mercredi 2 mai 2018

The Guest of The Daily Newspaper “LE QUOTIDIEN JURASSIEN” : Roland J. Keller

Written in French by Jacques Houriet, journalist at the daily newspaper “Le Quotidien Jurassien”, winner (2002) of the Jean Dumur Prize, the highest journalistic distinction in French-speaking Switzerland.
Here is the translation

Français : cliquez sur les images du QJ

Roland J.Keller : "The first step  on the Moon ... and the institutional pedagogy who brought me in the space field."
- Photo taken by : Danièle Ludwig
"I'm the last little Swiss who's going to see rockets, I sometimes feel that I'm more involved with NASA than here. And, being Swiss in the United States is fabulous. For American people, Switzerland is a mountain surrounded by cows, chocolate and watches. They do not know the EPFL and they envy Roger Federer. " Cordial meeting in Courrendlin [North of Switzerland] with Roland J. Keller, an almost cosmic colleague, the only Helvetian currently accredited to NASA.

[CourrendlinSwitzerland, April 28, 2018] Jacques Houriet – Always considerate, my photographer is waiting for me near a small building, in the center of Courrendlin, in front of which some young people get drunk with music. Our host of the day is on the second floor, we carefully choose the elevator. He opens us in space suits, it's a lot of precautions to receive a colleague. Three or four accreditation hanging around his neck, he has the radiant face Roland J. Keller. It's new, this intermediate J?
- "There is such a profusion of Roland Keller that it brought confusion, so 2 years ago I added the initial of my middle name, Jean, which is also the name of my godfather, a man adorable. Do you want to see my office? "

I finally got what I wanted, it took me 30 years.
- Photo taken by : Danièle Ludwig
The desk is very small, attic, lined with light wooden storage crates where dozens of binders hold all the articles written by our guest since his dawn. Three computers help heat the room; on the wall, two diplomas, a precision mechanic and a university certificate from Belfort-Montbéliard in business creation and management; on the ground a sophisticated photographic camera that a sound is enough to trigger that it comments: 60 000 releases per year ... Needs some albums.
Yet he admits a little tense before the goal of my photographer who has fun.
We settle at the large wooden table of the living room. In the part of that one, chairs and couch are foxy, the walls adorned with pictures of animals, a cat, a giraffe, and even a young woman, head to head with a horse:
- "My daughter Laura, riding fans, like her mom Anita, and I do the pictures ..."
He married late, Roland ...
- "In 1995, or 1997, wait ..."
He disappears and comes back laughing:
- "It was 1996, I was 39 years old."
And his wife Anita, 16 years less.

Le Quotidien Jurassien du 28 avril 2018.
So Roland is from Pleigne, even bourgeois, as were his grandparents, the families of Arthur Brosy and Ariste Keller. But he spent his childhood in Delémont [Capital of Jura], where the family temporarily took refuge after the fire of the family cottage. Son of Jeannine and Henry, said Rilo, locksmith at Von Roll [a former blast furnace company], Roland has two brothers, including the postman of Pleigne, and two sisters. No memory seems to have marked him until he was 13 years old and the combination of two apparently unrelated events:
- "I have the chance to go into a new teaching method, institutional pedagogy, with Michel Girardin. Freedom is left to the students to manage themselves, to opt for what they like. And it was that year, July 20, 1969, that the man walked on the moon for the first time. A universal event, even my grandmother LĂ©ontine got up at 3 am to see that. "
That is to say…

Leave his cradle
Space exploration has not made much progress in 50 years, apart from a few billionaire trips ...
- "The main motivation at the time was to go beyond the Russians. The dream did not stop, it is in the nature of the man, but for the moment we have remained to the domestication of space by our satellites of comfort. As for the billionaires, it is perhaps thanks to them that one day we will all be able to move in space. Because, as Tsiolkovsky said, the father of the rocket: "The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but we cannot always stay in its cradle."
Roland starts collecting scientific articles, but does not content himself with it. He writes to NASA at 13!
- "And I received an answer, and documentation. NASA provides information, unlike Russians who hide everything. Ah! I was proud. I continued to write afterwards, and I have always received answers ... "

Le Quotidien Jurassien du 28 avril 2018.
First steps to the "Demo"
Passion turned to science, space, he dreams of prestigious professions, but he is right:
- "How to become a space reporter? I did not go out of college. Without enthusiasm, I do an apprenticeship of precision mechanics at Tornos, a precise, rigorous job. A good experience finally. But I'm still not on the right track. "
He continues his training in a technical school in Bienne and puts a foot in journalism:
- "The Former Democrate Newspaper was looking for a correspondent for the Haut-Plateau, I propose myself. And there I covered everything, from communal assemblies to obituaries, from theater to sports competitions, television reviews, I could do everything except football. The editor-in-chief, Jean-Luc Vautravers, whom I thank again, trusted me. And that's when I started writing science articles. "
Professionally, he becomes head of the digital control department of a Biel enterprise:
- "I won well, I did little. But it was not exciting at all. I preferred writing for Le Demo. "

