RNW Press Review, Tuesday 29 April 2008

29th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

29 April 2008

Dutch student satellite goes off track

Several of today's papers pick up on the news of the Dutch student satellite that was launched into space by an Indian rocket on Monday.

Weighing only a few kilograms and only the size of a milk carton, the Delfi-C3's aim is to test new solar panel technology and demonstrate that satellites can be produced much more cheaply than they are at present.

But things didn't quite go as planned.

As AD reports "After a seamless launch ... the device remained ominously silent." "It was only when it flew over for the third time that we received a signal and were able to give three cheers," reveals project manager Rob Hamman of Delft University of Technology.

It turned out that the satellite was in a different orbit than the Indians had originally stated. They are now looking into what caused the misunderstanding.

With their own satellite now orbiting 635 kilometres above the Earth, you'd think the students involved in the project could have their pick of jobs in the aerospace industry but according to Trouw, nothing could be further from the truth.

"At the European Space Agency it's impossible to get a job, since the Dutch financial contribution is so low ... And as a student, getting a foot in the door at NASA isn't easy," explains the project manager. "So these students usually end up in other sectors".

Meet the man behind the future king

As The Netherlands gears up for its annual Queen's Day national holiday tomorrow, NRC Handelsblad takes an in-depth look at Crown Prince Willem-Alexander's private secretary, referring to him as "the man who will deliver Willem-Alexander as king".

"While remaining almost invisible himself," explains the paper "Jaap Leeuwenburg has been working behind the scenes for 13 years to mould 'the head of the nation'."

The NRC points out that, since Leeuwenberg is the soul of discretion, the article is necessarily based on conversations about him rather than with him.

One commentator comments that his strength is his willingness to abandon strict protocol and "that he dares to trust in the politeness of others".

The paper goes on to warn that "openness has its risks" and refers to a couple of less fortunate encounters that Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima had with the press.

Nevertheless the paper argues, the fact that "the royal house does not fly into a panic if things go wrong ... shows how much trust Leeuwenburg enjoys and how strong his position is."

The paper concludes: "The prince Jaap Leeuwenberg wants the world to see is a family man, a knowledgeable man who can hold an intelligent conversation about relevant issues. A prince who is allowed to say more than just 'good morning' and 'congratulations'."

[Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica]

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