More than 200 ISU Alumni at IAC19 in Washington DC

The International Astronautical Congress IAC has been a major opportunity for ISU to showcase its growing alumni base: dozens of them presented papers with strong connections to recent Team Projects. Here is a summary of the most salient highlights of the week.

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Research lunches at ISU – come and discuss the latest space research!

The Central Campus of the International Space University ISU has started a new seminar series to discuss research related to space, performed within its walls, on the Parc d’Innovation d’Illkirch-Graffenstaden, or by our visitors and lecturers. Please join us for informal discussions!

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ISU Alumnus Göktuğ Karacalıoğlu Nominated SHSSP20 & SSP20 Director

The International Space University ISU is pleased to announce the appointment of Arif Göktuğ Karacalıoğlu as director of the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program SHSSP 2020 and Space Studies Program SSP 2020. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this demanding role.

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Two-month course for postgraduate students and professionals of all disciplines. The curriculum covers the principal space related fields, both non-technical and technical. 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.

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The Final week of SHSSP 2019 had the team moving at hypersonic speeds!

The weekend was filled with the High-Altitude Balloon launch and a trip to the Stockport Observatory.

Mount Barker was chaotic and windy. Careful co-ordination by the participants resulted in an excellent balloon launch. Successfully transmitting telemetry and images from an altitude of over 25km. The Chase Teams retrieved the payload including the SHSSP2019 mission patches and scientific equipment.

Alan Hale (discoverer of the Hale-Bopp Comet) provided advice and commentary at the Stockport Observatory tour. Trapezium and the Orion Nebula were viewed through reflective telescopes with mirrors of over 0.4 metres, taking turns between the banks of clouds. Being able to see the dust and gas clouds of the Orion Nebula with our own eyes was a breath-taking experience.

Sunday had all-hands-on-deck for the Team Projects. Many team members experienced two sunsets before going to bed. The work produced was excellent. The hard work was well rewarded as the team project reports were outstanding.

The remainder of the week became a blur due to planning, rehearsals and production of the Team Project presentations. Day Without Space were “Channel 799” news, producing a 12-month news cycle exploring the consequences of losing all human assets above 100km. Space 2030 held a moot-court deliberating over the benefits of Space for the Economic South. The Team Project presentations were live-streamed over the internet for ISU alumni and the global public to watch.

Friday was a whirlwind of activity as the participants de-registered and prepared for the Closing Ceremony. Gifts, thankyous and photographs were exchanged before the VIP speakers including His Excellency Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, Mr Karl Rodrigues International and National Engagement at the Australian Space Agency and Professor Simon Beecham Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation and Pro Vice Chancellor: ITEE) at the University of South Australia.

Bal Dhital and Li (Jasmine) Juan delivered a shared speech to the ISU cohort as the elected class speakers, talking about the experiences of the past 5 weeks and the opportunities of the future. The elected class representative, Evon Koprowski, will be maintaining a SHSSP 2019 presence in social media and helping the participants stay in touch. Conrad Chee was announced as receiving Academic Honours, having achieved the highest academic average for SHSSP 2019.

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It was in the final moments of the ceremony that Dr Omar Hatamleh handed over the torch of Program Director to Goktug Karacalioglu, completing three years of tireless and selfless service. Omar, you have inspired an entire generation of Space leaders. We could never thank you enough for what you have done. You have been the instrument of change in so many lives.

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Celebration, fatigue, excitement and goodbyes were experienced by all as the newest members of the ISU family prepared for the journey home. The rectangle pins that we each carry makes us a part of an elite global community, that will bring us back together at science and community events in the future.

From all the staff at ISU SHSSP 2019, we hope you will take what you have learned home and into your community. Stay in touch, stay inspired and never forget


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week4 1The weekend following Week 3 of the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program SHSSP19 remained relatively free with the postponing of the Stratospheric Balloon Launch and the need for participants to study for Monday’s interdisciplinary exam.

