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The Belgian User Support and Operations Centre operates and controls new fluid experiment in microgravity

July 26, 2019 - On July 25, 2019 (midnight, Belgian time), the payload Multiscale Boiling (or RUBI experiment) was launched successfully aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with SpaceX’s 18th resupply flight to the International Space Station (ISS). In August, astronaut Luca Parmitano will install RUBI inside the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) in the framework of the mission Beyond. The FSL laboratory is located within the Columbus module of the ISS. The installation date is currently set to Friday 9th of August 2019.

As Facility Responsible Centre of the FSL laboratory and the payload RUBI, the Belgian User Support and Operations Centre (B.USOC) ensures the preparation and execution of the experiment in collaboration with the scientific teams.

Mission Beyond
Credits: ESA

Full article: The Belgian User Support and Operations Centre operates and controls new fluid experiment in microgravity

Wolvendael Wonderland for a Night

July 6, 2019 – Every summer, the Wolvendael park situated near BIRA-IASB, is transformed into a universe of its own. People, families, anyone can bring their tent and spend the night under the stars, following a busy afternoon bursting with all kinds of activities. The scientists of the Institute do not miss an opportunity to share the wonders of science, and the knowledge and wisdom that research has brought them, with the public. It is always a pleasure to tell the stories of the natural world, especially to the children, whose curiosity knows no bounds.

This year, these stories centered around the solar cycle, spectroscopy, atmospheric turbulences, the International Space Station and a telescope to try and catch a glimpse of what isn’t eclipsed by the city lights.

#WeChangeForLife, also BIRA-IASB scientists testify

May 13, 2019 - We are experiencing a period in which the population is crying out for 'Action for the Climate'. We believe that it is our role as scientists to support the debate with objective scientific information, and also that it is our role, as a conscientious citizen, to contribute to the reflections on how we can adapt our lifestyle and our way of working to contribute to a climate-neutral society, and to translate these reflections into action.

The #WeChangeForLife initiative brings testimonials from over 250 Belgian scientists with expertise in the field of climate and environmental sciences. In these personal testimonies they tell how their expertise inspires them to make small but essential changes in their lives, but also what social or political solutions they believe can make a big difference. They tell what they are most concerned about and how they personally try to do their bit to protect our planet. In this way they hope to be a source of inspiration for everyone and to wake up the political world.

Some scientists from the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) also took part in the initiative. Read their testimonials on

At the Space Pole level (which unites the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy), a working group has been set up to reflect on the concrete actions that we can undertake within our Institutes to contribute to a climate neutral future.

NOMAD on board ExoMars reveals its first secrets

10 april 2019 - Today, the prestigious journal Nature publishes two papers describing the first results of the Belgian NOMAD instrument on board ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. New evidence of the impact of the recent planet-encompassing dust storm on water in the atmosphere, including the first vertical measurements of semiheavy water on Mars, and a surprising lack of methane, are among the scientific highlights of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s first year in orbit. Principal Investigator of the NOMAD instrument, Ann Carine Vandaele at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy is delighted with these results.


Press release: NOMAD on board ExoMars reveals its first secrets



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