ISU’s Hydra-1 Experiment Launched to the International Space Station

On 5 December 2018 at 19:16 CET, ISU’s Hydra-1 experiment was launched from Florida onboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). Hydra-1 is a plant synthetic biology experiment.

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UNISEC Global Meetings Offer Another Networking Opportunity for ISU MSS19

The International Space University (ISU) hosted the 6th UNISEC-Global Meeting and a short course of HEPTA-Sat hands-on training at its Central Campus from 19 – 23 November 2018. Rei Kawashima, an ISU SSP and MSS alumnae and ISU MSS19 student Marc Abi Fadel report.

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Become or select the next ISU Alumni Representative

The time has come to elect your next Alumni representative (rep) to the ISU Board of Trustees. Whether you are interested to become the voice of the alumni community yourself or know someone who you be a great candidate – send us your nomination!

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Designed for students looking for the competitive edge that will help them obtain a career in the space sector, professionals interested in making a career move into or within the space sector, and researchers wishing to broaden their knowledge or make the move from academic life into the space industry.

Space Studies Program

Two-month course for postgraduate students and professionals of all disciplines. The curriculum covers the principal space related fields, both non-technical and technical. The shared experience of an international, interactive working environment is an ideal networking forum leading to the creation of an extensive, international, multidisciplinary professional network.

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First ISU/UniStra/Eurometropolis of Strasbourg Experiment in Space

On 19 February 2017, a Space X Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s historical launch pad 39A, bringing MMARS1 to space and on its way to the International Space Station.

The experiment takes its origin in the traces of methane found on Mars. One hypothesis is that this methane could have a biological origin, such as from terrestrial methane-producing micro-organisms.

As a first step, it is therefore important to know if such micro-organisms can survive under the stress of space conditions, implying mainly reduced gravity and cosmic radiation. The MMARS1 (Microbial Methane Associated Research Strasbourg 1) experiment was designed to address this question. The required container and methane sensors were developed under ISU’s responsibility, with the help of Master thesis students (see picture below), and the support of Airbus Defence & Space engineers.

MMARS1 2Methane-producing micro-organisms could represent a crucial asset for future space missions, including for example for biomining, in terms of fuel production.

Another important feature of the MMARS1 experiment is its unique cooperation model, which combines ISU knowledge of the space environment, know-how on methane-producing micro-organisms in the group of Pr. S. Vuilleumier at University of Strasbourg (laboratory GMGM, UNISTRA-CNRS), technical expertise of Airbus Defence and Space, Friedrichshafen, and the financial support of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg, and hence represents a genuine Public-Private-Partnership (PPP).

Dr. N. Matt, Vice-President of Higher Education of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg and Associate Professor at UNISTRA, stated: "This experiment, besides its scientific importance, is an important milestone in the cooperation between both Universities in Strasbourg, clearly showing the synergy between the capabilities of both".

Prof. Favier, Research Programs Director at ISU confirmed this statement: “This particular Space experiment, the first of its kind, clearly shows the importance and capability of our University to contribute to top level research programs. This PPP also allowed to develop and launch a complex experiment within a smart and cost effective framework.”

MMARS2, a follow-up of the experiment, is already being planned and demonstrates the strong motivation of ISU in terms of research and cooperation with the scientific community at University of Strasbourg.

An event open to the general public retracing the first steps of this experiment will be webcast live from ISU on March 7, 2017, via

Photo montage designed by Alec Bartos ISU MSS16 - Images courtesy of NASA, ESA, and SpaceX


"My life can be clearly divided between before and after ISU. ISU was a breaking point that created a world of possibilities in front of me."

Carmen Felix - MSS10 -

"Attending ISU has been, for me, the ultimate eye-opening experience. Attending the Master of Space Studies allowed me to pursue my personal interests with a limit determined only by my imagination."

Diego Urbina - MSS09 -

"My space flight was the changing point in my whole life. Since my background was mechanical engineering, I did not know much about space, which led me to the International Space University."

Soyeon Yi - SSP09 -

"ISU is broadening the global space community and connecting New Space countries to old and mighty ones."

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