The Drama Fascinates
In 1981 he is accredited to NASA, where he is almost in known territory, for 12 years that he wrote to him, goes there at his own expense and offers an original article to the Democrate who pompously sign "our special correspondent ". He could have added free ...
- "NaĂŻve as I was, I thought my job of journalist was engaged, I started myself as a space editor, I create Astropresse. It did not work, hey ... "
In January 1986 he was one of the rare Europeans to attend the launch of the Challenger shuttle in Cape Canaveral. One minute after taking off, the explosion, the drama, seven dead ... Roland's eyes darken, he makes a rum face ...
- "There all the media asked me, it's sad to say, but this trip I had covered ... It was necessary to testify."
To get out financially he will be for some time representative for life insurance:
- "I realized my goals for the year in a few months, and I returned to my passion."
His company sends him to Valais [big mountains in south of Switzerland]:
My last trip in NASA/KSC in April 2018.
- photo : Rob van Mackelenbergh
- "But in Valais, I was only the tourist Jura passing, you drink a drink, two glasses, three glasses with the Valais because you're Jurassien, but for business, you're not local."
Not easy. He finds himself unemployed, takes the opportunity to follow studying (Belfort, in France) in creation and management of business:
- "I wanted to understand my failures."

Backside on air
For a time he embarked on the creation of websites, while continuing his various correspondences to newspapers, which increase. He offers his services to a nautical magazine, the Cavalier Romand, which allows him to follow the exploits of his ladies, at Espace Magazine, Moto Sport, a free newspaper, including:
- "I covered four Paralympic Games in Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens and Turin. I tell you again, I write about everything, beekeeping, « macramĂ© » or rockets. Except the foot ... "
His workbooks bear witness to this.
In March 2008, he was appointed editor-in-chief of the monthly of Swiss Engineering [Revue Technique Suisse, RTS]. It is thanks to them and the exhibition EPHJ (Geneva) that he will live a dream: a flight in zero gravity.
The French company Novespace organizes once a year flight for scientists. For the financial, the animators simultaneously offer the flight to private, 24 people who have, have, disbursed 8’500 dollars for this rare experience. The plane, a modified Airbus A 310, rises to 10’000 meters and stakes, and describes 16 ballistic parabola.

My last flight in "Zero G" in October 22, 2016. - Photos : Novespace/Dovespace
Tales from Space
The passengers are in weightlessness 16 times 22 seconds (6 minutes, therefore) and know various sensations: the total weightlessness, where one floats in nothing, the lunar weightlessness, where one weighs 6 times less than its earth weight, and Martian weightlessness, where you lose a third of your weight, explains Roland:
- "And when you fall back, there is a moment when you weigh twice (1.8 g). It is magic. Of course I dream of going back, just find a sponsor ... "
Since 1981 Roland has attended, on site, 24 rocket launches. Is there still a popular interest in launching rockets when they do not explode?
- "The interest is all that surrounds it, make it possible, there is a pedagogy to do. I am a space reporter, not an engineer, I tell more than I explain, and I hope to tell. That's why I made a blog ( Jacques Stadelmann, who was one of my faithful, told me that I made him dream. Many readers tell me to wait for this news in the evening to fall asleep. "
Like a fairy tale.

The housekeeping shuttle
Still, it does not move the media anymore:
- "In Early April I attended a launch that included an optical system from Neuchâtel. I warned all the newspapers: no answer. Yet it is interesting, they are devices intended to recover space waste, which could disturb our satellites ... "
He explains to me the sophisticated technique of these household shuttles equipped with nets. Cosmic vacuum cleaners with nets to recover the debris of our previous exploits to bring them back to earth add them to ours we will take care later. After the shrimp fishing, the shuttle fishing! It's less digestible, and it's more expensive.

Roland J. Keller : - It "trump" a lot [In French trump is like “tromper” = delude]. In the thatched cottages, he is only a little criticism.  Many Americans say that thanks to him they found a job, and that's all they want.

Men and Women Equality
- For work, all right. For the rest, I admit that I'm a little macho.
Vice declared...

Social Networks
- Networks, especially computer, are useful, even necessary. But to be social is to talk to someone by looking into their eyes.

Solar Impulse
- The most beautiful Swiss project in energy, promising for ecological aviation.

The Legalized H
- It's a way, too.
To hover ...

Wind Turbines
- A supplement to renewable energy, but they will not be enough.

The Planet
- It may not be too late if everyone grabs the problem and decides to reduce its consumption.
Still to convince

Health Costs
- They explode. We will have to explain the system a little better. If we knew everything, perhaps we would be less rebellious.
Or more ...

Print Newspapers
- They have a future; their scarcity will make their value.

- I respect them all. They engage, assume and cash shots. Whatever they do, they are criticized.
Poor guys.

