New Science Centre in the UAE

18. Mai 2015

Inaugurated by Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University of Sharjah, the new Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences has opened its doors for the public. It contains a planetarium and large areas with hands-on exhibits, plus an exhibition abouot astronomy and spaceflight. I have investigated and scripted the large info-walls for the entire building.

billionsuns: 120K visitors

23. März 2015

My Fulldome film “Journey to a Billion Suns” has attracted over 120,000 visitors in 2014.  The film has been running in 33 planeteria in ten countries, with more than 2,100 performances in total. It tells the story about measuring the distances in the Universe with space telescopes, in particular the European Gaia telescope.

Amongst the participating planetaria, the Spanish Parc Astronomic in Montsec recorded the most visitors, while the Hamburg planetarium in Germany acheived the most visitors per week. Two third of planetaria have earned the ten years’ licensing fee in a single year’s time.

After a two years’ production period, and with substantial support by the European Space Agency ESA, “Journey to a Billion Suns” has premiered in January 2014. Later, it has been presented at Fulldome and cinema film festivals in Europe, America and Asia, and won prizes and praise for its storytelling. As of today, 43 planetaria have scheduled it in their programmes, including Russia, the US, Korea and India.

Fulldome films cannot be played other than in planetaria.  Fulldome is a special cinema format, allowing to screen a warped video image onto the entire inner surface of a planetarium dome and making it a unique 360° experience. The requirement in resolution is enormeous, as is the effect: The film virtually immerses the audience into the plot. New spacial sound audio amplifies the visitor involvement.



billionsuns enters India

1. März 2015

‚Billion Suns‘ have been ignited in India! The Sri Sathya Sai Space Theatre in Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, is showing my immersive 360° film in Hindhi, English and Telugu. वेलकम भारत…

Stage event for 200+ media

12. November 2014

This was the largest ever media frenzy I have ever worked for: More than 200 media have been on site, reporting from the landing of a small probe called Philae on the comet 67P. The media briefing and live stage event was attended by another few hundred of VIPs, while the premises at the European Space Operations Centre was jammed full of OB vans and camera teams. I have drafted, prepared and directed the live programme and was responsible for the content – supported by large teams of TV crews, producers and PR personnel.

billionsuns awarded first prize

29. September 2014

My immersive Fulldome film for planetaria about the distances in the Universe has won the first prize in public voting. Three dozen 360° films have been screened by the public in Pamplona, Spain, during the annual conference of Spanish planetaria, called Tecnoplanetario.

Rollout swarm-ee, the mobile game

4. Dezember 2013

After months of preparation, my mobile game for iPhone and iPad has been put online: SWARM-EE is a simple, though new kind of games, because it uses, for the first time, the magnetic sensor of the smartphone for gaming. A steel ball has to be navigated across a labyrinth, permanently dragged by the force of magnetism and magnetic fields. The game has been proposed and produced at the occasion of a scientific space mission measuring the Earth’s magnetic shield. The idea, project management and iteration was my job. Designed by Christine Neigenfind and coded by Björn Bergstein.

Shooting at ESA

22. April 2013

The European Space Agency commissioned me to produce a video for its German establishment in Darmstadt, Germany, where all European scientific satellites are operated from – a corporate film to introduce the site to visitor groups.

One of the chief spacecraft operators was the on-camera presenter – which was bit more difficult, but much more authentic than working with an actor.  He is the sympathetic guy next door, a calm enthusiast, an unobtrusive expert. He explains the context in documentary style, no useless details. He’s guiding visitors along the idea of space operations, as if he were guiding them in person.

Helicopter Filming in Sweden

9. März 2012

In the very far North of Sweden, in Salmijärvi, ESA operates a number of ground stations – huge steel dishes downlinking satellite data during short overpasses. For a corporate video, the largest 35meter dish has been filmed from a helicopter – with Mikaela, our charming pilot from Kiruna on the control stick, and me in the open door – overhead the wonderful sub-arctic landscape of Swedish Lapland, with snow covered forests and huge satellite dishes.


Hungary becomes space nation

13. Februar 2012

Today at 12:31 CET a satellite named MaSat-1 has catapulted Hungary at rank 47 on the list of space nations. The tiny space probe is as large as a milk container and weighs less than three pounds.

The small Hungarian experimental satellite has been launched today at 11:00 CET (07:00 local) from the European Kourou spaceport, together with two large Italian satellites and another six CubeSat size mini probes. The name MaSat – which in spoken Hungarian means daubery – has been combined from the words Magyarország (Hungary), and satellite. It is a technology demonstrator without any further function and will orbit in 350 km altitude.

MaSat has been launched with ESA’s new Vega launch vehicle that has been developed during the recent ten years and can launch satellites up to 3 tons into low Earth orbit. Currently, this launch class is performed by former ballistic missiles like the  SS-19 Rockot or the SS-18 Dnepr. Vega is more than 30 meters tall and weighs over 130 tons, most of it being fuel, and will replace the former Soviet missiles in a few years. The new launcher’s maiden flight had a statistical 57% chance of a failure, but finally performed perfectly.

Hungary’s space efforts have been encouraging after the end of the socialist era, but have starved since then of lack of political interest. First of the counties of the former eastern bloc cooperating with the European Space Agency ESA in 1992, negotiations failed frequently and came to an end five years ago. Its post communist neighbors Czech Republic and Romania have already been admitted to ESA; Poland and Estonia will be affiliated soon.

Hungary’s indifference in developing its national space sector is a severe blow against its scientific institutes and its industry. Numerous scientific instruments and satellite equipment have been designed and manufactured in Hungary, such as the Pille radiation dosimeter on board the International Space Station ISS. But the country has no master plan of how to implement scientific and engineering know-how into a long-term strategy.

Facing fatal political and financial problems, Hungary is not expected to change its attitude towards space on short-term. Joining ESA would require a kick-off contribution in the order of 10 Mio Euros, of which most of the money is immediately reinvested into national space projects. But the country is skint and currently begging for loans at the IMF and the EU, who in return demand fundamental political changes in recent legislation over the freedom of press, rule of law and the constitution. Finally, MaSat may become just a minor note in the book of space history.


Space nations in alphabetical order:  Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico,  Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela, Viet Nam, plus three Asian joint undertakings MCSTA, RSAF and SCO and the European Space Agency ESA.

Science meets Arts

8. Februar 2012

Commissioned exhibition for the Grenoble based European Synchrotron Research Facility is combining science and arts in a mobile piece of discovery hardware. I have drafted and designed the exhibition hardware and managed the project. Details HERE.