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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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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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CanSat 2022 03-06.04.2022 Vaasa

Sunday 3/27/22, time 8:16 PM

I am going to the CanSat 2022 event as a judge with the Finnish Space Research Association. CanSat is a competition where schoolchildren aged 14-19 are building a small rocket that will send a can-sized satellite to an altitude of about 1,000 meters. There are measuring devices in the satellite. So this is training for the future space engineers. About 1,500 schoolchildren from 19 countries will take part in the competition.

There will be 7 teams in Vaasa, 4 from Finland, 2 from Sweden and 1 from Estonia. There are 33 students involved. The Finnish Space Research Society is involved in organizing the event together with Heureka, ESORO Finland and other organizations.

I’m going to have fun as a judge. Together with the other judges, I will interview the future space engineers and I see close how the different teams are performing. The best team will go to the CanSat finals on June 20-25, 2022. I don't know yet if I will be judge for the finals, that would be really interesting!

Press relase-> EPressi

ESA inivtation-> CanSat 2022 


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What happened in 2021 and what do I expect from 2022?

Friday 12/31/21, time 9:31 AM

The most significant event of 2021 was the Virgin Galactic spaceflight:

It finally happened! Virgin Galactica's first commercial spaceflight took place on July 11, 2021. Richard Branson has been asked since 2005 when he will fly into space. He has usually replied, "Next year." He no longer has to answer that question, but I still have to. Blogs:


What do I expect from 2022:

My own space flight at the end of the year. I've been waiting for it for over 10 years. Excited to see who I'm flying with.

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Keisha flies into space

Thursday 11/25/21, time 8:59 PM

Virgin Galactic announced the winner of the space trip. Her name is Keisha and she is from Antigua. She goes into space with her daughter.

Watch a video of happy Keisha. Congratulations!

Video ->

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I got a new flight number to space

Thursday 11/4/21, time 3:36 PM

Virgin Galactic began selling space tickets in 2005. It was then thought that space flights would begin within a few years. I bought my ticket in 2010. The ticket number was always new, and it was not taken into account that over the years people's minds are changing and space travel is no longer so interesting. In that case, the flight number was returned to Virgin Galactic.

Now Virgin Galactic arranged for us the ticket numbers in a new order. My old ticket number for 2010 was 2xx and now it is 1xx.

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Vesa Heilala and TIDLÖS got connected

Friday 10/1/21, time 7:20 PM

I met Henry Salmela, the founder of Tidlös, a few weeks ago in Helsinki. The connecting factor for the two of us was Antti Kempas, who is a brother to a good friend of mine Aarne Kempas. Antti, on the other hand, knows Henry. Somehow Antti and Henry came to talk about me and my project, and that's where it all started. Tidlös is a new Nordic quality watch that has been on the market a couple of years now. Tidlös has many friends in Sweden, but none in Finland so far.

And there we were, Henry and me, sitting together at the Restaurant Linnankellari discussing about watches and space. Tidlös is about to produce new watches with a face made of meteorite. You couldn't imagine any better watch for a Finnish astronaut, could you? We decided to start collaborating together. Henry is a Finn, and he is pleased to have Vesa be the first Finnish friend of Tidlös' . So, stay tuned, there's more to come....

Pictures: Vesa at Tidlös pages ja Tidlös Marin - Black Carbon Fiber watch



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New flight coming, Unity 23

Saturday 9/11/21, time 2:59 PM

Virgin Galactic is preparing for the next flight, Unity 23. Three people from Virgin Galactica and three people from the Italian Air Force will take part in the flight. The flight is expected to take place in a few weeks.

More information ->

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Virgin Galactic reopened ticket sales for $ 450,000

Tuesday 8/10/21, time 3:21 PM

A few days ago, Virgin Galactic reopened ticket sales. Between 2005 and 2013, the ticket price was $ 200,000 and then $ 250,000. After the 2014 accident, ticket sales were on break. Finally, the price for new customers is known: $ 450,000. If the price had been $ 450,000 in 2010 I wouldn’t have purchased a ticket.

Learn more->

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Congratulations Jeff Bezos, you got into space too!

Tuesday 7/20/21, time 4:48 PM

The New Shepard rocket successfully launched into space and returned safely to Earth.

Congratulations Jeff! Now you and Richard are in the same club!

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Interviews with YLE TV1 (Television) and Radio Suomi

Tuesday 7/20/21

Branson space flight 11.07. and the upcoming Besoz space flight 20.07. has spawned a lot of attention. As a result, I have two interviews today:

YLE TV1 morning TV at 08:50. I am interviewed by Mikko Haapanen.

Radio Suomi at 10:30. I will be interviewed by Carolus Manninen and Mika Saarelainen.

Pictures from the interviews, the interviews went well.



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