(Most of the pictures below were taken by Chamseddine Mouatsi)

Texte du Communiqué de la visite

Visit to the ESTEC space installations
Visit to the European Astronauts Training Center
Visit to Cultural Landmarks
Visit to the Algerian Embassy at Brussels

Visit to the ESTEC space installations near Amsterdam

The three laureates with their parents at the Houari Boumedienne Airport: first destination Brussels.
From left to right: Achour Yahia and his father, Amireche Abderahmane, the accompagnateur from Sirius, Benmissi Akram-Yasser and his mother.

Joining us from Lyon where he is doing graduate studies is Mouatsi Chamseddine, the former vice president of the Sirius Astronomy Association and the fifth member of the Algerian delegation. You see him here in the middle exhibing a large smile.


Entering the ESTEC center in company with Dr.Robert Willemsen of ESA. The security badge is in rigor.

An aerial view of the ESTEC installations next to the North Sea.

Briefing session...

...with some short translations

The administration buildings

Entering the main operational building.


Meeting with Jennifer Hordijk-Faure, the head of the ESA public relation department.

A Galileo satellite in its final stage of mechanical testing. It is the second one of the Galileo constellation constituting the European GPS system. It has already gone through the thermal, acoustic and electromagnetic testing.

We see clearly in the foreground the coils producing the electromagnetically induced vibrations.

The other vibration platform.

The Neutral Buoyancy Facility where astronauts get trained in simulated zero-gravity. At the time of our visit, it was covered with plastic cover to preserve its cleanliness as we see it on the picture.


In the back, the Hershel spacecraft, one of the major infrared telescope of the decade planned to be launched early next year.The testing hall

The huge Helium tank of the Herschel spacecraft under testing.


A scaled down model of the Goce spacecraft, the most advanced gravitational probe actually under study. It is a fully European project aiming at knowing better the irregularities of the Earth gravitational field and which will map it to an incredible degree of accuracy.

Here the real Goce in the final stage of integration of its remaining components after having finished all the structural tests.

Closing our visit with a tour of the Space Expo next to the ESTEC main facilities.


At the Space Museum next to the ESTEC main facilities.

Here in front of Ariane 5

Posing in front of a replicate of the LEM which brought the first astronauts to the Moon.

Night walk along the Rhine river.

Displaying proudly the Sirius emblem inside ESTEC! At left Akram-Yasser, and Abderahmane, and at right Yahia.

Visit to the European Astronauts Training Center (EAC)
Cologne- Germany


In front of the building 12 at the DRL premises where the main EAC facilities are situated.


Briefed by Dr. Horst Schaarshmidt from EAC

Here with Dr. Horst Schaarshmidt an astronautic science specialist working at EAC who will be guiding us during the visit.

Standing next to the ATM which will ferry fuel and provision to the ISS, a mission devoted to the Progress spacecraft till now.

Entering the Columbus Space simulator where the astronauts get their training in carrying out experiments.



Even Chams...



Standing in front of the exact duplicate of the Biolab panel used to reproduce each of its function in real time when the Columbus lab is used aboard ISS.

The new Soyouz simulator

Here seen inside a rough replicate of a Soyouz capsule

Explaining to the Swiss astronaut, Claude Nicollier, the various phases of the Cirta-Science competition

Nicollier is a veteran of the European space program and the one who has flown the most space missions among the European astronaut corps.

With the French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy

Visit to Cultural Landmarks

The team in front of their car


Visiting Amsterdam. Here the famous parking in center Amsterdam.

Taking rest at the Stayokay Youth Hostel in Noordwijk


A night sight of Cologne over the Rhine river.


Hey la jeunesse!

Deambulating in the streets of Cologne

Visiting "exotic" places...


Visiting at night the famous Cologne cathedral...

The Cathedral is a well sought place to visit for tourists. The foundation stone was laid on 1248 and is one of the most imposing one in Europe. It was miraculously spared by the Allied bombing in WWII.


...and during day time.

It is known as the Church of Holy Apostles and is said to house the relics of the Three Magi.The various aisles and corners of the church are garnished with relics and devotion rooms.

Yet the Muslim ego can hardly find solace in such a place replete with statues of pagan inspiration.

Too many icons! That's the historical way Christianity has gone since it embraced the graeco-roman world..But no spirituality is flowing from those imposing stony elements even in a baroque style.

Everything goes...
A place where the tourist is the king, getting a pinch of nostalgia for a foregone epoch of glory. The materialism of the place, despite the refinement of its decoration and its imposing architectural stature, appears also in the too many places where money is collected, leaving us with the uneasy feeling that it is a commercial undertaking in disguise.

The parvis in front of the Cathedral.

Leaving some trace...

Decorating the Youth Hostel at Amsterdam. The Sirius label!



Sur les rives de la Meuse


In front of the Zoology institute of Liège.

The Meuse river majestically flowing through Liege.

Visit to the Algerian Embassy at Brussels

Reaching the Algerian Embassy at Brussels after a morning drive from Liege where we stayed overnight..


Meeting with the Algerian Ambassador to the European Community, His Excellency H.Benatallah (In dark suit at right) in presence of the Embassy Attaché Mme Berdjah.

Reporting on our trip.

His Excellency H.Benattallah making a point.


Discussions "à batons rompus".

A gift from Sirius to the Embassy

A "family" picture.

The Sirius plate on display in the honor hall

Sirius Astronomy Association,
B.P 18, Rue du 20 Aout 1955. Constantine, 25000. Algérie
Tél: (+213) 0771560658
e-mail: siriusalgeria@hotmail.com