- Photo taken by : Danièle Ludwig
Roland J. Keller : "To avoid accidents, no shoes on board. By dint of gesticulating or hovering like a feather in weightless, I had, like all, put on simple cotton socks "Air ZeroG", during my "weightlessness" flight from Zurich to the Mediterranean . In the emptiness, a kick is quickly dropped! And the color of the socks makes it possible to distinguish the group to which one belongs. I was with the Moon, the blue socks. "

mardi 10 avril 2018

Haute couture spatiale : la broderie intérieure des navettes

Jean Wright, couturière de navette. - The Space Shuttle's seamstresses. - Photo : NASA KSC
Une tuile de la navette dans la rue principale
de Cap Canaveral chez Zarella's Italian
& Wood Fired Pizza. Pas pour manger,
Ă©videmment, mais pour toucher, seulement.
- Photo : rke

[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 9, 2018, rke – English below] – Eh oui, l’espace a aussi ses couturières et couturiers. Des brodeuses ou des brodeurs de fusĂ©es, que voilĂ  un beau mĂ©tier. Surtout quand tout est fait main. Au fil de mon trip, j’ai eu la chance d’en rencontrer une, au Kennedy Space Center. C’est Jean Wright, ex-ingĂ©nieure en assemblage de matĂ©riaux composite chez United Space Alliance, la dame au « fil d’or ». Enfin, presque. Car, quand il a fallu recouvrir l’intĂ©rieur du « coffre » de la navette spatiale, la NASA a fait appel Ă  elle pour assembler des tissus ultra-rĂ©sistants. Des Ă©chantillons qui ont Ă©tĂ© dĂ©coupĂ©s Ă  partir d’une doublure installĂ©e sur des couvertures isolantes (similaire au tamisage des fenĂŞtres) pour aider Ă  maintenir la propretĂ© des baies de la charge utile des orbiteurs. Les doublures ont Ă©tĂ© remplacĂ©es entre les vols pour les besoins de configuration selon les dommages ou la dĂ©coloration.

Fibre de quartz et de verre ainsi que fil de céramique
Lorsque le programme de navette a pris fin, Jean Wright a quittĂ© le secteur spatial. Elle s'est formĂ©e pour devenir une guide bĂ©nĂ©vole d’Atlantis. Elle, et d'autres « Sew Sisters » les « SĹ“urs couturières », ont brodĂ© le tissu de quartz enduit de fibre de verre sur les bords des portes, la baie et le bas des trois moteurs de la navette pour former une barrière thermique. Le tout a Ă©tĂ© rappondu avec du fil de cĂ©ramique. 

Ken Kremer de et Jean Wright découvrent notre
numéro annuel : Schweizer Luft- und Raumfahrt 2018.
L'aviation et l'espace suisses.

Ken Kremer of and Jean Wright discover our
annual book :  Schweizer Luft- und Raumfahrt 2018.
Swiss AeroSpace Year Book 2018.
14 heures Ă  coudre dans le « nez » d’Atlantis
La jeune dame de Melbourne (Floride), qui a commencĂ© Ă  coudre des vĂŞtements Ă  l'âge de 9 ans, a donc dĂ©butĂ© par la couture le revĂŞtement protecteur pour le vĂ©hicule le plus sophistiquĂ© du monde. La navette Atlantis, la vraie, celle qui est exposĂ©e au KSC, c’est un peu son bĂ©bĂ©. Une fois, elle a passĂ© 14 heures contorsionnĂ©e Ă  l'intĂ©rieur de son « nez », cousant Ă  la main des couvertures thermiques autour des portes et du train d'atterrissage.
Elle m’en a d’ailleurs laissĂ© un morceau qui provient en fait de la navette Columbia (OV-102) du vol STS 109, en mars 2002 (photo ci-contre). Autant vous dire que je suis ravi ! Ă‡a, c’est sĂ»r, c’est de la vraie haute couture. 

Le tissu qui a recouvert l'intérieur de la navette.
Mince comme une feuille de papier mais solide
Ă  toute Ă©preuves.
« Haute couture »:  The Art of Sewing or the Interior Embroidery of Shuttles
[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 9, 2018, rke Oohhh, yeah ! The space also has its embroiderers. That's a good job. Especially when everything is handmade. During my trip, I had the chance to meet, at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC-VC), with Jean Wright, former composite materials assembly engineer at United Space Alliance. The lady with the "gold thread"! Well, almost. Because, when it was necessary to cover the interior of the "safe" of the space shuttle, NASA called upon her to assemble ultra-resistant tissues. Samples that have been cut from a liner installed on insulating blankets (similar to sieving windows) to help maintain the cleanliness of the payload bays of the orbiters. The liners have been replaced between flights for configuration purposes depending on the damage or discoloration.

The precision of the stitches.
Quartz and Glass Fiber and Ceramic Wire
When the shuttle program ended, Jean Wright left the space sector. She trained to become a docent for Atlantis. She, and other "Sew Sisters" the "Seamstress Sisters", embroidered the fiberglass-coated quartz tissue on the edges of the doors, the bay and the bottom of the three shuttle engines to form a thermal barrier. Everything has been linked with ceramic thread.

