ISU ssp17 poster BDSSP17 - Cork, Ireland: 26 June – 25 August 2017

The International Space University (ISU) is proud to announce that the 30th annual Space Studies Program (SSP) session will be hosted by the Cork Institute of Technology in Cork (CIT), Ireland from 26 June – 25 August 2017.

Cork is Ireland’s second largest city and is a hub for entrepreneurial activity from high-tech startups such as Radisens Diagnostics (located within CIT’s business incubator and funded through the European Space Agency), to multinational companies in telecommunications and biopharma. The city has strong connections to the space industry, including Ireland’s only science center themed on space science at the CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, and the country’s first earth observation ground station founded in 2013 by National Space Center (Ltd) in Midleton and commissioned by a Canadian based company, exactEarth. The city has also been the host of international space related events like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) incubator innovation program SpaceApps, and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) CanSat competition for schools. Irish companies and researchers have distinguished themselves in European Space Agency (ESA) programmes by developing innovative maritime services using satellite derived data in areas as diverse as marine renewables, fisheries protection, aquaculture and tourism.

ssp17 1

 “ISU maintains a long-standing relation with Ireland and has a considerable number of Irish alumni, also thanks to the support of scholarship grants from Enterprise Ireland. We are pleased to note that the space passion of a number of our alumni and the interest in space activities in Ireland have led to a great proposal to hold for the first time in ISU’s history a session in Ireland. We are much looking forward to this opportunity” declared Prof. Walter Peeters, President of ISU.

CIT President, Dr. Brendan J. Murphy stated:

"CIT is delighted to host SSP 2017 and we look forward to an event that will live long in the memory and have a positive impact not only on the participants, but also on our own faculty and students, as well as companies and communities in the region."

ssp17 2SSP17 Director Dr. Omar Hatamleh states:

"International Space University is delighted to bring its flagship Space Studies Program to Ireland for the first time, and we are pleased to partner with the Cork Institute of Technology for what will be a memorable summer of National, International and Interdisciplinary professional development.  Participants will be immersed in ISU's world-class brand of space education while surrounded with the culture of the Emerald Isle, the incredible facilities at CIT, and majestic destinations like the Blackrock Castle Observatory."

Dr. Niall Smith, Head of Research, Cork Institute of Technology points out:

“Space science is a rapidly growing area with significant commercial potential for companies from across a very diverse range of sectors including food and nutrition, healthcare, logistics, ground supports, high precision engineering and even rocket scientists. We look forward to working with ISU faculty in developing a greater awareness amongst Irish companies of these opportunities and how best to access them.”  

More information on the host site:



ISU Space Studies Program SSP17 – Chair Announcement

This year again a large number of faculty applied to be a chair of either the core lectures, departments or team projects, all of which compose the two-month Space Studies Program (SSP).

After confirmation from ISU’s academic council on the selection of the chairs for SSP17, Dr. Omar Hatamleh, SSP17 director states:

"The SSP17 chairs have been selected! We are happy to have a great diverse team of chairs with solid experience for the next Space Studies Program. The Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) will next year host the 30th Space Studies Program run by the International Space University. During the program, hundreds of space exploration experts will share their knowledge with participants drawn from around the world."

Congratulations to the SSP17 chairs, co-chairs and associate chairs!

Core Lectures:

Chris Welch - England (Co-Chair)
Geoff Steeves - Canada (Co-Chair)
Niamh Shaw - Ireland (Associate Chair)


Space Applications APP
Su-Yin Tan - Canada (Chair)

Space Engineering ENG
Dennis Irwin - USA (Chair)

Human Performance in Space HPS
Ana Diaz Artiles - Spain (Chair)

Space Humanities HUM
Ruth McAvinia - Ireland (Chair)

Space Management and Business MGB
Remco Timmermans - Netherlands (Co-Chair)
Daniel Rockberger - Israel (Co-Chair)

Space Sciences SCI
Eric Dahlstrom - USA (Chair)

Space Policy, Economics & Law Department PEL
Ray Williamson - USA (Chair)
Timiebi Aganaba - Nigeria (Associate Chair)

Team Projects:

Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystem for Space
Gary Martin - USA (Co-Chair)
Norah Patten - Ireland (Co-Chair)

The Future of ISS
Dan Glover - USA (Chair)
Jan Walter Schroeder - Germany (Associate Chair)

A Roadmap for Building a Strong National Space Industry
Ed Chester - England (Co-Chair)
Rob Hill - Ireland (Co-Chair)


SSP17 TP descriptions

Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystem for Space

A revolution is underway as the commercial space industry is starting to take off.  Aerospace companies are now able to attract new customers to the emerging space market and there is less and less dependence on government stimuli.  This dynamic global context carries the promise of opening the new frontier to exploration and development in ways not anticipated by the established industry.
Investments from venture capitalists along with novel methodologies to raise capital, such as crowdsourcing, are providing opportunities for entrepreneurial space companies to gain a foothold in this expanding market. Investments between 2005 and 2012 were estimated at around US$12B--and this support is expected to continue as the new industry develops.

Several facets of the nascent space economy have shown potential for commercialization. Selling data sets and mobile applications, utilizing existing space systems to develop completely new products, creating new technologies, and spinning-out space technology to other sectors are at least as economically important as launching innovative capabilities into space. ISU alumni have created multiple successful space companies around the world and this TP should be a catalyst able to jump start many more successful ventures.

The Future of ISS

This team project will investigate the feasibility of repurposing the International Space Station (ISS) after the completion of its primary mission in 2024. Some of the current ISS modules may well be fully capable of serving as components of a future mission (e.g., a cislunar cycler). Identifying which parts these are, and how to deal with the engineering, operations and policy problems of reusing them is the main focus for this team project.

In addition to the feasibility study, a further case study to provide detailed focus for this team project will be a conceptual design of the conversion of the ISS into an Earth-Moon-Earth cycler. Using telerobotics and construction workers where necessary, the ISS would be partly dismantled and then reassembled in low Earth orbit (LEO) using a mix of existing modules and new, purpose-built and launched modules.  When complete, the new station would be accelerated to translunar injection speed using high-powered electric propulsion to become part of a permanent cislunar transport architecture.

Roadmaps and Strategies for Space Sector National Capacity Building

The global space industry continues to robustly grow, with highly involved countries seeing sustained support and economic benefit that has endured global financial challenges and political shifts. Other locations with strong high technology economies, especially in science and engineering, are eager to engage their enterprises and gain market traction in part of the global space economy.
Without an existing, comprehensive space industry presence, it is hard to understand where the opportunities and challenges will be found. Space has thrived as a governmental activity, or in situations where the market is somewhat artificial. As purely commercial activities, space technology development, applications and exploration are taking their very first steps. Diverse businesses have been enabled or extended through connecting their activities to some part of the space industry value chain, and diverse businesses have failed attempting the same trick.

This project is about examining how strategic roadmaps are developed, in which conditions they can prove to be useful, and how they can be used to build capacity and activity in the space sector. The project team will consider what has worked in some regions and countries, and if there are any general principles or ‘drivers’ that can be identified as essential pre-requisites. Policy ideas – and constraints – will be explored to support space-connected enterprises of all sizes, including how non-spacefaring countries might attract large companies to expand or relocate into their territory.
Geographical factors, higher education and research institutes, financial conditions, graduate mobility and other considerations will arise. Not all issues are relevant to every location, and multiple scenarios will need to be explored during this short project. It is complementary to the team project about entrepreneurial activity in the space domain, as both projects will take a ‘step back’ from the hype around new space business, and seek to understand practical realities and how they manifest in distinct contexts.