Opening Ceremony Kicks off ISU’s 29th Space Studies Program


The Rappaport Hall and the Municipality of Haifa welcomed the 2016 SSP group of 104 participants, coming from 24 countries, on 12 July 2016.

Space Studies Program Director, John Connolly of NASA, introduced participants, country by country, and led the 2016 ceremony.

John Connolly expressed:

“The International Space University (ISU) is pleased to bring its popular Space Studies program to Israel for the first time - the combination of Technion's reputation as a leading technical institution, and Israel's prominence in both aerospace and entrepreneurial activities make Haifa a perfect host city for this year's Space Studies Program (SSP). SSP16 will bring over 100 student participants and 150 faculty and staff from over 30 countries together, making Haifa, for two months, one of the focal points of the space world. During the Space Studies Program, as part of the program, we will welcome Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the Chancellor of ISU, to the SSP in addition to many other space sector senior engineers, managers, and entrepreneurs from around the world.”

A video of the opening ceremony is available on the ISU YouTube channel.

Additional Opening Ceremony speakers and special guest included:

  • Prof Peretz LAVIE, president of Technion
  • Prof Walter PEETERS, president of International Space University
  • Dr Christian SALLABERGER (SSP88), chairman of the ISU Board of Trustees
  • Mr Yona YAHAV, mayor of Haifa
  • Mr Peretz VAZAN, director at Ministry of Science, Technology and Space Israeli Government
  • Ms Rona RAMON, chairman of the Ramon Foundation board of trustees
  • Prof Jeffrey HOFFMAN, astronaut & Faculty of ISU
  • Prof John LOGSDON, Professor Emeritus Georges Washington University & Faculty of ISU
  • Mr Ofer LAPID, member of the ISU Board of Trustees

Prof Walter PEETERS, president of ISU said:

“The objective of the International Space University (ISU) is to hold the Space Studies Program each year in different parts of the world, in order to give a maximum of regions the chance to send participants. We are therefore delighted that Technion, one of the top-ranked universities worldwide, offered to host a session this year, allowing us to be, for the first time, in this part of the world and extending our reach out to different communities.”

Prof Peretz LAVIE , President of Technion responded:

“We are thrilled and honored that Technion is the first university in Israel (and the Middle East) to host the International Space University (ISU) 2016 Space Studies Program.
A leading science and technology research university and a renowned center for applied research, Technion was also one of the first universities worldwide to launch a satellite into orbit and, through its active space program, intends to do so again next year.
Technion faculty and graduates play a major role in Israel’s advanced and vibrant aerospace industry. Hosting a world class program such as this one will certainly help in further developing and deepening international collaboration in space research.
Finally, I’m glad that ISU students and faculty will also have the opportunity to experience first-hand not only Technion and its immediate surroundings, but also the unique beauty and cultural diversity Israel has to offer.”

Mr. Peretz Vazan, Director General of Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space said:

“The Ministry of Science, Technology and Space and the Israeli Space Agency are supporting the participation of Israeli students in this program, understanding its uniqueness, the wide perspective it provides, and its significant training to those who desire to continue professionally in the space field.”

“The decision by the International Space University to conduct the first study program in the Middle East in the City of Haifa is very flattering for the city and for its universal values. Haifa has always been an international model of peaceful cooperation and tolerance. I would like to welcome the arrival of distinguished guests to the city and to the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. I am particularly pleased to see the unique encounter between the future of humanity in space and the future of humanity that depends on humans living together here on Earth” said Mr. Yona Yahav, Haifa Municipality Mayor.

The Space Studies Program (SSP) is an intense two-month course for postgraduates and professionals from all disciplines. The curriculum covers all major principals of space related fields. The shared experience of an international, interactive environment is ideal for creating of an extensive, international, multidisciplinary professional network.

While the Opening Ceremony kicks off the following two months for participants and staff, it also marks the start of SSP events open to the public. Discovering the space industry and its applications with fun is fully part of the activities being held by ISU, all summer long in Haifa. All are welcome to get an inside look at ISU and SSP at the events listed below, amongst many others:

Robotics competition

July, 28th at 15.15 - ENG Building Atrium, Haifa
Led by Dr. Eric Choi, Canada

The task is simple: build and program a prototype robot that can explore on its own, differentiate surfaces, avoid obstacles, and collect valuable samples. And do it all on 2 days. In a competition with other robots. Thanks to LEGO Mindstorms, talent, and a lot of imagination, ISU participants, assisted by robotics experts, will design and build autonomous robots following precise specifications to stimulate planetary exploration. Their performance will be evaluated by a group of international experts, and awards given to the winning team of roboticist. Visitors of all ages are welcome to share an educational and fun experience

Model Rocket launch

August, 19th at 8.00 - Kibbutz Gal’ed
Led by Dr. John Conolly, ISU/NASA

International Space University conducts an annual rocketry launch competition during each Space Studies Program. Participants from ISU’s Engineering department are divided into international teams of four to design, construct and fly a rocket that will meet a set of difficult requirements for altitude, payload, data capture, and design style. Each team designs a unique rocket from a limited selection of body tubes, nos cones, rocket motors and other components, aided by computer design and simulation programs. Each rocket design passes several safety checks before it is certified to fly in the competition. And, as with any competition, there is only a single winner. Will the rocket attain the correct altitude? Will the fragile payload be returned safely? Will the vehicle fly straight and stable? It is a real-world challenge and the team with the best performance will be recognized for their hard work. This is an event open to the public and visitors of all ages are welcome!

More information: ssp16.isunet.edu