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For the release of his new video in which ArianeGroup gives him a peak behind the scenes at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana for an Ariane 5 launch live, we put a few questions to the popular science YouTuber Germain O’Livry, aka Dr. Nozman.
Germain launched his popular science channel on YouTube over 12 years ago. Being a great fan of both video and science, and very curious about how things around him work, his channel combines his two passions. Initially working solo, he now has a whole team around him.
Germain O’Livry, aka Dr Nozman © Dr Nozman
How did this collaboration with ArianeGroup come about?
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to go on a behind-the-scenes visit to the ArianeGroup site in Les Mureaux near Paris, France and talk to the engineers working there. I found it totally fascinating and we have stayed in touch ever since. Then, one day, they invited me to attend an Ariane 5 launch (last June) and it was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had.
What do ArianeGroup and Ariane rockets mean to you?
I have always been interested in space, keeping up with all the latest news, and I got hooked. I followed everything about the amazing James Webb Space Telescope and its launch on Ariane 5. To me, ArianeGroup and the Arianes are a true wealth of discovery and technological progress which help us better understand our universe and learn something new every day.
How would you describe your trip to the Kourou Spaceport?
AWESOME! We were able to go inside a booster, see inside a rocket, discover Ariane 6, and talk about it all to experts and people who simply love space. I got to hear and watch the Ariane 5 take-off close-up. It was unforgettable.
For me, it really was a fantastic trip. I was also able to discover French Guiana where the scenery and the wildlife are so different from everything I know. It was very exciting.
Was space one of your childhood dreams?
Yes and no. I was never one of those kids who dreamt of becoming an astronaut. But when I was younger, I came across some pictures of Hubble which had been in space as long as I had been on Earth and I found that fascinating. That’s when I really started taking an interest in space.
If you could take up a new space challenge, what would it be?
I don’t have an answer to that (he laughs). I’ve done ENT tests to see whether I could try microgravity, but unfortunately, that’s not possible for me. I would be tempted to say “travel into space”, but when I see all the physical and mental preparation and training that astronauts – who really are super-heroes – have to do, I’m quite happy to carry on just watching all the achievements being made in space.
Will this collaboration mark the start of a new series of topics more focused on engineering?
It’s true that, while I’m very keen on biology and microscopy, engineering has always been really interesting to me too. I’m open to all the disciplines that can help me learn more about the world. So why not a new series on engineering?
Le Dr Nozman (Germain) pose avec la planche de sa marque de streetwear Biome devant le Bâtiment d’Assemblage Final d’Ariane 5 au Centre spatial guyanais.
Have you any other projects you would like to tell us about?
I’ve started working on an immersive educational website on various scientific topics and I would like to include a section on space. That’s my next goal, which follows on from my main aim, i.e., “to popularize science so that it is accessible to everyone, and hopefully arouse interest in it”. I’m a great fan of this kind of content which leads to more complex scientific subjects. My education was pretty chaotic, but I have always been interested in science and creating my YouTube channel gives me full rein to satisfy my curiosity for finding things out. I hope this new learning game platform will also be a deep dive into different scientific topics.
Germain is also the co-founder of the Biome brand with which ArianeGroup will be releasing a capsule collection in the fall. We’ll give you more news about that very soon.