‘We need people to be fired up about space travel again’

More political will is needed for space travel, says the VSV Leonardo da Vinci student association. This is why they will hold a symposium on travelling to the moon and Mars.

VSV Leonardo da Vinci’s space travel fraternity. From left to right: Maximilian Meijkamp, Esmée Terwindt, Quinten van Woerkom, Stella Wessels, Marijn van Oorschot, Mees Beumer and Leanne van Dam.

VSV Leonardo da Vinci’s space travel fraternity organises a symposium every year. This year it will be about the return of humans to the moon and travelling to Mars. “Our symposiums give students the opportunity to talk to leaders in the aerospace industry,” says fraternity member Mees Beumer. Delta also talked to his teammate Maximilian Meijkamp.

Why is the aerospace industry so important?
Max: “The aerospace industry connects people, regardless of national borders or cultures. It is also economically advantageous seeing how many technologies emerge from it. Take Velcro for example. It was developed for use in space.”

What is the symposium’s objective?
Mees: “We want the general public to be more interested in space travel. Hopefully it will stimulate the political and financial will to roll out ideas such as travelling to Mars. So the symposium is not only for students at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, but for everyone. Everyone is welcome.”

Where did you start with organising it?
Max: “We started with the theme. Then we looked at the people that we think are interesting. Through VSV Leonardo da Vinci’s honorary members we were able to invite people from the aerospace industry. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without our network.”
Mees: “The aerospace world is really a small world. It may be a big industry but everyone knows each other.”

How did you decide on this theme?
Max: “We all keep tabs on space news so we know what the hot topics are. China is doing a lot of research into human space flight while the USA really wants to go back to the moon. And then there are all the commercial companies that are planning space travel.”

What do you yourselves think about travelling to the moon and to Mars?
Max: “We always hear the joke ‘oh, you’re studying Aerospace Engineering. You want to be an astronaut then?’. It’s not a matter of course. But I do think that there will be astronauts on the moon again within 10 years. It’s now been 50 years since humans first stood on the moon. A whole generation in big companies and politics have never experienced something like that. We need people to be fired up again about space travel.”

  • The symposium will be held on 10 March 2020 in the Aula of TU Delft. Register for this event here.

Muriël van Oers / Freelance redacteur

Editor Redactie

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