The International Space University comes to Israel for the first time

In 2016, 47 years after walking on the moon, astronaut Buzz Aldrin will be present at Technion to participate in the events of the International Space University’s Space Studies Program. Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, recently joined the International Space University as Chancellor.


Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 11 Photo: NASA

Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 11
Photo: NASA

The prestigious ISU course, held for the first time in the Middle East, will also be attended by Rona Ramon and Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Space, Ofir Akunis. Various events open to the public will be held, including a rocket launching competition, discussions on the latest innovations in space and a panel discussion on the Columbia disaster.

Each year, the ISU selects a location around the world to host the annual summer session of its Space Studies Program (SSP). Recent sessions have taken place, amongst others, at the NASA Ames Research Center, Beijing, Melbourne (Florida), and at ETS and HEC in Montreal, Quebec. This year, for the first time, the university has chosen an Israeli institution, and the 2016 summer session (the program’s 29th session) will be held at the Technion between July 12 and September 1, 2016. It will be coordinated by the Asher Space Research Institute, headed by Prof. Pini Gurfil.

“Space is becoming more and more international,” explains John Connolly, senior engineer at NASA and director of the International Space University’s Space Studies Program (SSP). “Missions are bigger and more complex, like the international space station, and require cooperation among agencies and among countries. That’s why the Space University operates in a different location around the world each year, and we are happy to be coming to the Technion this year.”

“ISU has a long-standing relationship with Israel in general and Technion in particular.”

Around 100 participants will take part in the Space Studies Program to be held this summer at the Technion, along with around 150 space experts from academia and industry, astronauts and directors of space agencies from around the world. The participants are carefully selected, based on the concept that they will be the space leaders of the future. Indeed, many graduates of the International Space University’s program already hold senior positions in the global aerospace industry. The Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space is offering about 10 fellowships of up to 25,000 NIS for individuals who are interested in participating at ISU this coming summer.

“ISU has a long-standing relationship with Israel in general and Technion in particular,” said ISU President Prof. Walter Peeters, “and many participants of Israel were able, thanks in part to the Ilan Ramon Fund, to attend ISU programs previously. It is therefore a genuine pleasure for ISU to further enhance this relationship and convene the SSP16 session in Haifa. It is evident that there will be considerable interest from other countries to discover more closely the amazing hi-tech achievements and cultural richness of the host site.”

“The Technion is proud to host the 29th annual Space Studies Program (SSP) in Haifa,” said Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie. “The Technion is one of the first universities to launch a satellite and has an active space program. We will ensure that the 29th program will be an exciting event that will allow the participants to experience first-hand Technion scientific achievements, and the beauty and culture of Israel.”

ISU’s prestigious summer courses last two months and will offer participants a unique and comprehensive professional development experience covering all aspects of space programs and enterprises, such as space sciences; space engineering; space policy, economics and law; space management; space applications; and human performance in space. This program targets young and seasoned professionals from all disciplines as well as young university graduates. The group projects allow participants to focus on their field as a team, and produce high quality presentations and reports within a few weeks.

The International Space University

The University, founded in 1987 in Massachusetts, US and now headquartered in Strasbourg, France, is the world’s premier international space education institution. It is supported by major

space agencies and aerospace organizations from around the world. The graduate level programs offered by the ISU are dedicated to promoting international and interdisciplinary cooperation in space activities. ISU offers Master of Science in Space Studies and Master of Science in Space Management programs at its central campus in Strasbourg. Since the summer of 1988, the ISU has also conducted nine-week courses at various host institutions around the globe. These courses are delivered by over 100 ISU faculty members in cooperation with experts from around the world. Since its establishment 25 years ago, the ISU has awarded advanced degrees to more than 3,700 students from over 100 countries.

For more information about the SSP

The Israeli Ministry fellowships

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