Tag Archive: estec


1959. A long, long time ago. After having spent one year in London, I returned to a depressed European economy. Returning to my home town (Braunschweig), I was lucky finding employment as Head of the information and documents department with the then DFL (Deutsche Forschunganstalt für Luftfahrt), later became the DLR – Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrt [ https://www.dlr.de/content/de/standort/braunschweig.html ]. [ https://airports-worldwide.com/germany/braunschweig_germany.htm ]

Exciting, because all of this would eventually lead to my life long love for the space research and technology field, specializing in information retrieval systems.

By 1961 I left for Munich to work as Head Information department with the ZLDI. Mainly to establish documents databases and information retrieval systems, in cooperation with NASA (US National Aeronautics & Space administration; formerly NACA – 1915-1958). [ https://www.nasa.gov/ ]

In 1965 I left my homeland for The Netherlands, to start work for ESTEC (European Space Research & Technology Centre, Nordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. [ https://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESA_history/Key_dates_1960-2018 ][ https://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESTEC/ESTEC_European_Space_Research_and_Technology_Centre ]. The largest center within the newly to form European Space Agency. There I was responsible to establish the first online information retrieval network for the European Space program. Largely in cooperation with NASA, who had already substantial databases of documents. [ https://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESA_history/Key_dates_1960-2018 ]. 1967 my son was born. I do remember 1969 – the flight to the moon. Because my own husband was still working for ESTEC and he had the chance to be present at one of the collaborative space launch ops at Vandenberg Airforce Base, California [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_Air_Force_Base ]

We left Europe in Fall of 1974. Myself, completing a graduate program in Information Studies (Science and Technology) at Syracuse University, NY, USA. [ https://ischool.syr.edu/academics/library-and-information-science-masters-degree/ ]. After my graduation by Spring 1976, we both ended up in Alberta, Canada. As a result of the 1970s world wide economic depression. No possibilities returning to international professional jobs.

Much later, my son through his studies also got into this very exciting field, by first completing a technical program in Alberta, Canada, then continuing his studies for his Master of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. [ https://catalog.ua.edu/graduate/engineering/aerospace-mechanics/ ].

In Canada, despite having spent most of my professional working life in Alberta’s oil industry and other tech jobs (mostly computer systems development and installation), there is nothing more exciting than the field and subject of aerospace science, technology, and engineering.

When my son still resided in the United States, I visited him a lot. From Alabama we traveled to Mississippi, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast. Alabama – the heartland of the early US rocket programs. Wernher von Braun – instrumental in those early efforts, and very much respected in Huntsville, AL.

[ http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2349 ]. We visited the Huntsville Space & Rocket Center, Alabama [ http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2349 ]. These rockets are real. And they are huge – look at the Saturn 5. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_V ].

Today I like to keep informed about world wide international space programs. Canada itself is very much involved. {NOTE. In fact I have invested in one of our Canadian space corporations [ https://magellan.aero/ ], and subscribing to [ https://spaceq.ca/ ]

TRAVEL ENCOUNTERS – ESRO

Amazing incidental encounters while travelling. During many travels or shorter trips I always meet new and interesting people (‘been there, done it’). But sometimes the coincidences seem more amazing. 1975 during my summer vacation from Syracuse University, me and my little boy took the Greyhound Bus across the Mid West and stopped among others in Washington DC, visiting the impressive Library of Congress.

[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/collections/72157601355524315/ ]

Of course being familiar with the Library of Congress from Europe when working with a project team on an international project for Unesco, the team including NSFAIS staff and LC staff. That was 1973, shortly before leaving Europe for the USA, Syracuse University. While we visited the Library of Congress in 1975 I tried to find out if that nice lady I knew from Europe was still working there. But no. Then in the Library catalogue looking for my name (as I did work studies for Unesco, Paris, that were published). What I found was my name. But, it was my husband’s name (dating to the time he worked with ESTEC – European Space Technology Centre, Nordwijk, NL). Where I also had worked as IT Head Information from 1965 until 1967. ESTEC is a centre of ESA.

Same time we were there that day, there was a fire drill. Alarm went, and all visitors and staff were asked to leave the LC building. And lo and behold I talked with a man standing next to me who told me that he himself had worked for ESTEC in The Netherlands. Small world.

Another one: We continued our trip that year 1975 and visited among other wonderful sites the Grand Canyon, and also Tuscon, AZ. There we found this: ESRO2

a sign on a little sandwich shop. ESRO – being the former name of the European Space Agency (ESA). [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESRO ] During the time I still worked there, the name was ESRO. How on earth does this sign on that shop end up here ?

[maybe a sign for myself?: “get your butt back home to Europe?” – I never went back.]