ssp20 1SSP20 - JIAXING, CHINA: 22 JUNE - 21 AUGUST 2020

The 33rd annual Space Studies Program of the International Space University (SSP20) will be held in Jiaxing, located halfway between Shanghai and the old capital city of Hangzhou. The host institutes include Zhejiang Tsinghua Institute of Flexible Electronics Technology and the University of Jiaxing.

The Curriculum Planning Meeting with the SSP20 Faculty Chairs and local lecturers took place in Jiaxing from 2 to 6 December 2019 and defined the major components of the curriculum: Core Lectures, Workshops, Team Projects and very interesting Professional Visits to local institutes and companies.

Experts from international space agencies and major aerospace and technology companies from the region will work in combination with up to two hundred ISU faculty and visiting lecturers from around the world to teach ISU’s innovative space program.

The Program participants will enjoy working on exciting Team Projects such as International Cooperation on the Use of the China Space Station, On-orbit Mobility and Manipulations, Space Medical Center, or Orbital Spaceplane.

The list of possible professional visits includes astronomy centres, the launch site on Hainan island and the commercial Land Launch engine manufacturing site.

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20150606 ISU ClasPht 2233The Space Studies Program (SSP) is a graduate level professional development program conducted by ISU since 1988. The curriculum covers the principal space related fields, both non-technical and technical and ranges from policy and law, business and management and humanities to life sciences, engineering, physical sciences and space applications.
The shared experience of an international, interactive working environment is an ideal networking forum leading to the creation of an extensive, international, multidisciplinary professional network comprising the program’s alumni (numbering more than 4000 to date), faculty members and visiting lecturers.

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quote3The interdisciplinary curriculum of the SSP, with its emphasis on international cooperation, exposes participants to broad new perspectives on the world’s space activities - perspectives otherwise reserved for those with many years of diverse professional experience. The program is packed with a wide variety of activities, including lectures by renowned experts, hands-on activities and projects, team work and professional visits. The main elements of the SSP curriculum are the core lecture series, workshops, departments and team projects. All course work at ISU is conducted in English.

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IMG 3496 smallAll students attend the core lecture series, which ensures that they have an understanding of the fundamentals of all disciplines relevant to space programs—and that they understand the relationships between these disciplines in any space-related activity.

Each field of study presents a series of lectures designed primarily for non-experts.  Medical specialists, will understand lectures on propulsion, while engineers and lawyers will understand the lectures on the effects of weightlessness on the human body.
Lectures give an overview of topics and do not go into depth or detail unless it is necessary when illustrating a point. However, the great range and diversity of the topics presented, means that a large quantity of material is covered. Furthermore, many core lectures are grouped around clusters or theme days to highlight the interrelation among disciplines. Interaction and discussion s among the students and lecturers are encouraged.

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DSC 3887 smallThere are seven academic departments in the SSP. The number of participants in each department is generally limited to 20 to 25 participants, depending upon the type of activities and  specialized equipment and software availabilty for each. Departmental activities enable a more in-depth and focused experience be it a debate or discussion, advanced lecture, or hands-on activity.
At the beginning of the program each student chooses one of the following SSP departments, depending upon his or her personal interests.

- Space Applications Department
- Space Engineering Department
- Human Performance in Space Department
- Space Humanities Department
- Space Management & Business Department
- Space Policy, Economics & Law Department
- Space Sciences Department

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IMG 20140620 174156 smallIn the Team Project (TP) experience, students work in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams to produce either a comprehensive analysis and proposal for an international space project or work on a topic relevant to the professional space sector.
The participants will choose one of the TP topics on which to work for the duration of the SSP. This element of the SSP has three main objectives.
Participants are encouraged to:
A. Combine the knowledge and skills that they have already gained from their own educational or professional backgrounds with those that they learn and develop through the lectures, workshops and other presentations during the SSP.
B. Experience problem-solving, decision-making and organizing within an international, interdisciplinary and intercultural teamwork environment wherein conflicts may emerge and compromises must be made.
C. Produce and present a comprehensive report of professional quality before a public group.

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Workshops are designed to build on knowledge acquired during Core Lectures, in a smaller classroom setting that facilitates greater interaction among participants as well as the engagement in hands-on activities.

By signing up for workshops the participant can select the topics that interests them the most. Since many themes run simultaneously, each may be offered on multiple occasions to allow as many to benefit as possible.

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In a typical SSP about 250 lecturers and experts academia from space agencies, industry and from all over the world provide instruction to the student body. The SSP curriculum is coordinated by the Core, Department, and Team Project chairs and supported by members of the ISU Faculty. This is a list of invited lecturers and experts for SSP18:

Adil Jafry
Advenit Makaya
Aidan Cowley
Alexander Soucek
Alix Roumagnac
Ana Bolea Alamañac
Ana Diaz Artiles

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SSP Request for Proposals

The SSP Request for Proposals (RFP) can be downloaded using the link below. This RFP supersedes the July 2019 version and should be used for any proposal submitted for SSP 2022 or after. The proposal cover page as well as the SSP Lodging and Meals estimating spreadsheet should also be used when submitting a proposal. Any questions regarding the RFP should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., SSP Director.

Request for Proposals - International Space University Space Studies Program Host Site

ISU SSP Proposal Cover Page

Lodging and Meals Estimator

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ssplocationsAt the occasion of the International Space University’s (ISU) 58th Board Of Trustees (BOT) meeting, held on 1st March 2018 in Strasbourg, the ISU BOT has assigned a number of locations for the future Space Studies Program (SSP) sites.

In accordance with the regular change in location, and in order to privilege participation of local candidates, it has been decided that:

  • SSP20 will take place in China (22 June - 21 August 2020).
    This will be the second SSP in China, stressing the link between ISU and China as emerging space power.
  • Subject to successful negotiations, SSP21 is scheduled to take place in Granada, Spain.
    The Universidad de Granada (UGR) will be the physical hosting institute for the session.