2016 Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program Concludes
The SH-SSP Program, conducted jointly by the University of South Australia and the International Space University (ISU), drew to a close on Friday 12th February, with all 31 participants from 11 countries successfully completing the 5 week live-in program.
The occasion was marked by a closing ceremony at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd. Elected class speaker Bruce Clarke from Cambridge University expressed the thanks of all participants for the combined efforts of the 60 course faculty, staff and visiting lectures in making this 5th SH-SSP program a success. Among these were two former astronauts, Professor Jean-Jacques Favier of ISU and Dr Bob Thirsk, now Chancellor of the University of Calgary.
The previous day SH-SSP participants delivered their 50-page White Paper entitled Sensing Progress: Space Solutions for Food & Water Security in a 90 minute presentation before an assessment panel. This presentation, delivered in the style of a meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, was webcast live globally. With its three recommendations, this White Paper will be presented to a range of decision-makers within the international space arena and is planned to be delivered at the International Aeronautical Congress (the world’s largest space conference) in Guadalajara, Mexico this September.
This White Paper produced collectively as a team project formed the capstone of this program which covers a cross-section of space specialisations, from space science and exploration, human spaceflight and life sciences, space system engineering to space policy and law. The 2016 SH-SSP led by course director John Connolly (on secondment to ISU from NASA) and UniSA’s Michael Davis, was built around the international, intercultural and interdisciplinary (3i’s) educational philosophy for which ISU programs are renowned. Following the conclusion of the program a number of participants have also continued onto the Graduate Certificate in Space Studies, a one of a kind graduate program offered in Australia by UniSA.
In his remarks Mr Connolly noted that UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus quite literally became one of the centres of the space world during the 5 weeks of the SH-SSP. Also announced was the return in the summer of 2017 of the 6th SH-SSP, which will kick-off a historic year for Adelaide in the realm of space with the International Aeronautical Congress being held here the following September. The continuation of this successful joint program with ISU (based in Strasbourg, France) continues a unique international partnership between UniSA and ISU.