Saturday: if we had been waking up just in time for the activities each day, on Saturday we had to eat breakfast in the bus. This day we were heading to the ZARM institute, the facility where we spent the first day. The aim of the day was for each team to give a presentation on the results of the launching campaign. Each presentation would last 8 minutes (timed, not supposedly), after which the jury (composed of 4 members) would ask all the questions the deemed necessary for five minutes. Later on, while the jury deliberated, the participants would be divided into two groups that would be given two tours. We chose to go to the DLR institute, where we were explained its different facilities, the experiments that had taken place there, and several curiosities. It all proved to be very insteresting even though we were incredibly tired. This meant that as soon as we had free time, we rested.
All presentations were really good, even though some teams weren’t as lucky as us during the launch and their satellite failed. These teams focused their presentations on their national contest, and secondary missions, and all the data they could receive. They still proved to have a really high level, and it was a shame that we didn’t get to see their work succeed. Our presentation was rehearsed during lunch, under the laughs and curios eyes of those that crossed our way, so it turned out to be a bit embarassing, but it didn’t matter. It was all for the good of the team, and in the end, we did a good job.
The verdict was given at dinner, after a few thank-you speeches by the organisers and the judges themselves. Each team took a picture with a little stuffed figure of the ESA mascot, Paxi. After this, the judges finally announced their decission. The third prize went to the Polish team, CANpernicus. The second one, to the Irish one, Canny Potter. By this time, we had given up any hope of a prize. We had had relative success on our launch, and a fairly well-done presentation, but all of our hopes didn’t amount any higher than second place. So when the head of the jury pronounced the name of the team ”La burgoneta espacial” as the winner, we reached a new level of happiness and amazement never felt before. It was all cries of joy and astonishment from our members, as we took the podium to be handed the prize. Pictures were taken, words were given, and happiness took to our faces. We knew that every team deserved to be where we were standing, but luck and hardwork took their toll, and we drew the lucky straw.
That night, we went to celebrate with the other teams. We finally got to visit Bremen and see its buildings, enjoy German beer alongside the river, and talk to the Italian, Greek and Irish teams. It was a wonderful night for everyone in the team. Some stayed up all night, others decided to sleep…
As we rushed to the airport the next morning (we had woken up late) each one of us knew we were leaving a little piece of ourselves at Bremen. Instead of that little piece, we had lived an experience that will accompany us for the rest of our lives.
Dear teachers, parents, sponsors, team leader, and reader:
Thank you. This has been possible because of you!