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Puli on the top of Westend

The Rádió1 Ice terrace wasn't empty anymore on the 11th December 2010, a few hours before the first self-organized public event of Puli Space. Although the amount of the crowd on the roof of Westend – the largest shopping mall in Budapest – on a Saturday evening before Christmas was as expected, the weather changed for the worse  and heavy snowfall replaced the sunshine of the previous days. The team members were somewhat disappointed during the preparations beacuse they knew: the most spectacular feat of the evening, the chance to see the Moon through a telescope had to be postponed. The 'scope was assembled though just to be sure, and was standing beside the projector screen.


And why was the screen there?  It was a necessity of the main, rather unusual feat in malls, the space exploration evening! The exact location was the bar of the Ice terrace (next to the ice rink) where the specialty of the evening was the "puli cocktail". The public lectures about space science, the display of the Moon with telescopes and Puli ice-party had been advertised a couple of days before on posters, webpages, and blogs.

Everything was set and ready at six thirty and the programs could begin. Loránd Balázs Imre, our leader of communications introduced the team and the first speaker with many years of experience, Zoltán E. Kovács, the director of the Planetarium of Kecskemét to the audience of around 100 people.

He and his colleague, László Szűcs described and displayed the motions of planets, gravitational fields and the difficulties of reaching orbit in a very entertaining way, which included the use of the head of the writer of these lines too.

They were followed by András Sík, who – with some mulled wine in his hands – talked about the present and future of the exploration of Mars. How much would be an hour of skating on the red planet? Is sand-boarding possible there? How different would be a snowball-fight on Mars compared to the Earth? He answered these, and of course other scientific questions – such as the possibility of life on Mars – in his half-hour long lecture.

the crowd having a break from the xmas frenzy, enjoying a presentation about the stars

Shorter presentations followed after a short break: Csilla Orgel talked about exoplanets while Fruzsina Tari (one of the legal consultants of the team) discussed the hobby-like state of space law in Hungary and Márton Deák talked about the history of space exploration. Finally, Pál Gábor Vizi, our leader of engineering, introduced the Moon-rover concepts of Puli and the hungariansonmars (magyarokamarson) rover-building competition.

Time went by, the presentations lasted more than 4 hours. Some people remained till the end but most of the crowd changed continuously during the event. Although the weather didn't cooperate, a few hundred people came by to watch the presentations, just to have a minute's break from the Christmas shopping or to rest after skating. It became clear during these four hours that there is a demand indeed for public lectures and space exploration in Hungary as the presentations got almost everybody's attention – even those who came to the mall for a completely different reason.

At the end of the evening, team members summarized and discussed each others presentations. Some listeners also stayed to have a chat with us, praised the puli-cocktail and wanted to know the ways they may help the Puli to get to the Moon!

When everything was packed up and we were ready to leave, the owner of the place personally said thanks for the evening and let us know: we're welcome to return at any time!

We might return in the future indeed. ;) But for now we try to find a warmer place with at least that much mulled wine!


More pictures by Nikolett Dudás on our Facebook-page.

Márton Deák

Translation by: László Molnár

Last Updated (Thursday, 17 February 2011 13:16)

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