14 Hours to Sew in the "Nose" of Atlantis
The young lady from Melbourne (Florida), who started sewing clothes at the age of 9, began stitching protective coverings for the world’s most sophisticated vehicle. Of all the orbiters, she feels a personal connection to Atlantis. She once spent 14 hours contorted inside its cramped nose cone, hand sewing thermal blankets around the landing gear doors.
She left me a piece that actually comes from the shuttle Columbia (OV-102) flight STS 109, in March 2002 (photo opposite). As much to say to you that I am delighted! For sure, it's real « haute couture ».
Le pas de tir 41 de l'US Air Force dans l'attente de la fusée Atlas 5 AFSPC 11. - Photo : rke

dimanche 8 avril 2018

Le Longines Global Champions Tour de Miami : un brin d’exotisme hippique accessible Ă  tout un chacun

La Suissesse Jane Richard Philips et Foica van den Bisschop. - Photo : rke
Le big truck Ă  chevaux devant l'hĂ´tel.
- Photo : rke
[Miami, Florida, April 7, 2018, rke– English below] – Sur place, en Floride, je ne pouvais pas louper ça ! Le Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT, une compĂ©tition hippique 5 Ă©toiles de haut niveau. Elle n’est pas très apprĂ©ciĂ©e par des cavaliers peu fortunĂ©s de par son cĂ´tĂ© spectaculaire, mais Ă  tort, me semble-t-il, après mon escapade sur place. Du coup, j’ai donc embarquĂ© dans mon Ă©lĂ©gante Ford Edge grise (une balourde) et j’ai foncĂ© de Cocoa Ă  Miami Beach pour assister au moins Ă  l’Ă©preuve phare, le Grand Prix (1 m 60). 3 heures de route et bonne heure dans le trafic, du Nord de la ville, jusqu’Ă  Miami Beach. En venant du Nord le plus simple est de prendre la 15erue Est et la suivre jusqu’Ă  l’embranchement perpendiculaire ou vous atteignez la fameuse A1A. Puis, attention de bien rester sur la droite et de descendre le sud. A quelques rues plus loin, vous tombez pile poile sur les box en plein du LGCT. On ne peut pas les louper. Le problème ? C’est le parking. Rien n’est prĂ©vu et organisĂ© Ă  cet effet. Il faut y aller Ă - la dĂ©brouillardise et ne pas hĂ©siter Ă  se garer au loin, quitte Ă  marcher un peu. Le site est en face du Collins Park. Les box sont d’emblĂ©e installĂ©s Ă  bord de l’A1A, mais cela ne gĂŞne en rien les chevaux du fait que l’endroit est très Ă©tendu.

Les boxes en face de l'A1A. - Photo : rke
J’ai d’ailleurs Ă©tĂ© surpris de l’odeur des Ă©quidĂ©s qui mĂ©langĂ© Ă  un air tropical donne un parfum très agrĂ©able. Et comme si on allait Ă  la plage, on remarque, tout proche, de très longues tantes implantĂ©es et il y a suffisamment de larguer jusqu’en bord de mer. Les touristes peuvent s’installer sur les tribunes (Ă  gauche) sans payer. Il y a juste une vigie pour un simple contrĂ´le de routine. Ă€ droite du « stade sur sable », lĂ  il faut montrer un badge, mais il n’y a pas de fouille. A l’intĂ©rieur de cette zone VIP est installĂ© un centre de presse dont la vitrine donne directement sur le carrĂ© de sable (si je puis dire) du concours. Et pas besoin de dossard pour reconnaĂ®tre les photographes.

Pius Schwizer (left) and I. - Selfie
Pius Schwizer : "Mes chevaux ont été perturbés par le climat marin"
« Mes chevaux ont un peu Ă©tĂ© perturbĂ©s par l’endroit particulier de la plage », m’a confiĂ© le cavalier suisse Pius Schwiser, mĂ©daillĂ© de bronze des Jeux olympiques par Ă©quipe de 2008 qui n’a pas pris part au Grand Prix, mais l’Ă©preuve prĂ©cĂ©dente. En tous cas, c’est vrai qu’il y a un cĂ´tĂ© show Ă  l’AmĂ©ricaine qui n’est pas pour dĂ©plaire aux nombreux vacanciers qui ont la possibilitĂ© de voir un prestigieux concours en bord de plage, et ce gratuitement. Rien que pour cela, le dĂ©placement en vaut la peine. Un brin d’exotisme hippique accessible Ă  tout un chacun. Les chevaux ont au moins pu sauter dans du sable naturel… Allez Alban, ça vaut le dĂ©tour !

  • Post-scriptum : j'oubliais de vous dire que je suis venu e.n tant qu'Ă©claireur reporter pour les prochaines Ă©ditions. Surtout avec ma fille Laura et peut-ĂŞtre sa maman Anita
Scott Brash (Great Britain) and Ursula XII. - Photo : rke
D'autres images / Other photos : click here
The Pom-Pom Grils. - Photo : rke
The Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami: a Bit of Horse-Exoticism-Exhibition Accessible to Everyone
The winners of Miami Grand Prix : Edwina Tops-Alexander and California. - Photo : rke
The road. - Photo : Google

[Miami, Florida, April 7, 2018, rke] – As I am in a press trip to Florida, I could not miss this! The Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT), a high-level 5-star horse racing competition. This event is not very popular by less fortunate riders because of its spectacular side, but wrongly, it seems to me, after my adventure in Miami Beach. So, I boarded in my elegant gray Ford Edge (a little bump) and sailed from Cocoa to Miami Beach to attend at least the flagship event, the Grand Prix (1m60). 3 hours drive and good hours in traffic, from the north of the city, to Miami Beach. From the North, the best way is to take the 15th Street East and the follow the perpendicular junction where you reach the famous A1A, then be careful to stay on the right and go down south. A few streets further, you fall right on the boxes in the LGCT. The problem is the parking lot, nothing is planned and organized. This must be done with self-help and do not hesitate to park in the distance, even if you want to walk a little. The site is in front of Collins Park. The boxes are immediately installed aboard the A1A, but it does not bother the horses because the place is very extensive.

