Four representatives of our group were invited to the DLR Space Administration to present SMARD in order to convince the selection board of why our experiment should fly on REXUS. After days of preparing the presentation and various practices, four of us – Maria, Ingo, Philipp and Thomas – left Munich by train on Sunday afternoon to make our way there. After a long train ride of over 5 hours we arrived at the former German capital city, we checked into the hotel and went for a dinner right after that.
On Monday morning we took the train to the DLR and were welcomed by Maria Roth who manages the REXUS programme and other members of the board, who, in the following two days, were to decide which teams were allowed to take part in the programme. We also got to know all the other student teams and their experiments (5 BEXUS and 3 REXUS).
SMARD’s presentation wasn’t until Tuesday so the first day was more relaxing for us and we could get a good impression of what the BEXUS experiments, that were presented on Monday, were like. We saw a lot of interesting ideas from university teams all over Germany and also enjoyed the presentation of AFIS-P, a Team of physics students also from Technische Universität München. We all had lunch together in the DLR canteen and had interesting and friendly chats to people over a cup of coffee later in the day. It was nice to get to know the members of the selection board who would later be the experts for us to contact when any question concerning our experiment or the REXUS programme arise.
After an interesting first day we had dinner with the other TUM team and made some final preparations and practices for our presentation until late at night.
Tuesday – the big day. After two other teams had presented it was our turn. We were all quite excited but when it actually begun this excitmend was almost forgotten and we gave a presentation that was better than all the practice presentaions we had given before. Since we had practiced so much and got a lot of advice from people who had taken part in the REXUS programme before, everyting went as we had planned it. Even the questions after the presentation that we had been warend of, were easyer to answer than we had expected. The board gave us some advice that might come in handy during the further development and made us aware of some things we had to keep an eye on such as redundancy of our mechanism and the forces on the spring during the lift off. It was also nice of some other teams to give us some positive feedback and hearing they had enjoyed it. We all had a good feeling after the presentation and went to have lunch being very relieved that everything went so well.
Tuesday afternoon was filled with a third REXUS presentation, some general information and a lecture on Systems Engineering whith some very important guidelines for the SED and techniques to handle an experiment and for example define requirements or assess risks. Maria Roth then told us when we’d be informed if we were able to take part and said goodbye to all the teams. After two information-packed days and encounters with a lot of great people we made our way home to Munich with the feeling that we had done our best and now just had to wait for news from DLR.
Thank you to everyone who helped us prepare for the selection workshop, especially all the people that listened to our practice-presentations at the Institute of Astronautics and sat with us until late in the evening to give us important tips for further improvement. We would also like to thank all the other teams and the selection board for the friendly discussions and great tips. We’re very much looking forward to seeing you all again at the training week in Sweden this march.