Saturday featured the final event in the public lecture series which was delivered by Brigadier General Sir Pete Worden (USAF Ret.) of the Breakthrough Foundation. His marquee project, Starshot, proposes to use an array of lasers to accelerate lightsails attached to coin sized satellites up to 20 percent the speed of light. These “StarChips” will be shot towards proxima-centauri in the hope of returning the first data from planets of another solar system. He suggested that Australia, due to its view of the Centaurus constellation in the night sky, could be a suitable candidate for the location of the laser array.

On Sunday to take a break from studying, some of the participants travelled into the city to enjoy a cricket match between Adelaide and Brisbane at the world famous Adelaide oval. For many this was their first time watching cricket which required some explanation of the rules as it is not an easy game to understand at the best of times.

Week 4 began with all of the participants taking the final quiz and written exam which tested all of the knowledge presented over the three-week core lecture series. The written component challenges participants to utilize their interdisciplinary understanding of space concepts to answer a hypothetical scenario. From then on the program has focused on the Team Projects, A Day Without Space and Space2030, which will continue until the end of Week 5.

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Finally, the Chinese participants celebrated the New Lunar Year of the pig. This was very exciting for participants who had not celebrated it before and as a nice break from the regular menu there was a special dinner held with a Chinese menu.

week1 1One way I would compare the first week of SH-SSP is similar to a rocket launch itself. No matter how much you prepare for it, you will still be mind blown with the rapid amount of acceleration into things.

Calm before the storm, all staff quietly waiting at their posts for participant registrations, then the first participant walks in, followed by another, until all 46 participants were signed up with orientation.
The participants congregate for the first time Sunday night when all are in a circle, with each introducing themselves with fun facts about themselves.

At the Program Director Omar’s official welcome, the look on the faces of all participants were a mixture of curiousness and excitement. Inspirational speeches were given at the opening ceremony by many including Anthony Murfett, the Acting Head of the Australian Space Agency and Hon. Steven Marshall, the premier of South Australia. Refreshment were followed where everyone had a chance to get to know each other more.

week1 4Lectures kicked off Tuesday morning with guest lecturers, including Flavia Tata-Nardini from Fleet Space, who opened minds with possibilities of Space 2.0 and Michael Davis talking floor with Space Law.
In the evening everyone got to give a 3-minute presentation of their ‘Space Journey’.

Walter Peeters lectured about economic rationals of space. The participants thoroughly enjoyed the design thinking workshop this week where they had to build a wallet with innovative ideas.

week1 3Towards the end of the week Ady gets everyone excited about Project Management and Systems Engineering. Brett Gooden and Kimberley Norris then deliver an amazing bunch of lectures and workshops in Space Medicine and Space Psychology that the participants had many questions about. The Astronaut and Human Spaceflight Panel was held in City West Campus, where ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli shares his experience in space. Refreshments follow, cheese is served. Joel our French IT guru is happy!



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We have now exited the atmosphere in Week Two of ISU’s and UniSA’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program SHSSP19 and spent Week Three gaining altitude. We are now at a Parking Orbit as we head into Week Four and the excitement of the upcoming Team Projects.

Week Three marked the half-way point of the program. The participants launched rockets, built Cube Satellites, discussed the cultural impact of space, explored Mars and visited Comets. This week the high-altitude balloon team began planning and construction for their upcoming mission.

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week3 2The participants celebrated Australia Day on Saturday with a BBQ and the Adelaide Fireworks display in the City. The next morning had the Model Rocket Launch at Lowe Farm on Pinkerton Plains. All the rockets successfully ignited and launched, with a few interesting flight-paths.
The winning team was announced during dinner at Lindsay Estate. "Hot Spot 1" (representing Australia, Canada, China and France) took the prize with apogee (maximum altitude) of 513m.

CubeSats were designed, constructed and sent on simulated missions around the classroom. Prof. Masahiko Yamazaki and his expert team from Nihon University (Japan) conducted the HEPT-Sat certificate training.
The participants investigated the impact of space on cultural heritage and national identity on Tuesday. Dr Sarah Jane Pell SSP06 alum demonstrated how art and science influence each other. She finished the day by taking the group on a VR visit to a Mars base analogue.

week3 3Wednesday was a more literal tour of the solar-system. At MOD (Museum of Discovery) we explored Earths Core and the history of our planetary neighbours. We literally examined the surface of the Moon and our neighbouring planets using JMARS under the guidance of Erita Jones and Laura Rollison.