A smell of equines mixed with a tropical air 
The Press Center. - Photo : rke
I was surprised by the smell of equines mixed with a tropical air gives a very pleasant scent. And as if we went to the beach, we notice, very close, very long aunts and there is enough to drop to the seaside. Tourists can settle on the stands (left) without paying. There is just a lookout for a simple routine check. To the right of the "stadium on sand,” there must be a badge, but there is no frisking. Inside this VIP area there is a press center whose showcase directly overlooks the sand site (if I may say) of the competition. And no need to put a bib to recognize photographers.

Pius Schwizer: "My horses have been unrest by the sea climate"
"My horses have been a little disturbed by the particular place on the beach," said Swiss rider Pius Schwiser, 2008 Olympic Games team bronze medalist who did not take part in the Grand Prix, but the previous proof. In any case, it is true that there is an American’s show for this event, but that is not to displease the many tourists who have the opportunity to see a prestigious contest on the beach, and free of charge. Just for that, the trip is worth it. A bit of horse-exoticism-exhibition accessible to everyone. And the horses have at least been able to jump in natural sand ... Come on Alban ! – (Poudret, Chief Editor of Le cavalier Romand) – it's worth the trip!

  • PS: I forgot to tell you that I have come as a scout-reporter for future editions. Especially with my daughter Laura and maybe her mom Anita

Panorama of the beach. - Photo : rke

samedi 7 avril 2018

Port Canaveral Ă  l’assaut des requins ! Pour le plaisir du palais au long bec des pĂ©licans

Le port de Cap Canaveral très prisé des pélicans qui aiment les requins... morts et servis sur table.. - Photo : rke
[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 6, 2018, rke – English below] – Obsession ! Non, ce n’est pas ce que vous pensez. Obsession, c’est le nom et la passion de Canaveral Fishing Charters, une compagnie qui offre des virĂ©es en mer pour pĂŞcher de gros poissons, mĂŞme des requins ou autres escapades en bateau. J’ai donc voulu tenter l’aventure, mais vu les tarifs, j’ai vite eu fait de me retenir. Je prĂ©fère Ă©conomiser pour revenir aux USA ou pour financer mon 2evol en apesanteur. Cette sortie Ă  la pĂŞche m’aurait au moins entraĂ®nĂ© Ă  retrouver les airs, car, en apesanteur, c’est un peu comme en mer. Juste les premiers instants. Sauf qu’en zĂ©ro gravitĂ©, on ne flotte pas, on barbote dans le vide. Bon, je ne vais pas vous ratatiner toute mon histoire dans le vide.

A la pĂŞche : 900 dollars pour 1 jour
L'entrée du Deep Sea Fishing.
- photo . rke
Le poissonnier du coin décortique le requin. Enfin, ce qu'il
en reste. Remarquez, en haut, le bec du pélican.
- Photo : rke
Pour en revenir Ă  mes poissons, le Deap Sea Fishing du Port Canaveral met aussi sur l’eau des charters Ă  l’assaut de poissons (des petits au grands). Un jour complet coĂ»te 900 dollars, un demi-jour, 700. Et il faut un groupe d’au moins 6 passagers pour embarquer. Donc, j’ai prĂ©fĂ©rĂ© abandonner. Du coup, je me suis laissĂ© guider par Ken Kremer de, le collègue reporter fidèle pourchasser de fusĂ©es comme moi. Comme il connaĂ®t bien le Port Canaveral, il nous a fait dĂ©couvrir les alentours.

Les pélicans adorent les touristes
Une chose est sĂ»re, les pĂ©licans sont habituĂ©s Ă  voir les touristes. Ils viennent un peu comme nos pigeons suisses presque picorer dans les mains, sauf qu’on doit se mĂ©fier de ces oiseaux aux longs becs, car ils peuvent ĂŞtre parfois agressifs. D’ailleurs, je ne savais pas qu’ils Ă©taient friands de requins. Preuve en est la prise surprise d’un petit squale par un gars de qui a dĂ©cortiquĂ© la bestiole sous nos yeux et pour le plaisir du palais au long bec des… pĂ©licans ! 

No, he is not the fisherman, but Gerard van de Haar, of Dutch Space Agency. Ah, he likes sharks, too. - Photo : rke
Port Canaveral Shark Attack ! For the Long Pelican’s Nozzle Gusto
- Salut ! J'en ai un peu marre de ces touristes, pas toi ?
- Non, ça va, certains nous lancent du pain, à défaut de requin.
- Photo : rke
[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 6, 2018, rke]– No, that's not what you think. Obsession is the name and passion of Canaveral Fishing Charters, a company that offers trips offshore to catch big fish, even sharks or other boat trips. So I wanted to try the adventure, but given the rates, I quickly had to hold me. I prefer to spare money for my come back in USA or finance my second flight in Zero G (Zero Gravity). This fishing trip would have at least led me to find the sky, because, in weightlessness, it's a bit like at sea. Just the first moments. Except that in zero gravity, we do not float, we paddle in the void. Well, I'm not going to shrivel up my whole story in ZeroG.  

