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Dosenfutter, Weltraumklos und die Errungenschaften der Menschheit | Canned food, space toilets and humanity’s achievements

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Author: Nils Mosser (2020)
For english version please scroll down!

Wenn man gefragt wird, was der Mensch in tausenden Jahren Zivilisation zu Stande gebracht hat bekommt man meistens ähnliche Antworten: Wir haben Krankheiten ausgerottet, großartige Kunstwerke geschaffen und wir sind am Mond gelandet. Denn nichts stillt den menschlichen Abenteuerdrang so sehr wie die Raumfahrt. Keine Unternehmung beflügelt unseren Erfindungsreichtum dermaßen.  Die Träume unserer Spezies liegen in den Sternen und es ist eine Ehre der heutigen Wissenschaftler, daran federführend teilhaben zu dürfen.

Erster Zeitsprung: Wir befinden uns in einem dunklen Klassenraum in Klosterneuburg, kurz nach einer Mathematikstunde. Endzeitstimmung. Am Lehrertisch liegt unberührt ein Stoß bunter Flyer. Die bunten Tupfen, die wie in einer Mindmap verbunden sind, tragen kleine weiße Piktogramme in sich. DNA – Kameras – Satelliten „Science Academy Niederösterreich“ steht auf den Flugblättern geschrieben. Wenn Sie diesen Blog lesen, dann wissen Sie es wahrscheinlich sowieso: Es handelt sich um eine zweijährige Kursserie für niederösterreichische Oberstufenschüler. Je nach Kurs geht es in den Vorträgen um Biotechnologie, Medien, Geschichte, Informatik oder den Weltraum. Ich nahm einen Flyer mit und bewarb mich. Glücklicherweise wurde ich schließlich in meinen Wunschkurs aufgenommen.

Es ist der zum Thema Weltall und es soll um verschiedene Teilgebiete gehen: Astrophysik, Missionsplanung, Weltraumarchitektur, Astronautik und vieles Weitere. Themenübergreifend wird in Gruppen gearbeitet werden. Vortragende aus der deutschsprachigen Weltraumszene sollen Kurse abhalten. Schon am Papier klang die Science Academy spannend. Doch dann…

Zweiter Zeitsprung: Anfang des zweiten Semesters, die Quarantäne beginnt. Eigentlich wäre für dieses Semester die erste Vortragsserie geplant gewesen. Doch auch hier macht uns der Virus, wie so oft, einen Strich durch die Rechnung.  Statt In Persona Vorträgen in Krems, wie geplant, finden die Kurse per Videogespräch statt. Obwohl es jetzt technisch schwerer ist Fragen zu stellen und man selten weiß, wann man wirklich dran ist, sind diese Telefonate ein absoluter Erfolg. Mit vorerst wildfremden Forschern gemeinsam vom Kinderzimmer aus, den Kosmos bestaunen, hat einen ganz eigenen Flair. Ich könnte die Vortragenden auch einzeln beschreiben, aber eines sei zusammenfassend gesagt: Wenn wir an unseren Schulen solche Lehrer hätten, wären wir innerhalb eines Jahres Europas Bildungsnation Nummer Eins. Ich habe noch nie Leute getroffen, die von ihrer Arbeit so beseelt sind. Auch die Geduld, mit der die Experten auf jede einzelne Frage eingingen, war fantastisch.

Falls Sie sich jetzt fragen, warum ich im Titel Essen und Sanitätsanlagen im Weltraum erwähnt habe…

Eines der ersten Dinge, die wir in diesem Kurs gelernt haben, ist, dass selbst alltägliche und scheinbar einfache Vorgänge im All ganz schön schwer sein können. Selbst wenn einem dabei die größten Raumfahrtbehörden der Welt zur Seite stehen 😊

Über den Autor:

Nils Mosser | 16 Jahre alt und absolut weltraumnarrisch. Auch Hobbyschauspieler mit einer großen Vorliebe für Literatur aller Art.

English version

Canned food, space toilets and humanity’s achievements

If one is asked, what humans have achieved in thousands of years of civilization, the answers are usually quite similar: We have eredicated diseases, created great works of art and we landed on the moon. Nothing statisfies the human urge to explore as much as space travel. No undertaking stimulates our creativity to such an extent. Our species‘ dreams are in the stars and being allowed to take part in them is an honour for scientists nowadays.

Flashback 1: We are in a dark classroom in Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, just after a maths lesson. The mood is apocalyptic. A couple of colourful leaflets lie untouched on the teacher‘s desk. Coloured dots that are connected to each other, like in a mind map, contain small, white pictograms. DNA – cameras – satellites „Science Academy Niederösterreich“ (= Science Academy Lower Austria) is written on them. If you are reading this Blog you probably know already: The pamphlets are about a two year long series of courses for High School Students in Lower Austria. Depending on the course the topics include biotech, media, history, IT and space. (Note: Humanities also count as sciences in Austria.) I took one of the leflets and entered an admission. Luckily I was admitted to the course of my liking.

Space, with subtopics like: astrophysics, mission design, space architecture, astronautics and much more. The plan was to work multidisciplinarily in groups under the supervision of experts from all over the german speaking areas of Europe. All of that sounded great on paper, but then…

Flashback 2: It’s the start of the second semester – everyone goes into lockdown. Originally it was planned to start the courses now, but the virus renders that impossible. Instead of having lectures in Krems, as planned, the courses take place in the form of video calls. Even though asking questions is technically harder now and you are never quite sure, when it is your turn to speak, the calls are a great success. Marvelling at the cosmos from home with scientists, one didn’t know prior has a very special flair. Since describing them one by one would take too long, here is my summary of the lecturers: If we had such teachers in school, Austria would rank as nation number one, in terms of education in Europe, within a year. Never in my life have I met people who work so enthusiastically. The fact that all of them took the time to answer every single question was fantastic.

If you are asking now why I mentioned space food and sanitation in the title…

One of the first things we learned in this course is that even everyday stuff and seemingly simple processes can be quite hard in space. Even if you are assisted by the worlds biggest space agencies 😊 

About the author:

Nils Mosser | 16 years old and an absolute space maniac. Also a amateur actor with a big love for literature of all kinds.

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