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ISU’s 35th Space Studies Program Launched with Flying Colors in Brazil

The International Space University (ISU) marked a significant milestone on 26th June 2023 with the opening ceremony of its 35th Space Studies Program (SSP). Hosted in a packed (600 guests) and at the forefront of technology venue – the Technological Park of São José dos Campos, Brazil – the event introduced the 85 onsite participants and 8 online participants of SSP23 from 30 countries to the ISU community and the hosts and local organizing committee (LOC) of SSP23:


with the support of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), EMBRAER, and many local and international sponsors which can be found here.

ISU SSP23 director, on detachment from NASA, Mr James Lewis was the master of ceremonies. As the host, he called all nations to march in and made a special acknowledgment for Uganda as it is the first time that there is a participant from this country.

He then introduced the speakers, one after the other:

  • Christian Sallaberger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the International Space University (ISU)
  • Clezio Marcos De Nardin, Director of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
  • Anderson Ribeiro Correia, Rector of the Aeronautics Institute of Technology  (ITA)
  • Anderson Farias Ferreira, Mayor of the city of São José dos Campos (SJC)
  • Mônica Elizabeth Rocha de Oliveira, LOC General Coordinator, INPE’s Executive Coordinator (and ISU alumnae)
  • Joao Paulo Rodrigues Campos, President of Visiona Space Technology, a Joint Venture between Embraer and Telebrás, SSP23
  • Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of International Space University and XPrize
  • Maryangela Geimba de Lima, Pro-Rector of Research and Institutional Relations (ITA)
  • Mauicio Augusto Silveira de Medeiros, Commander of Aeronautics
  • Guilherme Coutinho Calheiros, Representant of Minister of Science Technology and Innovation Luciana Barbosa de Oliveira Santos
  • Luciana Santos, Minister of Science Technology, and Innovation
  • Pascale Ehrenfreund, President of the International Space University
  • Felicio Ramuth, Acting governor of the State of São Paulo

Speeches were interspersed with very authentic and colorful Brazilian cultural performances allowing the audience to discover:

  • the Cassiano Ricardo Cultural Foundation, Projeto Patuscada – who had the audience up and dancing
  • and the talents of the ISU alumni, namely SSP12 astrophysicist and guitarist Carlos Wuensche leader of the musical group “Conversa de Cordes”.


“Dream the big dreams and enjoy SSP”, launched ISU’s chairman of the BOT and ISU alumnus Dr. Sallaberger who also vividly remembers his Brazilian classmate from SSP88.

With the objective of speaking the same (space) jargon and fostering international collaboration, the SSP opening ceremony set the stage for an unforgettable nine-week experience that promises to shape the future of the space sector.

ISU president, Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund concluded by saying:

“ISU and the local hosts, INPE, ITA, and the city of São José dos Campos will enrich your Space Studies Program experience and you will create friendships for life. Welcome on board!”.

SSP23 is the third Space Studies Program in the Southern Hemisphere in the 35-year history of ISU – after Valparaiso, Chile in 2000 and Adelaide, Australia in 2004.

The International Space University offers other courses including a new and accredited Master of Science in Space Studies – all will provide students and participants with a ticket to various opportunities and allow them to create their own career path.


More about SSP23

More about ISU’s programs

Official pictures of the SSP23 Opening Ceremony

ISU SSP23 Blog