4th Space Dinner – March 11, 2016 – Planetarium Brussels

The time has once again come for our annual flagship event: the Space Dinner! For the fourth time we invite you for a bite, a drink and inspiring presentations by influential speakers. It is the perfect opportunity to talk and network with like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere!

In light of the recent announcement from ESA’s Director General, the theme of the 4th Space Dinner is the “Moon village”. In short, this village would be a lunar base, 3D printed from local materials and inhabited by astronauts for months at a time. Apart from acting as a research centre, it could also provide a springboard for future missions to Mars.

The following speakers will each provide their own point of view on this ambitious project:

  • Dr Marco Ferrazani, ESA Legal Counsel and Head of the Legal Department
  • Michel Melotte, radiation expert at Thales Alenia Space Belgium
  • Frederik De Wilde, multi- and transdisciplinary artist

Also included in the Space Dinner is a planetarium show and of course a free reception to top it all off.


  • 18h45: doors open
  • 19h00: presentations
    • Dr Marco Ferrazani
    • Michel Melotte
    • Frederik De Wilde
  • 20h00: planetarium show
  • 20h30: reception
  • 22h30: end

Practical info:

  • Date & time: Friday March 11, 2016, 18h45 to 22h30
  • Place to be: Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, Boechoutlaan 10 Avenue de Bouchout, 1020 Brussels
  • Free registration: http://goo.gl/forms/8Na1s8mu2p

Explorare, Quo Vadis? – Art, Philosophy, and Space Exploration

Thursday 10 December 2015 – 19h00 – Brussels – Free entry, registration preferred

Quo Vadis? Explorare!


This series of talks is aimed at space professionals, philosophers, artists, and anyone looking to expand their thinking horizon.

While many professionals of the space sector were originally attracted by the poetry of astronomy or the romanticism of exploration, it is hard to keep the flame of passion alive in the routine of a day-to-day job. Space exploration is indeed a paradoxical activity. On the one hand, it is often cited as a potential source of answers to our most pressing existential questions: are we alone in the universe? Where do we come from? On the other hand, it is a highly technological domain that progresses at a rapid pace.

We, the actors of space exploration have very rarely the opportunity to engage in a reflection on what we are actually doing. The evening shall provide us such an opportunity.

Free entry, registration preferred. Let us know you’re coming at: http://goo.gl/forms/2GegszUT0a


Philosophy from the philosopher

 Jacques Arnould Jacques Arnould

Philosopher, historian of sciences, and theologian. He is in charge of reflexions related to the ethical, social and cultural dimension of space activities at the French space agency (CNES).

Philosophy from the scientist

 Olivier Chazot Pr. Olivier Chazot

Head of the aerospace department at the von Karman Institute (VKI). He is well versed in philosophy and will present his views about the role playoff the philosophical dimension in scientific endeavours.

Art from the artist

 vermeulen Angelo Vermeulen
Visual artist and TED Senior Fellow. His multidisciplinary oeuvre crosses over the boundaries of biology, technology and community. He was crew commander of HI-SEAS, a Mars simulation study on improving the nutritional value of space food, funded by NASA.

Art from the scientist

 Bernard Foing Pr. Bernard Foing

Scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA) and organiser of numerous workshops on the links that can be established between arts and space. He regularly collaborates with the School of Fine Arts of The Hague.


  • 19:00 – Welcome
  • 19:30 – J. Arnould, CNES – Should we Try to Make Contact with Extraterrestrial Life?
  • 20:00 – O. Chazot, von Karman Institute – The Scientist as a Philosopher
  • 20:30 – Angelo Vermeulen, artist  – Blending Art and Science to Advance Humanity in Outer Space
  • 21:00 – B. Foing, ESA – The Moon village: a Challenge for the Arts and Humanities
  • 21:30 – General Q&A, Art Exhibition & Informal Discussion


The session will take place on Thursday the 10th of December 2015 at the Creative District. The address is 70 Boulevard Reyers, 1030 Brussels. Public transport: 800m from Meiser, 300m from Diamant.

The first talk starts at 19:30 sharp. Be there or be square!

With the generous support of:

Spacetec PartnersVon Karmann InstituteCreative District

Belgian cubesats – the first beSPACE session

Friday 9 October 2015 – 19h00 – Brussels – register here!

Cubesats are miniaturised satellites (typically a cube with sides of 10 cm) that were initially developed as student projects in universities. By now however, several companies, institutions, universities and space agencies have recognised their potential for data transmission (e.g. internet access across the world), debris mitigation, Earth observation (e.g. disaster management), education, space science and exploration.

A considerable number of cubesats is currently being developed in Belgium by a range of different players, including the KU Leuven, the Université de Liège, the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy. The von Karman Institute has even been selected as the coordinator of the QB50 project, which aims to launch a network of 50 cubesats developed by university teams spread around the globe.

