ISU Master of Space Studies 2018 Life Support Systems Elective

As part of the ISU Master of Space Studies (MSS) program, students are following elective lectures where they have the opportunity to study two specific topics in details. During the first elective week, several students chose the lectures on Life Support Systems (LSS).

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ISU MSS 2018 Astrobiology Elective: From insects to galaxies

Astrobiology, which concerns life in the universe, is a truly interdisciplinary field of investigation and is always well-appreciated in the International Space University (ISU) curricula.  The recent MSS 2018 “Astrobiology Elective” (April 30 to May 11) was no exception”, said ISU Prof. Hugh Hill, leader of this Elective.   

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SPIRE CEO Peter Platzer MSS12 shares his experience with MSS18

Each academic year, ISU invites a number of its alumni with New Space experience to contribute to the MSS entrepreneurship elective. This year, the MSS18 class had the privilege of a visit from MSS12 alumnus and Spire CEO Peter Platzer.

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Our Programs

Master of Space Studies

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.

Southern Hemisphere Program

Intensive five week, live-in experience built around an international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary educational philosophy for which ISU is renowned. The program provides a multidisciplinary understanding of the key activities and areas of knowledge required by today’s space professions.

Executive Space Course

Provides an overview of space-related subjects for professionals of diverse backgrounds, including marketing, finance, law & contracts management. Professionals leave with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to communicate more effectively with their technical colleagues.

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Adam Baker - SSP94

StudentAtWorkAbout ISU's Network

Some time ago I was working hard on a bid for European Space Agency money to do some potentially creative work on a new, ultra-miniature (MEMS or Micro Electro Mechanical Systems based) rocket engine design.

Although largely demanding study work (pervasive in our space industry), the statement of work also required some detailed fluid flow modelling at the micro scale of the proposed design, and a capability to fabricate MEMS components to test the prototype.


Whilst I had no shortage of ideas, and the backing of my company, SSTL, it was clear we didn't have the resources to offer a credible proposal alone. Thinking hard about possible collaborators who would have expertise in these challenging areas, while at the same time satisfying the seemingly nebulous requirements for geographical return imposed by ESA, I turned to the ISU network. This was in fact the first, and as it turned out only place I needed to go.

Although I generally monitor ISU-talk and news, contributing but rarely, and therefore didn't feel justified in expecting an overwhelming response in return to my request, my query was answered by exactly the right people for the job. One of whom had even been to the same summer session!

So, myself, Berry Sanders from TNO-PML in Holland (SSP 94) and Fredrik Bruhn from Uppsala University in Sweden (SSP 01), and a colleague from QinetiQ in the UK who has not yet had the good fortune to experience an ISU programme teamed up over last summer and wrote a proposal to design, build and test a new type of MEMS rocket technology.

ESA in its infinite wisdom then considered the proposal for 8 months, for a variety of reasons, but that is not my point: What matters is that earlier this month the team members were informed that we were to be granted funds to proceed, more than 0.5M Euro, enough I hope to really achieve something new and not just another paper study. It's not just about winning $$$, either, although this helps if you want to impress the management!

The project will also, I hope, offer the participants the chance to experience the different working practices of the companies and institutions involved, learn some new skills, push back the boundary of the known, and indulge in some foreign travel. I'm really looking forward to this, and it wouldn't have been possible without ISU and the open minded, international environment which we have created and strive to continuously improve on.

In the international space arena of today and tomorrow, the opportunity to find the right collaborators to create innovative, winning solutions is, I think, really helped by ISU if we can keep the momentum going then we have a great future ahead of us!


"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."

Mart Vihmand - SSP11&MSS13 -