As all good things must come to an end, it was time for the final week of SH-SSP18! The week kicked off with participants working extremely hard in their respective team project groups; “Disaster Management: Space Based Solutions for Developing Nations”, and “Space Ready: The Launch Pad for Emerging Agencies”. A few long nights later and it was time for the 5pm printing deadline on Tuesday 13th February! Both groups moved mountains and managing to produce two fantastic reports, executive summary, and a Chinese version of the executive summary! Both groups did a fantastic job, but now since the editing and graphics and been completed, it was time for the presentation teams to step into the spotlight.

The team project presentations, the final component of the SH-SSP18 course were done on Thursday 15th January, with the “Disaster Management” team going first at 9am. Their presentation was very moving - whilst starting off with an quiet introduction to the basics of Position, Navigation, and Timing, the real reasons for this project became apparent when the presentation team moved into a scenario phase: a “real” earthquake has just happened and authorities needed help! Using real footage from the Chilean earthquake in 2010, the Disaster Management group walked the audience through how earthquakes can be detected, how we can restore communications, provide real-time escape routes, and show just how much space based technologies like high-altitude balloons and Internet of Things (IoT) can help in times of disaster. After that moving performance, it was time to switch up the scene and jump across to “Space Ready: The Launch Pad for Emerging Agencies”!

Disaster Management Team
Disaster Management Team Photo

And so two of “Space Ready”’s participants, Ali Akhtar and Tim “AstroTim” Ryan set the stage as your hosts of “Space Ready”, the one and only game show to show you an international comparison and analysis of space agencies to provide recommendations for the benefit of emerging space states! Today they are helping an emerging space nation “Emm” decide on structure, funding, outreach and many more things to establish a successful space agency. The team then invites various experts, and “representatives” of the space agencies themselves to talk about their models. Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Luxembourg, South Africa, Spain, China, and India all gave us detailed descriptions of their respective agencies. It was a fascinating experience to learn about so many different ways of running a space agency. In this end however, the real winner was “Emm” and us, having learnt so much!

Space Agency Team
Space Agency Team Photo

And that was it for the Team Projects! Both groups worked extremely hard in just under two weeks to turn fledgling ideas into fully formed and immersive presentations and reports. But now, it was time for some celebration! Tonight was Lunar New Year, which means amazing food and culture! Dinner was provided by our generous Chinese participants which showcased the very best in food. One of the best meals of the program over (and with very full stomachs), it was time to start organising costumes for none other than the Space Masquerade Ball to be held in Experience One! Participants rallied to find what they could in second hand clothing shops, and even making their own! We had everything from Darth Vader and Stormtroopers to Aliens that worship “the Claw”. It was a fantastic night, filled with many great memories.

Space Masquerade

Space Masquerade!

The very next day was the Closing Ceremony. Held inside the Mawson Centre at Mawson Lakes, it was a time to celebrate and become a part of the ISU and UniSA families! The participants elected a class speaker, Fabio Fabozzi to speak to them of inspiration for the future. The participants also elected a class representatives, both with equal votes for Kavindi de Silva and Caoimhe Roone who will share the role. One last time participants gathered to celebrate the incredible work they have achieved over the past five weeks. It was time for goodbyes, but not forever!

The staff at the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program of 2018 would like to thank each and every participant for their incredible hard work and determination to make this SH-SSP a fantastic experience for all involved. I know I speak for all the staff when I say that this was an incredible experience and we loved every second. I feel it’s only appropriate to finish on a quote that despite hearing it many times before during this program, sums up what everyone should be striving for in their own careers in their own countries:

“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”  - Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Go forth class of 2018! Be fantastic!

Andrea Coto Omar Hatamleh Goktug Karacalioglu
Alumna Andrea Coto, Director Omar Hatamleh, and Academic Coordinator Goktug Karacalioglu.

Jixiang Cui Professor Simon Beecham
Jixiang Cui and Professor Simon Beecham, Pro Vice Chancellor, Divison of Informational Technology, Engineering, and the Environment from UniSA.

Class Representative Kavini De Silva
Class Representative Kavini De Silva carries the ISU flag into the Closing Ceremony.

Staff and faculty of SH SSP18
The staff and faculty of SH-SSP18 applaud the participants for all their hard work.