The teams' Instragram accounts

Finnish Astronautical Society (Suomen Avaruustutkimusseura)

Esero Finland

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CanSat 2023 is coming

Thursday 3/23/23 time 10:22 PM

Last year I participated in the CanSat 2022 competition as an operator in Vaasa, and because it was so nice there, I'm going again. It's great to see how enthusiastic the young people are about making these small satellites and sending them up to a height of about a kilometer with a rocket. Since these young people may become space engineers or astronauts in the future, I am happy to help them.

This year too, the Finnish Space Research Society acts as a launch operator, i.e. delivers rockets, launch platforms and handles all issues related to launch operations. We are a bit like Finland's SpaceX. The operators of the Finnish Space Research Society are: Matti Lepomäki, Timo Toivanen, Mika Jalava, Matti Manninen and Vesa Heilala.

Weather permitting, the rockets will be launched on 31.03. and 01.04.2023 in Söderfjärden, Vaasa. If you're nearby, you should come and see.

Heureka's announcement about the CanSat 2023 competition-> Heureka

Blog writing year 2022-> Blog

Here is a picture of the launch from last year and a video-> youtube


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The mothership, VMS Eve flies again

Thursday 2/16/23 time 8:03 PM

Virgin Galactic has had no flight related news for a while. The mothership has been modified and is flying again. In the near future it will start flying again with my rocket, Unity. I'm looking forward to another flight into space in the near future.

Link-> Virgin Galactic

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What happened in 2022 and what do I expect from 2023?

Saturday 12/31/22

What happened in 2022:

Virgin Galactic (VG) did not make new space flights in 2022. I am a little disappointed with this, because in 2021 Richard Branson flew into space himself. I have received VG newsletters, which have told about various preparations to start the flights.

One preparation for the flights was the lottery. The first ticket buyers, around 2005-2006, were able to buy a place among the first 100. They were told that the order would be drawn by lottery. This lottery was held a few months ago. One of my astronaut friends got number 7. I'm happy for her! So she will be on the second flight when the flights start. VG could have held this lottery years ago, so now we are definitely close to start flights.

This year I didn't participate in the VG events, but if in 2023 I would like to participate again. They have always been nice events.

The most significant event for me was CanSat 2022 in Vaasa. Blog:


What I expect from 2023:

CanSat 2023 event in Vaasa in the spring.

More information -> Esero

Own space flight at the end of the year. I've been waiting for it for 12 years. Excited to see who I'm flying with.

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DearMoon PROJECT - a private project to the Moon

Monday 12/12/22 time 12:45 PM

Times have changed. Until now, Moon projects have been implemented or planned by big countries such as the United States, the Soviet Union or China. Now Japanese Yusaku Maezawa wants to see the Moon close. Yusaku is a billionaire, art collector and space freak. Yusaku has already been to space in 2021, so this is his second space trip. The trip will be made on a private SpaceX -rocket. Yusaku has enough money to buy his own space trip and invite 8 artists to travel with. The price of the trip is not public, but it is sure to be hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe even a billion dollars.

The project was published in 2018 and a million people applied for the trip. A couple of days ago, the names of 8 lucky ones were published. There are also 2 persons backup crew. Now space tourism will move to the orbit of the Moon. They do not land on the moon, so the flight profile is similar to the Apollo 8 flight in December 1968. The Apollo 8 flight lasted 6 days and circled the moon 10 times. One of the world's most famous pictures, "Earthrise", was taken on the Apollo 8 flight. The picture is the first human-made picture of the entire Earth. There is little scientific benefit from Yusaku's trip, but it pays for the development costs of the technology. Maybe Yusaku's artists will take new unforgettable pictures? We want to get to the Moon cheaper than 50 years ago. The last time humans visited the Moon was in 1972.

The preliminary departure time is in 2023, that's a pretty optimistic schedule. Will they travel to the moon at the same time as the American Artemis project, which is scheduled to orbit the moon in 2024? Who will be the first?

More information

dearMoonProject homepage ->

Crew Release ->


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Rocket-Uno 10 years!

