I was looking forward to the secondment at SPACE-SI from the start of the project. They are breaking new ground in Slovenia and elsewhere with their space application technology. I saw this as an opportunity to learn a lot about the specifics of this field but also as part of the so needed networking that can perhaps later allow me to continue research in aero/astronautics.
I arrived in Ljubljana a couple of days before my official secondment start. I stayed there from the beginning of November until the last days of January. It was the start of the winter season and I hoped that I will be perhaps able to go skiing in the Julian alps. I even bought new skis and then the climate in Slovenia dramatically changed. And I am not speaking about the weather, because it was an idyllic winter. I am talking about the ever so present coronavirus and its devastating effect on the social life. It was really an important determinant of my experience of the secondment in Ljubljana.
In the days after I arrived, the situation had gotten to its low point and it stayed there basically to the end of the January. In such conditions, work from home was not only advisable but necessary. I was a little disappointed since this meant that I was not able to have such close cooperation with the colleagues in SPACE-SI, but on the other hand I could work at my own pace at home and at the end I would not say, that I was disadvantaged by this at all. We had regular virtual meetings, chat groups and the good old phone and were in close contact. Cooperation was extended even to the company C3M, where Toni works and the Faculty of civil and geodetic engineering in Ljubljana.
So after all, I was able to learn really a lot about the space flights and space technology that is applicable to my research. I investigated the dynamic loadings that are present during the ascent of a rocket and was surprised by how many factors are considered in the making of a satellite. With the newly equipped knowledge together with my research I will be able to contribute to the field of space technology myself.