Sixth SSP Lifting Off from the European Parliament of Strasbourg


The Opening Ceremony of the International Space Studies Program 2019 in the European Parliament, comes after years of preparation by people from all around the world. The host of that event, the European Parliament is in many ways indicative of ISU’s mentality.

The subjects of discussion, debate and the ideas put forward in this building, and in this room where the 127 participants from 37 countries sat, represent over 500 million citizens of Europe throughout the continent. We at ISU also welcome diversity in people and ideas. The ISU alumni network represents citizens of space throughout the globe.

The international and intercultural context of outer space means we must always find our common ground and build on each other’s strengths for a better world.

And the possibilities and potential reached through building upon one others’ strengths is demonstrated nowhere more than at SSP!


Speakers and performer, during the ceremony and in order of appearance:

  • Omar HATAMLEH – executive director SSP19, ISU/NASA
  • Sophie LE RUE – administrator, European Parliament
  • Catherine TRAUTMANN – vice-president, Eurometropolis of Strasbourg
  • Nicolas MATT – vice-president, Eurometropolis of Strasbourg
  • Siobhan O’NEILL – ISU alumnae and singer
  • Mohammed AL AHBABI – director general, United Arab Emirates Space Agency
  • Alexandra RYAN – space studies program academic coordinator, ISU
  • Christian SALLABERGER – chair of ISU board of trustees, ISU/Canadensys

The ceremony was followed by a reception offered by the City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg. It symbolically took place in the Pavillon Josephine, Parc de l’Orangerie where 30 years ago the Space Studies Program took place for the first time in Strasbourg. Mr Philippe Portelli, innovation, research and education director of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg welcomed the SSP19 participants and wished an excellent SSP in Strasbourg!

About SSP19