I just got this send through, it is a NASA Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on Space systems engineering. The course starts 3rd of march and will feature weekly assignments and online interaction with NASA staff, scientist and fellow students.

More info is here.

I’ve never done a MOOC, so I think I’ll try this one for starters.

The Solar System — our home in space (by Kurzgesagt)

This is Susan Wright, mother of Orville and Wilbur. She was born in 1831 as Susan Catherine Koerner as daughter of wagon maker and farmer John Gottlieb Koerner. She grew up at her family farm, which looked like a fourteen building village. Most of these buildings were workshops filled with metal and woodworking tools, many of which Susan had learned to use. She was known to have a good mechanical knowledge and was head of her class. With 22 she went to college, a rarity for women in that time. Not only did she excel in literature and science, she was top of her class in mathematics.
 It was at college she met Milton Wright. She married him and travelled with him though the United States. She was the mother of the house, and stood often alone for the education of her seven children. Milton had a busy job as travelling church Minister. Not that the children missed much in their education, Susan was a great teacher and mother, often helping her children out and fixing their toys. There is no doubt she has had a hand in the making of the first powered flight. As Orville put it:

“We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity. In a different kind of environment, our curiosity might have been nipped long before it could have borne fruit.”


 Susan began to show signs of tuberculosis in 1883. Wilbur dropped out of high school (he got his high school diploma awarded in 1994) and put of college to take care of his beloved mother. She passed away in 1889.
Sources: 1, 2, 3.

This is Susan Wright, mother of Orville and Wilbur. She was born in 1831 as Susan Catherine Koerner as daughter of wagon maker and farmer John Gottlieb Koerner. She grew up at her family farm, which looked like a fourteen building village. Most of these buildings were workshops filled with metal and woodworking tools, many of which Susan had learned to use. She was known to have a good mechanical knowledge and was head of her class. With 22 she went to college, a rarity for women in that time. Not only did she excel in literature and science, she was top of her class in mathematics.

 It was at college she met Milton Wright. She married him and travelled with him though the United States. She was the mother of the house, and stood often alone for the education of her seven children. Milton had a busy job as travelling church Minister. Not that the children missed much in their education, Susan was a great teacher and mother, often helping her children out and fixing their toys. There is no doubt she has had a hand in the making of the first powered flight. As Orville put it:

“We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity. In a different kind of environment, our curiosity might have been nipped long before it could have borne fruit.”

 Susan began to show signs of tuberculosis in 1883. Wilbur dropped out of high school (he got his high school diploma awarded in 1994) and put of college to take care of his beloved mother. She passed away in 1889.

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

'Every major's Terrible' by XKCD performed by Errol.

Professor Daniel Alazard from the ISAE in France demonstrates the gyroscopic effect and attitude control of spacecraft using a wheel and a rotating arm chair. 

Universities: abolish scholarships

This is a translation of a news article published on the 25th of February in the Dutch newspaper “Trouw”.

Universities: abolish scholarships
Ricus Dullaert − 25/02/11, 07:29 

The Universities want to abolish the scholarships. According to them, from now on all students should loan their money needed for their study. Apart from that they want that almost half of the students pays a higher tuition fee.

This is written in documents of the union of universities VSNU, which are in possession of this newspaper. The Universities have had talks about this two weeks ago in a five star hotel in Paris. Not yet every university agrees with every aspect of the plan, but ‘there is support on the main ideas of this approach’,as is written in the report of the Paris meeting. Tomorrow the talks will continue.

The VSNU wants to implement these plans fast in order to reduce the impact of the cuts that the government  wants to make in the upcoming years. To make this happen, the universities want harder measures in the area of scholarships and tuition fees than the government.

To start the universities wants that all students take loans to pay for their education.  The government wants to take this measure only for students in the second phase of their study, the master phase. The Universities do want to incorporate an reward for students who finish their study quickly.

Beside that the universities want that students from whom they don’t receive government money pay a higher tuition fee. According to the VSNU this effect 44% of the current students on university. Including students who study longer than time given for that particular study. Universities want to determine themselves how high this tuition fee will become. At this moment Universities ask tuition fees between 5000 and 15.000 euro to some groups of students.

 The VSNU also proposes a complete studentstop.  From 2012 onward the amount of students on universities will not be allowed to grow. When more students want to come to university, they will have to go to the HBO [Pluto: lower level education]. This measure will cause ‘a huge shift’ in student flows, as written by the VSNU. The VSNU expressed the concern that the education cuts would lead to mandatory lay offs. The current plans seem an alternative for these lay offs.

Dit is voor alle Nederlandse studenten en aanhangers van kennis, onderwijs en wetenschap. Kom ook op 21 Januari naar het Malieveld!
This is for all the Dutch students en fans of knowledge, education and science. Join us in a protest on the 21st of January on “het Malieveld” in the Hague.

Dit is voor alle Nederlandse studenten en aanhangers van kennis, onderwijs en wetenschap. Kom ook op 21 Januari naar het Malieveld!

This is for all the Dutch students en fans of knowledge, education and science. Join us in a protest on the 21st of January on “het Malieveld” in the Hague.