On Friday 9 March the 6th Space Dinner took place at the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. This year’s theme was Space debris: curse or opportunity? The 6th edition of our annual flagship event was a record edition, with over 270 registrations and about 210 actual participants. Check out the infographic above!
The participants were treated to three presentations from experts of the European Space Agency, the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics and KU Leuven. Tiago Soares from the European Space Agency kicked off with a talk about the different efforts of the ESA Clean Space initiative. Thierry Magin from the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics was next. He talked about his research on aerothermodynamics and the link with space debris mitigation. Philip De Man from KU Leuven was the last speaker, with a presentation on the legal aspects of space debris.
The presentations were followed by the award ceremony of the beSPACE Awards 2018. The beSPACE Award for Personality of the Year 2018 went to Sarah Baatout for her passion for both science and space and her continuous drive to share this passion with everyone around her. First and foremost, she successfully investigates the effects of ionising radiation on molecular processes and their links with (human) health as the director of the Radiobiology Unit at SCK•CEN (Belgian Nuclear Research Centre). She is also dedicated to teaching in many different forms, acting as Guest-Professor at Ghent University and maître de conférence at the University of Namur and organising several events focused on science communication towards both the general public and the younger generations. Her outstanding enthusiasm, constant commitment and profound professionalism are key factors for the continuous success of these different endeavours. In short, Sarah’s passionate work has already inspired many scientists, students and children and will continue to do so for many years to come.
The beSPACE Award for Team of the Year 2018 went to the TRAPPIST team of ULiège for performing bold and innovative research that brings space science closer to the people. The discovery of seven Earth-sized exoplanets, out of which three could have the right conditions for life, has been awe-inspiring on many different levels. Not only did the team successfully tackle many scientific and engineering challenges along the way, it also coordinated an international network of partners and steered them toward the accomplishment of a common goal. The team’s efforts led to one of the most remarkable exoplanet discoveries in recent memory, exciting researchers and the general public alike and starting an avalanche of scientific and popular articles, documentaries, paintings, comics, and so on. On top of that, the work of the team has also significantly contributed to the reputation of Belgium in the global space sector.
The evening was concluded with the Planetarium show “Explore” and a walking dinner, giving the guests the opportunity to discuss the presentations and the awards, as well as network in a relaxed atmosphere.
P.S. A green umbrella appears to have lost its owner during the 6th Space Dinner. Contact us if you think it is yours!
- Tiago Soares – Clean Space: Guaranteeing the future of space activities by protecting the environment
- Thierry Magin – Space debris mitigation, research challenges for aerothermodynamics
- Philip De Man – Cars in space and the legal regime of space debris
- Sarah Baatout – beSPACE Award for Personality of the Year 2018
- TRAPPIST team of ULiège – beSPACE Award for Team of the Year 2018