ESA’s Space Trucker Rosita Suenson shares her experience from the road as the Rosetta Tour heads into week 2 of 4 on its journey around Scandinavia:
Being on the road is a different experience from anything I’ve done before. Arriving to Oslo last week and seeing the truck for the first time was great! The truck is impressive and I am sure, by its pure look, people get curious trying to find out what this is about.
After a few “cooking your own comet” activities together with Jari and Marianne, I hopped on the truck with driver Kari to continue our journey to Borlänge in Sweden. It was a very long drive, believe me, there is a LOT of forest in Scandinavia!
When we finally reached Borlänge, Håkan, responsible for Framtids Museet, directed us to the dedicated parking. We decided to prepare the truck for next day before heading off to bed, since next day would be an early start.
At breakfast the following day, Gabriella Stenberg, a scientist from IRF in Kiruna joined me. Together we would run the activities in Sweden. Gabriella works as a researcher at IRF, responsible for some of the instruments onboard Rosetta. Seven school classes, all eighth graders, were scheduled to listen to a presentation by Gabriella followed by a visit in the truck. To avoid just presenting them with talk talk talk, we organised a quiz, with a chance to win a prize if you got all answers correct. Boy were they good! All Rosetta water bottles and mouse pads were gone before the end of the day! A great day with lots of interested teenagers. An hour before closing and leaving Borlänge, we invited general public to visit our exhibition and despite heavy rain about 50 more visitors came to learn about Rosetta. Almost 250 visitors in one day, not bad in a small town in Sweden.
We were ready to pack and leave to our next destination.
Our journey through Scandinavia did not go unnoticed. Kjell in Örebro asked us if we could make a stop on our way, for a chat and a cup of coffee. It suited us prefect and we even got the chance to get to see a new Truck stop, just opened, which made Kari happy. This would go into his book of great stops for his future missions! And it turned out that Kjell is responsible for an Örebro astronomy, an organisation for people interested in astronomy.
After another long journey we made a stop for the night a few hours north of Gothenburg. Scandinavia and Finland are large countries, in average each new destination is about 400 km apart so at times it’s nice to arrive not to late.
We arrived in Gothenburg with blue sky and sunshine, totally different from the previous days and much welcomed by all of us. Our visit in Gothenburg was related to the Science Festival, run every year by the City of Gothenburg. Everywhere you go, something related to science is being presented and a full programme of lectures is provided for anyone who is interested.
Our truck was parked opposite the entrance of Universum, a science museum in the Centrum of Gothenburg, and Gabriella and I spent the entire day greeting visitors in the truck. It is a good feeling when you introduce a mission such as Rosetta and get such positive response. There was a lot of: Wow! Cool! and ‘It is amazing that we can build something like this in Europe!’
Kids as well as adults found the Rosetta mission one of the coolest things they ever heard of; many typed in our web address on their cell, and even more promised to keep their eyes open for the Rosetta news.
Even if it was a bit quiet on Saturday compared with the following day, we had something like 1200 visitors during our two days in Gothenburg.
We’re now in Denmark for a few days, and then back to Sweden. Full schedule.