ISU Space Studies Program 2017 Hanging up the Lanyard


“Here at SSP we have the ever important lanyard.  It’s a cord that we hang around our neck that has our name, flag of country and our computer log in credentials” writes Tara Foster, SSP17 External Relations Assistant. 

“It acts as a door opener and we also use it for the ever important entry to the cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I wear mine every day; this lanyard of mine comes with me everywhere I go and over the past eight weeks, I’ve nearly hung myself thanks to this lanyard. I can only imagine how embarrassing it would be to have a formal death certificate to say ‘death by lanyard.’  So looking back, over the past eight weeks nearly 150 of us have had to endure the curious case of the space lanyard.

To describe my tumultuous love affair with this lanyard, I’ve personally caught it on door handles, the edge of desks, clothing and nearly ripped off the actual name tag ID from this ever important lanyard.  I’ve collected pins, exchanged pins and had the weight of the lanyard full of pins symbolize, to me, some of the greatest memories that I’ll carry around with me for years to come.  This lanyard represents a lot of where I came from and where I’m going after this epic SSP adventure.

And now, this lanyard of ours will hang off hooks, be prominently displayed on walls, they’ll hang on the back of bedroom doors where they’ll loudly clap every time the door closes, they’ll hang messily off the sides of bookshelves filled with space books and memorabilia.  And, for some, the lanyard that was once part of our lives for two months, will be forever banished to drawers only to be shifted around until that moment it is discovered by surprise. But, that’s the life of the lanyard; it’s a great metaphor for our lives after SSP.  We choose what to do with what we have learnt here.

So, I guess my question to you is this:  How will you use your SSP participation – how will you display your hard work?  Will you forever lock your experience away in a drawer or will you display your hard work prominently in public view for the entire world to see?  This choice is yours and only yours to make.  The International Space University runs an intensive two month Space Studies Program every year in a new country.  If you would like to learn more about this life-changing program, please visit their website.

SSP17 News Tara Group pic