Friday brought us into the last day of lectures. Dr Jacques Arnould challenged our view of the ethics of space exploration. Dr Charley Lineweaver showed us that the expanding universe doesn't have "stretch marks" in his cosmology lecture. The final core lecture took us on a journey through Stellar Evolution. Graziella Caprarelli took us on a tour of the birth of stars and showed us what to expect as stars age and die. An appropriate note to finish our last lecture before the exam on Monday.

Stay tuned to watch this next phase of the program!

Touchdown in Mawson Lakes. The International Space University has returned to the University of South Australia for the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program. Twelve months after I was a participant at SH-SSP18 I have returned as a Teaching Associate to SH-SSP19. There are many familiar faces on the staff and a wealth of experience which is needed for conducting this unique, intensive and rewarding program.

IMG 3002blogThe Space English Access Course (SEAC) is conducted for one week prior to the main program and is intended to help non-native English speakers grapple with the academic language of the lectures. Some of the highlights included an ethical debate about leaving Elon Musk on Mars, presentations by the TA’s on Australian slang, games of badminton and basketball, some Zumba dances, a small scavenger hunt around Mawson Lakes, close readings of Drops of Jupiter and Hey, Soul Sister by Train and presentations of the core lecture content amongst the SEAC participants. Some of the more adventurous participants are travelling to Uluru and Kangaroo Island for a well deserved break this weekend.

In the meantime, the TA’s and staff have been busy preparing for the arrival of the participants and the commencement of the program. This has included organising welcome bags, setting up rooms and determining logistics for the expert lecturers and instructors who will be travelling from all over the world to contribute to the program.

The staff were treated to a delicious welcome dinner of peking duck at a local favourite restaurant Bailong which was naturally followed up by a walk to Rundle st and a visit to the ice cream shop.

The scene is set and the cast is ready for another fantastic Space Studies Program, some even say it might be the best one yet. What I do know is that the next five weeks will be full of mind expanding knowledge, unforgettable experiences and a unique blend of networking and friendship building that only an ISU program can create. Welcome to another sizzling Adelaide summer of space.

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This is it, we are now completely immersed into week two of our five week space mission at ISU and UniSA’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program (SHSSP19). This week saw the start of the model rocket workshops, a fireside chat with an astronaut, an incredible public event by Gordon Cable about the many intricacies of human space flight, AND a visit to Mount Lofty and Cleland Wildlife Park. Suffice to say it was a big week!

Let’s begin with the start of the week and the optional visit to Cleland Wildlife Park and Mount Lofty for a view over all Adelaide. This was an exciting chance for the participants, particularly those from overseas to meet some Australian Wildlife!

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Kangaroos, koalas, emus, and snakes alike! For many participants this was the first time they had ever seen these animals up close, and for some staff as well.

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The next event on the program was the chance to sit down and have a casual chat with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and learn about his experiences in space. Paolo has the unique experience of having flown on both the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz. And getting the chance to spend some more time with him was much appreciated.

This week also marked the start of the legendary Rocketry Workshop with former Space Studies Program, SSP and SHSSP Director John Connolly. Participants got into groups of four and teamed up to produce rockets that would be launched on Sunday 27th January 2019.

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This week also was Gordon Cable’s public lecture on Space Medicine, and all the weird and wonderful (and sometimes scary!) effects that microgravity has on your body. Dr. Cable is a graduate of the University of Sydney, Gordon is a specialist in aerospace medicine, and a designated aviation medical examiner for CASA and CAD Hong Kong. It was a fascinating event, with many children attending to find out more about their future careers as astronauts. Week two was a big week, but we’re not even half way there yet!


"My life can be clearly divided between before and after ISU. ISU was a breaking point that created a world of possibilities in front of me."

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"Attending ISU has been, for me, the ultimate eye-opening experience. Attending the Master of Space Studies allowed me to pursue my personal interests with a limit determined only by my imagination."

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