Fishing: $ 900 for 1 day
To go back to the little story, the Deap Sea Fishing of Port Canaveral also puts on the water charters to the assault of fish (from small to big!). A full-day costs 900 dollars, half a day, 700. And it takes a group of at least 6 passengers to board. So, I preferred to give up. Suddenly, I let myself be guided by Ken Kremer of, my colleague reporter faithful rockets hunter like me. Since he knows Port Canaveral well, he made us discover the surroundings.
Rob Mackelenbergh very very attracted by pelicans.
- photo : rke

Pelicans like tourists
One thing is certain, pelicans are used to seeing tourists. They come a little like our Swiss pigeons almost peck in the hands, except that we must be wary of these birds with long nozzle, because they can sometimes be aggressive. Besides, I did not know they were fond of sharks. Proof is the surprise fishing of a small shark by a guy from who has shelled the marine creature under our eyes and for the long pelican’s nozzle gusto.

Elles ont de l'obsession... pour la pĂŞche. Obsession to fishing... for them... - Photo :
... and interest to fish for Ken Kremer (left) and Rob Mackelenbergh.
- Photos : rke

jeudi 5 avril 2018

Uniques au monde : Sea Cleaners & RemoveBEBRIS, les aspirateurs des mers et de l’espace

Le Manta, 61 mètres de haut ! Pour collecter les déchets plastiques en mer.
The Manta, 200 feet high! To collect plastic waste at sea. - Photo : 
[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 5, 2018, rke – English below] – Savez-vous quelle diffĂ©rence il y existe entre le CSEM, le navigateur français Yvan Bourgnon, Cap Canaveral et les fusĂ©es ? Non ? Ben, aucune ! Chacun de ces sites mène au nautisme. Comme astro… nautique. La navigation est le maĂ®tre mot. Explications. Le Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM) de Neuchâtel vient de prĂŞter ses yeux au satellite de capture de dĂ©bris cĂ©lestes SpaceDEBRIS Ă  la Station spatiale internationale (ISS). Lire ma prĂ©cĂ©dente News : cliquez ici
L'Exploration Tower du Port Canaveral est
souvent squattĂ©e par SpaceX comme tour
d'observation des lancements pour
les journalistes privilégiés.
- Photo : rke
Yvan Bourgnon. - Photo : BFM TV
The French navigator
Yvan Bourgnon
Yvan Bourgnon, le navigateur mondialement connu entre autres pour son tour du monde en solitaire et son passage par le nord Ă  bord d’un petit catamaran non habitable, va prĂ©senter en première mondiale au prochain Salon des inventions Ă  Palexpo Genève: The Sea Cleaners. Le nettoyeur des mers.

Usine embarquée pour aspirer le plastique
VĂ©ritable usine embarquĂ©e de 70 mètres de long, 49 de large et 61 de hauteur, cet aspirateur des mers est Ă  la dimension de son dĂ©fi : rĂ©colter, Ă  chaque expĂ©dition, 600 mètres cubes de matière plastique proche des embouchures des grands fleuves oĂą sont dĂ©versĂ©s 63% des dĂ©chets, les trier et les valoriser dans des usines de recyclage ou de transformation. Vous saurez tout si vous vous rendez Ă  Genève du 11 au 15 avril prochain. 
Et puis il y a Cap Canaveral que je ne devrais pas prĂ©senter Ă  mes potes reporters amĂ©ricains, tellement ils le connaissent, ce port. NĂ©anmoins c’est quand mĂŞme de lĂ  qu’il est possible de voir au mieux les lancements de fusĂ©es des tours No 40 et 41. SituĂ© au sud du site de l’US Air Force, le port dispose en effet d’une tour l’Exploration Tower souvent squattĂ©e par SpaceX pour les journalistes lors des dĂ©collages, tour qui comprend aussi une exposition interactive de sept Ă©tages.

4 millions de passagers de croisière par an
DĂ©part du Disney Wonder Ă  Cap Canaveral le 5 avril 2018. - Photo : rke
Port Canaveral est l'un des ports les plus dynamiques du monde. Il accueille plus de 4 millions de passagers Ă  bord de ses terminaux Ă  la pointe de la technologie et 5,5 millions de passagers dans le monde entier. Une « passerelle » de classe mondiale pour les croisières, le fret, les loisirs et la logistique. 5,5 millions de tonnes de marchandises par annĂ©e y transitent, y compris en vrac, en projet ou en conteneur. Le port est stratĂ©giquement situĂ© pour desservir tous les marchĂ©s de la Floride, ainsi que le sud-est des États-Unis. En plus des installations de croisière de classe mondiale et des opĂ©rations de fret diverses, Port Canaveral offre le plus de possibilitĂ©s de loisirs que tous les autres ports maritimes de Floride combinĂ©s, y compris les parcs publics, rampes publiques gratuites, etc.