  • 18:30 – 19:00: welcome
  • 19:00 – 19:20: J. Vanreusel, ESA – ESA Education CubeSat programmes
  • 19:20 – 19:40: T. Delabie, KU Leuven – SIMBA
  • 19:40 – 20:00: D. Fussen, Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy – PICASSO
  • 20:00 – 20:20: V. Van der Haegen, von Karman Institute – QARMAN
  • 20:20 – 20:40: T. Delabie, KU Leuven – SpaceBillboard
  • 20:40 – 22:00: reception with snacks and drinks & informal discussion


The session will take place on Friday the 9th of October 2015 in auditorium Q.D. on the Etterbeek campus of the VUB. The address is Campus Etterbeek, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene. You can find a map of the campus here. Please be aware that a train strike has been announced on this date, which may affect your travel time.

It is still possible to register, so please secure your place by enrolling here!

Please be aware that the poster below has not been updated. The session will start at 19h00 instead of 19h30!


World Space Week: Space Quiz

Space Quiz poster

Space Quiz

This year the World Space Week kicks off with a big Space Quiz on Sunday the 4th of October. This event is accessible to everyone (minimum recommended age: 10) and announces itself as an afternoon full of learning, surprises, suspense and fun!

For the programme of the rest of the week and for more information about World Space Week in general you can check out www.facebook.com/WorldSpaceWeekBelgium and www.worldspaceweek.org. If you have any questions, please contact wsw.belgium@gmail.com. To go directly to the registration page, please click here: http://goo.gl/forms/U8czl0DaNr.

beSPACE is part of the organisation of this quiz, so we look forward to welcoming you on the 4th of October together with numerous other space enthusiasts for a memorable afternoon!

March 6, 2015: third Space Dinner

You can find the presentations of Mr. Pletzer about weightlessness for all and about the the IAC young professionals workshop below.
Presentation Weightlessness for all BeSpace 2015
Presentation IAC IPMC YP Workshop 2015 Promotion



The flagship annual event of beSPACE, the network for young professionals, young graduates and students with a passion for space, who live, work or study in Belgium. The Space Dinner is first and foremost an opportunity to meet like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere over a bite and a drink. This is the programme of the evening:

  • 18:45 doors open
  • 19:00 planetarium show (until 19:30 approximately)
  • 19:15 drinks and walking dinner start
  • 20:15 presentations by
    • Vladimir Pletser, senior physicist and engineer at ESA
    • Diego Urbina, MARS500 crew member and systems engineer at Space Applications Services
    • Guillaume Dedeurwaerder from SABCA, about “Towards Ariane 6”
  • 21:15 drinks and networking event
  • 22:30 end

Thanks to the support of our sponsors BHRS, SABCA, QinetiQ Space, Vito, Antwerp Space and the Brussels Planetarium, the beSPACE space dinner is free.



All young space professionals and students in and from Belgium are invited. Come over & join beSPACE, meet like-minded people as well as people from industry, academia and public institutions. beSPACE is a community of young space enthusiasts, either from Belgium or living there. We meet up regularly to share experiences and help each other.

Space dinner 2015

Practical information

March 6, 2015. 19h – 23h. Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels. Boechoutlaan 10 avenue de Bouchout, 1020 Brussels Access by public transport:

  • Metro stop Houba-Brugmann on line 6
  • By train: Brussel-Centraal/Bruxelles-Centrale or Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid, then change to metro
  • By car: some free parking is available. See map below.

View Larger Map

beSPACE sessions survey

You can find the survey here.

At beSPACE, we have a great list of members from all over the space industry, academia and institutions in Belgium and around. However, until now, there is only the yearly Space Dinner to get in touch with each other.

We would like to change that with the “beSPACE sessions“. A beSPACE session will typically be a get together in a Belgian city, with some small presentations by beSPACE members focused on a subject related to space. The presentations could be an explanation of your work, or a more general introduction of a topic followed by a drink and some discussion or brainstorming. We have identified a couple of preliminary topics that we think many beSPACE members are interested in and that we would like to organise sessions around:

– cubesats
– payloads and instruments
– space electronics
– space mechanics
– propulsion
– space science and astronomy
– impact of space on humans
– space policy
– space law
– …

We would like to know what you think about this! Would you be interested in attending one of these sessions and/or in giving a presentation to your peers from around the Belgian space sector? We would love to hear something about your work, your research, your favorite discussion topic or your pet project! If you just register your interest by filling in our short survey, we can get to work on organizing the first beSPACE sessions!

You can find the survey here.

November 12, 2014: ESA YGT and ISU info session

Register here!

On Wednesday November 12, EUROAVIA Leuven and beSPACE are organising an informal session about becoming a Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) or a Belgian National Trainee at the European Space Agency (ESA), and also about the Summer Studies Programme at the International Space University (ISU). A couple of alumni will give you an insider’s look at what a YGT is all about, and will give you advice on how to apply for a YGT position. Afterwards the ISU programmes will be explained, as well as how to apply for them. There will be a short presentation for both topics and plenty of time for questions.

