Category Archives: Event

Presentations & photos from the 4th Space Dinner

The 4th Space Dinner was once again a huge success, thanks to you, beSPACE members! Of course we would also like to thank our speakers, Marco Ferrazzani, Michel Melotte and Frederik De Wilde, as well as our sponsors, Thales Alenia Space Belgium, Antwerp Space, BELSPO and the Planetarium. We hope to see you all again next year!

The presentations from M. Ferrazzani and M. Melotte can be found below:

– Marco Ferrazzani – Moon Village: from vision to reality
– Michel Melotte – Space ionising radiations at Moon level

The photos from the Dinner:

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:

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:


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!


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

March 13, 2014: Senate conference with professor Englert

Senator Madam Tilmans would like to invite 30 members of beSPACE to a lecture of professor Englert, Nobel Prize winner for Physics, on March 13, 2014 at 10h00. You can find more details below.

If you would like to attend the lecture, please send an email to with your name, email address and current function/job title/field of study before March 11, 2014. You will then receive a personal invitation. Registration is obligatory!

Version française :
« Pleins feux sur la recherche fondamentale et ses défis»
avec la participation du Professeur François Englert, Prix Nobel de Physique 2013
Sabine de Bethune, Présidente du Sénat, et Dominique Tilmans, Présidente du groupe de travail « Espace » du Sénat
ont le plaisir de vous inviter à la conférence
« D’un boson à l’univers, des particules aux satellites »
le jeudi 13 mars 2014 à 10h00 au Sénat.
Programme :
– Mot d’accueil par Mme de Bethune et Mme Tilmans
– Exposés ciblés sur un large public par :
* J-M Frère (ULB)
* Thomas Hertog (KUL) “Images satellites du Big Bang de Lemaître”
* Catherine De Clercq (VUB) “ICEcube : des neutrinos venus de l’espace captifs des glaces”
* Considération par François ENGLERT, prix Nobel de Physique 2013 sur “la portée de la recherche fondamentale”
* Discussion + débat en panel
12.30 : Drink et sandwich de clôture
Nederlandse versie :
“Voor het voetlicht : het fundamenteel onderzoek en zijn uitdagingen”
Met deelname van Prof. François Englert, Nobelprijs Fysica 2013
Sabine de Bethune, Voorzitster van de Senaat, en Dominique Tilmans, Voorzitster van de Werkgroep “Ruimtevaart” van de Senaat
Hebben het genoegen u uit te nodigen op de conferentie
“Van een boson tot het Universum, van elementair deeltje tot satelliet”
Op donderdag 13 maart 2014 om 10.00 uur in de Senaat.
Programma :
– Welkomstwoorden door mevr. De Bethune en mevr. Tilmans
– Op een breed publiek gerichte uiteenzettingen door :
* J-M Frère (ULB)
* Thomas Hertog (KUL) “Satellietbeelden van Lemaitres Big Bang”
* Catherine De Clercq (VUB) “ICEcube : neutrino’s uit de ruimte gevangen in het ijs”
* Beschouwingen door François ENGLERT, Nobelprijswinnaar Fysica 2013 over het “belang van het fundamenteel onderzoek”
* Gedachtewisseling + debat met panel
12.30 : Drink en sandwich ter afsluiting

November 18, 2013: info session ESA YGT and national trainee

Register here!

On Monday November 18, 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). A couple of alumni will give you an insider’s look on what a YGT is all about, and will give you advice on how to apply for a YGT position. There will be a short presentation 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: 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.



October 21, 2013: ESA YGT and National Trainee introduction

On Monday 21 October 2013, the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) presented, in the presence of astronaut Frank De Winne and State Secretary for Science Policy Philippe Courard, the first three laureates of the Belgian National Trainee Program. Johan Vennekens, Robin Nelen and Romain Gérard will begin their internship at ESTEC, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Research and Technology Centre, on the 1st of November. The aim of the program is to offer young engineers and researchers the opportunity to work on space projects and obtain the work experience during a 12 month internship, which could be extended to 24 months.

In this way both BELSPO and ESA want to encourage young engineers and researchers to go for a career in the space sector. While it is indisputable that there is indeed a growing demand for highly skilled professionals from the Belgian aerospace industry, it remains difficult for a young professional to find a steady job within this industry. Companies prefer people who already have work experience, for the obvious reason that the time it takes for a person to bring a return on investment (ROI) to the company is shorter. Obviously it is not an easy feat for a young professional to obtain work experience, which is why such programs as the Belgian National Trainee Program are of such importance.

ESA is by far one of the most coveted organizations to gain first work experience, which is why the competition for an internship position is fierce. For those who were not selected for the Belgian National Trainee Program, you can directly apply for an ESA internship, the so-called Young Graduate Trainee, or in short YGT opportunities.

At beSPACE we are convinced that ‘preparation is key’ when applying for a YGT opportunity. A well prepared person can drastically increase his or her chances to be shortlisted and selected for a YGT opportunity. The presentation below can help you in doing so, listing not only a couple of useful facts, but also what you need to pay attention to if you want to increase your chances. At the end of the presentation there are also a series of alternatives to the YGT program mentioned as a reminder that there is more opportunities out there that meets the eye.

If you have questions, you can contact us at

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