World Premieres: Sea Cleaners & RemoveBEBRIS, Sea and Space Vacuums
The RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft during final assembly at SSTL. - Photo : SSTL / Max Alexander
[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 5, 2018, rke ] – Do you know which difference is between the Swiss research CSEM of Neuchâtel (North West of Switzerland), the French navigator Yvan Bourgnon, Cape Canaveral and the rockets? No? So, None! Each of these sites leads to a nautical, like astro…nautical. In the each case, navigation is the key word. Explanations. The Swiss center for electronics and microtechnology (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique, CSEM) has just lent its eyes to the SpaceDEBRIS celestial debris capture satellite at the International Space Station (ISS). Read my previous News: click here. Yvan Bourgnon, the worldwide navigator known for his solo-world-tour and his passage through the north aboard a small “no fit to live catamaran”, will present in a world premiere at the Salon des inventions at Geneva Palexpo: The Sea Cleaners. 

Departure of Disney Wonder at Cape Canaveral on April 5, 2018.
 Photo : rke
Onboard Factory to Suck the Plastic
A 230-feet-lengh, 160-wide, 200-high factory, this vacuum cleaner is on the scale of its challenge: to harvest, on each expedition, 600 cubic meters of plastic material close to the mouths of the large rivers were spilled 63% of waste, sort it and recover it in recycling or processing plants. You will know everything if you go to Geneva from April 11th to 15th.
And then there is Cape Canaveral that I should not introduce to my American reporters guys, as they know it. Nevertheless, it’s on this place where it’s possible to see the best rocket launches of towers No 40 and 41. Located south of the US Air Force site, the port has indeed another tower, too: the Exploration Tower often squatted by length SpaceX for journalists during takeoffs, which includes an interactive seven-story exhibit.

4 million revenue cruise passengers by year
Port Canaveral is one of the world's most dynamic and exciting ports. A world-class gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, as well as a gateway to new frontiers, including space, Port Canaveral hosts more than 4 million revenue cruise passengers through its state-of-the-art terminals and 5.5 million tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break bulk, project, and containerized. The Port is strategically located to service all Florida markets, as well as the Southeastern United States. In addition to world class cruise facilities and diverse cargo operations, Port Canaveral offers more recreational opportunities than all other Florida deep-water seaports combined, including public parks, free public boat ramps, marinas, an entertainment district.

mercredi 4 avril 2018

NASA SpaceX CRS-14 – LE CSEM sur orbite ! Grâce Ă  une camĂ©ra laser 3D LIDAR, des « yeux neuchâtelois » vont aider Ă  capturer des dĂ©bris spatiaux

Dragon est arrimé à l'ISS. L'expérience RemoveDEBRIS va pouvoir commencer sous les yeux avisés du CSEM.
Dragon is stowed at the ISS. The RemoveDEBRIS experiment will begin under the eyes of the CSEM. Photo : NASA
Lancement de Falcon 9 le 2 avril
Ă  22h30 (suisse)
- Photo : Roland J. Keller
[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 4, 2018, rke – English below] – Comme prĂ©vu, le module de service flanquĂ© sous la capsule Dragon est arrivĂ© Ă  la Station spatiale internationale (ISS) ce mercredi 4 avril Ă  12h40 (heure suisse), saisit par le bras robotique de la plateforme orbitale. Les astronautes ont donc pu commencer Ă  dĂ©placer les 2,6 tonnes de ravitaillement en nourriture et expĂ©riences, qui visent notamment Ă  Ă©tudier les orages, les traitements anti-cancer ou encore la fameuse rĂ©cupĂ©ration des dĂ©bris en orbite. Il s’agit donc du satellite d’un mètre cube, RemoveDEBRIS qui sera dĂ©ployĂ© ces prochains jours via le système NanoRacks Kaber, pour mener une sĂ©rie d'expĂ©riences de dĂ©monstration des technologies rentables utilisables pour observer et capturer les dĂ©bris spatiaux. Lire ma prĂ©cĂ©dente news : cliquez ici – ou encore : click here 

Capture avec un harpon ou un filet... sous des "yeux" suisses
Par l’entremise du CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique), la Suisse prĂŞte cdonc ses yeux Ă  cette mission. Ce projet europĂ©en lancĂ© dans le cadre du programme FP7 rassemble dix partenaires, dont le CSEM. « Nous sommes convaincus que les solutions que nous allons tester pourront offrir une rĂ©ponse au problème des dĂ©bris spatiaux » explique le professeur Guglielmo Aglietti, directeur du Surrey Space Centre (UK) qui coordonne le projet. Parmi ces solutions : la capture de dĂ©bris grâce Ă  un filet ou par harpon. Pour visualiser la cible, le système de vision utilisĂ© est primordial. ComposĂ© principalement d’un LIDAR « Laser Detection and Ranging » permettant d’obtenir des images 3D et d’une camĂ©ra couleur, celui-ci a Ă©tĂ© dĂ©veloppĂ© par le CSEM, en partenariat avec Airbus et l’INRIA. « Grâce Ă  ce projet, nous avons acquis des compĂ©tences de pointe dans une technologie Ă  fort potentiel » se rĂ©jouit Alexandre Pollini, responsable du projet au CSEM. UtilisĂ© pour les vĂ©hicules autonomes terrestres ou spatiaux, ce type de LIDAR offre aussi des perspectives intĂ©ressantes pour l’atterrissage prĂ©cis de sondes d’exploration spatiale ou pour des rendez-vous orbitaux automatiques.

