30th ISU SSP Astronaut Panel in Cork, Ireland


For ISU’s 30th Space Studies Program (SSP) anniversary, an exciting and very interactive panel took place in Cork on 5th July 2017. Four astronauts with different backgrounds participated in the panel discussion.

-    Soyeon Yi, ISU alumna, first and only Korean astronaut who flew on board of a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS)
-    Nicole Stott, the ‘Artistic Astronaut’, who flew twice in space including a long-duration mission on board of ISS
-    Dan Tani, who equally flew twice in space with one long-duration mission on board of ISS
-    Bob Thirsk, Canadian astronaut and regular ISU lecturer, who also flew twice in space including one long-duration mission on board of ISS.

In addition to this, a video-message of the ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli was shown. Paolo is now in final training in Star City for an expected lift-off to ISS end of July. The local audience was taken by full surprise when he announced in the message that he would bring both the Cork and the CIT flag, together with the ISU one, with him into space and return it afterwards to them.

As always, many interesting questions were answered by the panelists. Besides the SSP17 participants there were also interesting questions put by very young people in the public (and clearly future ISU students…). Questions by youngsters like ‘what is the best way to sleep in space’ and ‘could you see space debris from the ISS windows’ were very accurately answered by the experienced panelists.

astropanelSSP17 2A question from a very young space enthusiast if ‘terraforming Mars is ethical’ was evidently less expected and forced the panelists to go into a more philosophical discussion. Also, questions from Israel and from Saudi-Arabia were received via the established twitter account which was monitored in real-time.

A pleasant meet-and-greet with specially brewed space beer concluded this excellent evening!

Further information about the Space Studies Program can be found under – http://www.isunet.edu/about/space-studies-program

The complete list of public events taking place during SSP17 at CIT, Cork, Ireland can be found under –
https://ssp17.isunet.edu/