Space Explored by Four Astronauts at ISU SSP18 Astronauts' Panel

For the first time in the Netherlands, at Space Expo, in the city of space; Noordwijk, the Annual Astronaut Panel of the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP) took place on 2nd of July 2018.

This year’s panel members were two European Space Agency astronauts, André Kuipers and Paolo Nespoli, and the ISU president - and former Head of the Astronaut Coordination office at ESA - Walter Peeters.

Soyeon Yi from KARI and Nicole Stott from NASA completed the panel through video recordings.

André Kuipers is a Dutch physician and ESA astronaut with a total space time of 203 days. He is also one of the best promoter of space activities in his home country.

Paolo Nespoli is an Italian engineer and the European Space Agency's most experienced active astronaut. He has been in space for 313 days in total.

Soyeon Yi was the first and only South-Korean astronaut to fly on board of a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). She’s also an ISU alumna as she attended the SSP in 2009.

Nicole Stott spent more than a hundred days in space, and participated to some of the Space Shuttle Program last flights.

Space exploration has been an interesting and intriguing topic over the many years. With the interesting talks and presentations by each of the above astronauts, the audience was fully aware towards the end of the event, of how each of them have contributed in great scale - traveling from earth to space and back - in helping mankind understand & discover the mysteries and the limitless possibilities of our universe.

The video message from KARI astronaut, Soyeon Yi brought out a very important message to the distinguished guests, SSP participants and parents together with their children who came to the event.

“Let’s stop complaining and instead be grateful for what each of us have. It is when you go up in space that you realize the very low probability of life and your existence.”

The evening was filled with interesting questions from the audience, and our social media channels that awoke the curiosity of everyone present and listening from all over the world.

An 8-year-old future astronaut, Hayden, connected with us through the live webcast and questioned astronaut Paolo Nespoli on some advice as to how kids like himself with autism, who see the world very differently can still achieve their dreams in space exploration.   

Thanks to our local committee hosts, a reception with some typical Dutch refreshments, concluded this excellent evening filled with space fun and knowledge.

More about the Space Studies Program and public events -

Photo Credit: ISU alumnus Shripathi Hadigal
Article Author: ISU alumna Kavindi Da Silva