Aussi pour des véhicules aériens et terrestres
Mon collègue Gerard van de Haar surpris lors du rĂ©glage 
de mon appareil avant le lancement. Cet importante
personnalité de l'Agence spatiale hollandaise
a aussi vĂ©cu un moment poignant avec un requin 
Ă  Cap Canaveral.  Info dans une prochaine news.

My colleagueGerard surprised when I set my device
before launch. This important personality of the 
Dutch Space Agency had an intense moment lived
with a shark in Cape Canaveral, too
Info in a next news. - Photo : rke
Le projet europĂ©en RemoveDebris reprĂ©sente la première mission europĂ©enne concrète visant Ă  tester ce type de solution en orbite. « Outre cette stratĂ©gie de dĂ©veloppement, l’innovation majeure pour le CSEM est cristallisĂ©e dans le « flash imaging LiDAR » de l’unitĂ© VBNS (Vision- Based Navigation Sensor). Celui-ci gĂ©nère des images 3D sur la base de la mesure du temps de vol de photons Ă©mis par sa source laser. Le dĂ©phasage entre le signal modulant le laser et la modulation du signal reçu par rĂ©flexion depuis le faux dĂ©bris permet une mesure indirecte du temps » ont confiĂ© Alexandre Pollini et Christophe Pache Concepteurs de l’unitĂ© VBNS au CSEM dans le mensuel Swiss Engineering RTS (voir copies d’Ă©cran ci-contre en français et en allemand). Son utilitĂ© ne se limite pas au domaine du spatial, car ses caractĂ©ristiques sont aussi intĂ©ressantes pour le prometteur domaine des vĂ©hicules autonomes, qu’ils soient terrestres, aĂ©riens ou sous-marins.

The Swiss research center CSEM on orbit ! Due to a LIDAR 3D laser camera, "Neuchâtelois eyes" will help to capture space debris
Les yeux suisse du satellite RemoveDEBRIS Ă  droite.
The Swiss eyes of RemoveDEBRIS on right. - Photo : Airbus/CSEM

[Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 4, 2018, rke– As expected, the cargo ship clipped on the Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) this Wednesday, April 4 at 12:40 (Swiss time), grabbed by the robotic arm of the orbital platform. The astronauts were able to start moving the 2.6 tons of food and experimentation supplies, which include studying storms, anti-cancer treatments or the famous recovery of debris in orbit. It is therefore the one-cubic meter satellite, RemoveDEBRIS, which will be deployed in the coming days via the NanoRacks Kaber system, to conduct a series of experiments demonstrating cost-effective technologies for observing and capturing space debris. Read my last news : Click here – and more info : click here

Capture with a harpoon or net ... under Swiss "eyes"
LA "une" du Florida Today du
3 avril 2018.
"Le cargo Falcon 9 Dragon
remonte Ă  nouveau"
This European project, launched as part of the FP7 program, comprises ten partners, including CSEM (Nord West of Switzerland). This Swiss Center is lending its “eyes” to this mission. “We believe the technologies we will be demonstrating could provide feasible answers to the space junk problem - answers that could be used on future space missions in the very near future,” explains Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of the Surrey Space Centre (UK), which is coordinating the project. Sample debris will be captured in a net or eliminated using a harpoon. To visualize this debris, the vision system is critically importantThis consists mainly of a LIDAR « Laser Detection and Ranging » capable of obtaining 3D images and a color camera, which were developed by CSEM in partnership with Airbus and INRIA“Thanks to this project, we have acquired cutting-edge competencies in a technology with high potential,” enthuses Alexandre Pollini, Project Manager at CSEM. Already used in driverless vehicles on Earth or in space, this type of LIDAR also offers interesting perspectives for the precision landing of space exploration probes or for automatic orbital docking. 

For autonomous air and land vehicles, too
This European project RemoveDebris represents the first concrete European mission to test this type of solution in orbit. "In addition to this development strategy, the major innovation for the CSEM is crystallized in the" Vision LiDAR flash imaging "of the Vision-Based Navigation Sensor (VBNS) unit. This generates 3D images based on the measurement of the flight time of photons emitted by its laser source. The phase shift between the signal modulating the laser and the modulation of the signal received by reflection from the false debris allows an indirect measurement of the time "have entrusted Alexandre Pollini and Christophe Pache Designers of the VBNS unit to the CSEM in the monthly Swiss Engineering RTS (see screenshots opposite in French and German). Its usefulness is not limited to the field of space, because its characteristics are also interesting for the promising field of autonomous vehicles, be they terrestrial, aerial or underwater.

Article sur RemoveDEBRIS paru dans Swiss Engineering-RTS de février 2018 (French)

Artikel veröffentlicht in Swiss Engineering-STZ vom März 2018 (German)