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150 ISU alumni from around the world convened at SSP22 Portugal

“After months of preparation and two years without a physical meeting, it was a pleasure to welcome my classmates and ISU alumni, in my home country and host to SSP22 – Portugal – to celebrate our reunion and the 35th anniversary of the International Space University!” said Hugo André Costa, ISU alum, member of the board of directors of Portugal Space, and chair of the local organizing committee of ISU’s Space Studies Program SSP22.

Nassim Bovet, ISU alum and ISU head of admissions and alumni affairs added:

“Around 150 alumni and members of the ISU community traveled to Oeiras, from as far as Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, we thank them all for their loyalty to our alma mater. We are also very grateful for the support received by the local organizing committee and IST at Taguspark and The Aerospace Corporation for sponsoring the alumni dinner .”  

Just like a space mission, the 2022 alumni gathering, held from 29th to 31st August 2022, was as regular as clockwork, thanks to the great organizational skills of ISU alum Inês d’Ávila. She and the Portuguese team in collaboration with ISU prepared an exciting and informative agenda including the discovery of the local Portuguese culture and landmarks, networking with the Space Studies Program SSP22 participants, the celebration of alumni achievements, a space masquerade, and panels about the future of the space sector and ISU amongst other talks and events.

Diego Urbina, ISU SSP08 MSS09 alum said:

“It was great having a conversation on the future of space with a multidisciplinary panel skillfully moderated by another ISU alum Luis Ferreira at the International Space University alumni conference in Oeiras, Portugal this summer!”

Laura ten Bloemendal, ISU SSP07 added:

“It was an absolute honor to join a panel on the future of the International Space University during the alumni weekend in Lisbon. I am so excited to add to such strong voices from Pascale Ehrenfreund (ISU President), Valanathan Munsami (ISU Chancellor), and Ofer Lapid (ISU Board of Trustees member). As a bonus, I got to catch up with fellow SSP07 alum Ricardo Marvao and the illustrious Tahir Merali, P.Eng, PMP, who I first met at NASA during the International Space School in 2002. Many thanks to Remco Timmermans for being a great moderator.

I’m inspired and hopeful about what’s to come for the university and our global community of alumni.”

The conference held its share of surprises including an “ISU” group photo taken from space arranged by Israeli ISU alumni! The image was a gift for the 35th anniversary of ISU, from ImageSat, which also contributed to the space selfie done during SSP16.

The traditional football game – marking the end of the weekend – between alumni and staff versus SSP participants, was this year turned into an exciting tournament full of top-quality matches thanks, especially to the soccer superstars of the no less famous Space United football club – an organization launched by Latino space engineers with former professional athlete experience and successful engineering careers at SpaceX & Blue Origin.  

All those events also allowed ISU alumni to meet ISU’s new president, Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund who shared that “ISU is a global university, and support from all alumni makes a very big difference”.

The International Space University (ISU) provides and has successfully done so over the past 35 years, a lifelong community for the 5400 ISU alumni shaping the international space eco-system in 110 countries including astronauts and entrepreneurs along with current and former space industry and government leaders.

Many thanks to all alumni for a great 2022 reunion! Looking forward to seeing you at the IAC22 ISU/SGAC/YPP networking event or the next reunion in Brazil in 2023!


Cover picture credit: ISU Alumni Conference 2022 group picture, ImageSat International 2022