Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Conference Continues

On Thursday, Jeff and I spent a couple hours in the morning walking around Strasbourg. It was a bit chilly, but I wanted to make sure I saw the city. It has lots of pedestrian walk-ways, so it’s perfect for wandering around. The architecture mostly looks like the traditional German style – with the large wood beams visible on the outside. This area has changed ownership from French to German multiple times.
We visited the cathedral, which is famous because it has one spire instead of two. I heard a story that this was basically due to a lack of funding, rather than unique architectural planning, but I suppose it must be a mix.

After our quick walk around the city, I headed back to the conference to learn more about space security. The afternoon presentations were mostly about military use of space. There was a talk about Space Weaponization - the original presenter couldn't make it, so a person from the United States National Security Space Office talked instead, and made the news (well, Space News) for some of his comments. There was also a talk about Operationally Responsive Space - the idea by the U.S. DoD of making smaller, simpler satellites that can be built and launched really quickly when needed.

The conference on Thursday was followed by a concert and dinner in town. The concert was held at the church of St. Thomas, where Mozart had played, and praised the organ there.

The dinner was at a nice restaurant nearby and featured traditional food of the area. The appetizer was what I called a ‘fish cake,’ though I’m sure the name is much nicer in France. It was pure of three types of fish arranged into layers and cut like a slice of cake. The main course was chicken royal with some milk dumplings, and the dessert was a very good cake with cream cheese. We also had the chance to try Alsatian wine, made in the area.

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