On the 3rd of September, two Belgian CubeSats, PICASSO and SIMBA, were launched simultaneously with about 50 tiny satellites, on board Europe’s inaugural Vega SSMS flight. They will - hopefully - demonstrate that CubeSats have reached the necessary technological maturity to be used as full-fledged scientific instruments.
While the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy is a relatively young one, it has a rich history, entangled and interwoven with the emergence of the space age. In this article, you'll find a short introduction to its beginnings, as well as a fragment of archival footage from the BRT (Belgische Radio- en Televisieomroep), and a video showing the Institute today.
Unfortunately, the 2020 edition of 'Science and Culture at the Royal Palace of Brussels' cannot take place in situ. However, the Belgian Science Policy Office came up with an alternative but original route, adapted to the circumstances, through a virtual exhibition, starting July 20, 2020.
Things are kicking into a higher gear in our MAJIS lab. A team of scientists and engineers from the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy has been working for some time on the development of a characterisation facility for one of two detectors of a space instrument called MAJIS, planned to be launched on board the JUICE spacecraft to the Jupiter’s system in 2022.
Good news, you don't have to sit still this summer! The UGent Armand Pien public observatory is reopening its doors to the public today, and has prepared a lot of fresh Mars science for you :
Vega Flight VV16 is postponed to August, due to persistent unfavourable winds at high altitudes above Kourou (French Guyana, South America). Aboard the Vega launcher, 53 satellites, including two Belgian CubeSats, PICASSO and SIMBA, are waiting to be lifted into orbit.