The event will start at 20h, in Bouwkunde 03.22 on Campus Arenberg near Leuven. Check the road description here: http://bwk.kuleuven.be/Algemeen/Route. The most convenient parking spaces are at the Mechanical Engineering department (Werktuigkunde). The closest bus stop is on the ‘Kantineplein’ (take line 2 towards Heverlee campus from the Leuven train station). After the event, there will be a small free reception. If you want to come, please register here.


July 1, 2014: visit to ESA Redu

It’s has already been more than two months that some of you participated to a visit of ESA’s Redu center and the Galaxia start-ups incubator.
It’s then time for the beSPACE members who missed the event to regret their absence 😉

The rendez-vous held on Tuesday 1st of July at the Namur train station at midday. Around twenty curious beSPACE members left Namur for Libin and Transinnes in the province of Luxembourg in a comfortable coach. The beSPACE shuttle arrived an hour later on top of the hill overlooking the ESA’s Redu center, under a nice shining sun. The visit looked promising.


The Redu center director, Daniele Galadini, started to review the history of the center and detailed the surroundings : landscape, dishes and buildings purposes, situation, etc.

We could have a closer look to the structure and size of the impressive new dish dedicated to the Galileo satellites in-orbit validation. An engineer of the center detailed the behaviour of the different dishes and the processes of the future Galileo constellation validation, but also the qualification procedures of the Galileo satellites already flying above our heads. The group could then discover the operation rooms dedicated to the Proba-2 mission and the Galileo programme. Many telemetry and communication instruments connected to the different dishes for various missions the center cares for could also be observed.

Redu 2

Running out of time, the beSPACE explorers unfortunately had to quickly leave the center to head toward the Galaxia start-ups incubator in Transinne, next to the Euro Space Center. An introduction to the ESA’s business incubation program was given and an incubated start-up, ESNAH, and the space-days were presented.
It was then time to go back home, after an interesting and exciting afternoon, waiting for another beSPACE adventure.

For the beSPACE team,
Jean-Brieuc Feron

March 7, 2014: second Space Dinner

The second beSPACE Space Dinner on March 7, 2014 was again a big success. More than 140 people participated, approximately 25% more than last year. Six speakers gave their own view on the topic ‘Belgium and Space: Next Steps?’:

  • Stijn Ilsen

    Stijn Ilsen

    Stijn Ilsen, Spacecraft AIT and Operations System Engineer at QinetiQ Space presented the past, ongoing and future PROBA projects. Not only did he explain the history and technological marvels on board of the PROBA satellites but also shared a series of remarkable results, and some of QinetiQ Space’s plans for the future.


  • Senateur Dominique Tilmans

    Senateur Dominique Tilmans

    Senator Dominique Tilmans, president of the Space Working Group of the Belgian Senate, explained that the average age in the aerospace and space industry is about 48 years old, reminding us that many of the people active in this industry will retire in the upcoming decade. She focused on the need to promote a career in the space industry as an option to students, while also indicating the low amount of women active in this industry. After providing the audience a summary of the reasons why there seems to be low interest in a career in the space industry, she indicated that there is still a lot that needs to be done to be able to have enough capable young professionals to replace those who are going to retire.

  • Professor Christoffel Waelkens

    Professor Christoffel Waelkens

    Professor Christoffel Waelkens, programme director of the Master in Space Studies programme at KU Leuven, kicked off his presentation reasoning why space is important to humankind. He closed it by explaining why it is important to dream – more than just presenting a list of action points – of what you as a person or a state want to achieve in this field.

  • The last presentation was a short one by the first three National Trainees at ESA in Noordwijk. Johan Vennekens, Romain Gérard and Robin Nelen explained to the participants what they are doing at ESTEC and which projects and teams they are involved in. Many of the people attending the event were positively surprised to see how many projects at ESTEC were carried out in cooperation with or for Belgian organizations.

    Belgian National Trainees at ESTEC

    Belgian National Trainees at ESTEC

Each of these presentations highlighted the many ways Belgium is active in space. Although, the remark was often made that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve the cooperation between the industry, academia and politics in this area.

A two hour networking event with a bite and drink closed the evening, many of the participants were positively surprised to meet people of a broad scala of organizations and various backgrounds. Much like the space sector itself, the beSPACE Space Dinner is something for you, regardless of your background.

We look forward to next year and already invite you to participate! Keep an eye on our website. Best regards from the beSPACE team!

PS. We also want to thank the Belgian High Representation for Space Policy, the Planetarium of Brussels, Antwerp Space, Newtec and Thales Alenia Space. Without their support, this event would not have been possible.


beSPACE space dinner

beSPACE space dinner