Sunday 5/1/22

I did buy Fiat Uno 1990 model on May Day 2012. At that time, I had the idea to make it to be a Finnish Astronaut car. I have been building and driving a car for 10 years. I have driven 75,000 kilometers with it. The car is now in version four and there are currently plans for up to version eight. After all, that construction never ends, whenever you get something ready, new ideas will come. The car still makes people to smile.

There are a lot of questions about the car and the most typical question is “Has it a turbo?” to which I have answered that there is no need for turbo because there are the hyperdrive engines.

Happy first of May!


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CanSat 2022 competition in Vaasa 03-06.04.2022

Wednesday 4/6/22

CanSat was now held for the first time in Finland. It was great to see how schoolchildren and students aged 14-19 were looking forward to participating in the event. They were devided in seven different groups that had been preparing the satellite for a few months to a couple of years. Covid -19 has postponed the CanSat event a few times.

Students / young people have five main goals in the CanSat competition:

1. Perform a mandatory primary task, i.e. the built-in CanSat and the program should measure temperature and barometric pressure during launch and landing.
2. Perform one or more optional secondary tasks selected by the teams.
3. Fit all parts of the satellite (including the radiator, sensors, communication device) to a can size and weight structure.
4. Make sure the can survives the landing.
5. Carrying out scientific tests and transferring in-flight data to a ground computer.

To achieve the targets, the groups had been given a lot of information and ready-made components. The groups had typically spent hundreds of hours reaching their targets. Although the starting points were the same for every group, we saw seven different implementations. For example, radioactive measurement in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant and measuring equipment to predict or prevent forest fires had been selected as secondary tasks for the satellite. Pupils had taken environmental considerations into account extensively, either in the measurements or in the structure of the satellites. Pieces of wood or metal, for example, had been used as satellite material.


On Sunday 03.04.2022 we looked at the technical features of the CanSat satellites. The group of the Finnish Astronautical Society (SATS), Matti Lepomäki, Timo Toivanen, Mika Jalava and I toured the groups and gave advice and instructions if necessary. We prepared for the next day’s rocket launch together. Some of the groups had to make some fixes to the satellites and work started without hesitation. Some of the groups worked until night.


Monday 04.04.2022 was the day of the satellite launch, which took place in Söderfjärden, Vaasa. Söderfjärden is an old meteorite crater and provided a great place for rocket launching. The area is flat.

SATS had made rockets capable of launching a 300-350 gram CanSat satellite at an altitude of 500 meters. The altitude of 500 meters was good for this purpose, because then the flight of the rocket and the landing of the satellite could be followed from the ground. SATS acted like SpaceX, which also manufactures and launches rockets with an agreed load. The rockets were 100-150 cm long, weighed 1-1.5 kg with cargo, and reached speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour within three seconds of launching the rocket. The rockets used Class G engines (Cesaroni Technology Proj29 G54) that burned ammonium perchlorate.


Each group received their own rocket on which the group itself installed the satellite. The rocket launches went well and safely. There may have been minor technical issues with some satellites, but so it is with real satellites in space. The launch of own satellite into the sky was a big event for the groups. We could see joy on each face.


After the launch, the groups had to analyze the data obtained and prepare a presentation with conclusions for the everyone. The groups did this on Tuesday 05.04.2022.

On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, all results were presented and evaluated. The three-member jury of the competition selected the two best groups. The groups were BATSAT from Finland and FSA from Sweden. They won a seat in the European finals, which will be held in June 2022. CanSat could be the starting point for the careers of new space engineers or astronauts. The space sector will employ a large number of employees in the near future. Maybe in 10 years we will hear a successful Finnish space engineer sharing his experiences of the CanSat 2022 competition…


CanSat 2022 partners: Heureka Science Center, Åbo Akademi University Skolresurs, Finnish Astronautical Society, Vaasan Andromeda RY, KitSat, Meteoria, Kvarken Space Economy, LUMA Center Ostrobothnia, Vaasa Energy Academy, Wasa Innovation Center, ESERO Swerige, Astronomisk Ungdom and ESERO.

CanSat is held annually. The Finnish Astronautical Society will be happy to help organize the event in the future.

Pictures: Vesa Heilala, SATS and Jan Holmgård, ESERO Finland

More pictures: Jan Holmgård, ESERO Finland

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