The Sizzling ISU Summer of Space Opened in The Netherlands

On 25th June 2018, in the presence of His Majesty Willem Alexander the King of the Netherlands and Prof. Jan Woerner, Director-General of ESA, the 31st session of ISU’s Space Studies Program (SSP) was launched in The Netherlands, at the ESTEC premises of ESA.

The session will be marked by a very large number of participants, namely 135, coming from the highest number of countries ever at an SSP session, namely 36. Amongst those was also the first Mongolian participant ever in an ISU program.

The keynote speakers such as Prof. Woerner, Nico van Putten of NSO (Netherlands Space Office) and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers stressed again the importance of space activities for humanity, with an emphasis on activities in the Netherlands. This was highly appreciated by His Majesty and the many political decision makers present.

A number of novelties such as the first team project TP will focus on supporting SPIRE, a company formed by ISU alumni, several speakers like ISU BOT chairman Dr. Chris Sallaberger and ISU President Prof. Walter Peeters, encouraged the participants to take full benefit from the presence of the large number of nationalities.

Besides the excellent lecturers throughout the coming nine weeks, strong emphasis was placed upon the very high caliber of participants from a wide cultural variety, with the message to also, equally important, learn from each other and to be open for other ideas. This was introduced by the ISU President under the slogan ‘DIFFERENT IS NOT WRONG’.

The local partners had organized a number of spectacular intercultural events, including a highly appreciated laser show. A recording of the ceremony can be found HERE.

It is the first time that an SSP takes place in The Netherlands. It is the first time that an SSP takes place at an ESA establishment, where over 90 ISU alumni work. And it is also the first time that such a strong interaction between SSP participants and other program participants and alumni is made possible. MSS18 students Gregoire Nemo, Antonio Caiazzo, Robert Bernard, Vittorio Rossello, carrying out their internship in The Netherlands were delighted to be given the opportunity to attend this SSP opening ceremony and meet some SSP18 participants!