‘I always wanted to reach for the stars’
Christianne is helping to build the world's smallest and lightest lunar rover
In a remarkable scientific journey, a large group of students from two universities of applied sciences (Inholland Delft and The Hague University of Applied Sciences) and Delft University of Technology are working together to build the world's smallest and lightest moon rover. Lunar Zebro team member Christianne Ramos (Aeronautical Engineering student) is in charge of public relations. The Filipino native has always been fascinated by the moon and the stars. 'I always wanted to reach for the stars, and the Lunar Zebro is taking me one step closer.’
Christianne grew up in the Philippines, where she studied Communication & Multimedia Design. She previously worked at various companies designing websites and software, but her ambitions did not stop there. Inspired by Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, who also had a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, she decided to enrol in the equivalent programme in Delft.
‘It'll be hard work, but I'll make it!’
‘I was a very inquisitive child,’ says Christianne. She used to gaze up at the stars with her grandfather's sister and was always fascinated by the idea of being up there among them. Lunar Zebro has taken her one step closer to the stars. ‘All the knowledge I'm gaining at Inholland Delft is bringing me another step closer. I'm really happy I decided to take this degree programme. It can be hard work, but you can get through it if you put in the effort. I'm trying to channel all my thoughts into concrete goals. My goal in life is to keep learning and developing myself; there's still so much left to learn!’
The ideal position
Christianne loves social media. In fact, her first contacts with Lunar Zebro were through social media. ‘I'd sent them a message saying I'd love to do a work placement there. I actually also got an offer from Philips around the same time. Choosing between the two wasn't an option, so I went to work at Lunar Zebro as Head of Public Relations and started an internship at Philips.’ Christianne needs to know a lot about Lunar Zebro in order to write about it and promote the project. ‘It's a nice mix between my “old” communication background and the subjects I'm really interested in. It's basically the ideal position.’
Robots exploring the moon in order to establish a future moon base. Over 65 students involved in the project will try to use these robots to explore caves. The smaller robots resemble electronic insects and are capable of climbing over obstacles their own size. The unique project could ultimately see the Netherlands take its 'first step' on the moon. The team has since started working on Pico Zebro, Lunar Zebro's 'little brother'. ‘Our next milestone is set to take place around July or August. The unique robots are extremely small and light. As a result, they are considerably less expensive than the rovers currently exploring Mars. They operate on a single network and go out exploring together.’
They're basically a kind of family unit.
Christianne is very excited to be part of such a unique project. She enjoys getting to know new student engineers as well. ‘You get to share your passion with others. It's been a great way of expanding my own network. The team is really close-knit, and it actually feels like we're almost family sometimes.’ Christianne underlines the unique nature of the project, as the Netherlands is building the smallest and lightest rover to date. ‘You get to be a part of history, a historic moment in time.’