ISU – UniSA reports published on Access to Space and on Lunar Farming

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The five-week Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program, conducted since 2011 by the International Space University in partnership with the University of South Australia, concluded in Adelaide on 14 February with a Closing Ceremony and the graduation of the 53 program participants from 14 countries.

On the previous day, the two international teams drawn from the class presented their findings and recommendations on two Team Projects. The Executive Summaries and the Full Reports are publicly accessible through the ISU Library website.

Access to Space in the Southern Hemisphere: the report acknowledges that the space sector is shifting from traditional activities involving large heavy launch vehicles and satellites to a much faster paced NewSpace paradigm driven by private organizations and smaller and lighter missions involving Smallsats. The space launch sector is also beginning to change as Southern Hemisphere nations seek to pursue access to space in their own right. The report explores, among other scenarios, the benefits of an international collaborative framework to facilitate this access and uses Australia as a case study.

Lunar Agriculture – Farming for the Future: the report makes recommendations for the early stages of a lunar farm, including the use of semi-subsurface or subsurface structures for a lunar farm to mitigate the impact of harmful radiation, micrometeorites and severe temperature variations; and the construction of a settlement at a polar location, to increase insolation and access to water ice.

The Team Project work was performed in addition to the other intensive academic and hands-on program activities, designed to educate and train space professionals in the international, interdisciplinary and intercultural dimensions of space.

Commenting on the challenges faced by the international project teams in the short available time, the ISU Program Director, Arif Göktuğ Karacalıoğlu, said “Each of our participants is an expert on a specific field, but they have very little background in others. In this exercise, we intentionally asked them to work on a highly interdisciplinary task and gave them little time to generate a high-calibre report. To succeed, they needed to self-organize, divide tasks, and operate with an international and intercultural mindset, not only for the context of their research and findings but also to make sure all voices within their team were heard and valued throughout the process. The end results prove that they have succeeded extremely well.”

The University of South Australia Program Co-Director, Dr Ady James added that “the team projects give the participants an opportunity to extend, through research, what they have learned in the early part of the program and to apply this to a current issue in the space domain. This helps to consolidate their understanding and develop their skills in teamwork, research and presentation.”

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