SHSSP21 TA Blog – Week 0

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Comms – Ready!
Lectures – Ready!
IT – Ready!
We are ready for launch!

The International Space University in partnership with the University of South Australia is embarking with the very first online version of the Southern-Hemisphere Space Studies Program, working for the first time on two very different time zones: Europe (UTC+1) and Australia (UTC+11).

Starting all the activities on January 18th, 2021, the program has 28 staff members, and participants from more than 19 countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, India, Mexico, Mauritius, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey, Thailand, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, the UK and the USA. #SHSSP21 is very special itself, this year 55% female participants joined the program with all type of backgrounds: from schoolteachers to AI and Data Scientist!! #HowCoolIsThat

In 2021, the program is presented with a very special challenge, to address from a space perspective the problem of bushfires globally with a main focus in Australia, which have significant regional and global impacts on climate change. The team project will examine the potential for space assets and technologies to better identify and provide early warning of potential fire danger by sensing soil, and brush conditions, and then propose how to mitigate the destructive burning using satellite data.

This is of vital importance especially at a time when it is necessary to bring the information already processed directly to the end user, whether they are civilians or government authorities, so that this serves to take countermeasures that help prevent and / or mitigate potential effects of devastating bushfires.

From the TA’s side, SHSSP21 started in the middle of December 2020, when the TA did some technical preparations for the core lecture sessions and the workshops activities. From the participants’ perspective there have also been preparatory activities, such as getting familiar with the university’s platform for working during the program, but most important to incorporate the ISU’s 3Is: International, Intercultural, Interdisciplinary, which are the core of the ISU soul.

Likewise, the participants designed their own “mission patch” or program logo (image at the top left), the Torch represents fire and is found on some Australian fire brigade badges (NSW, ACT, Melbourne); Flame colors represents the two of four sacred Aboriginal colors, with red representing fire (the other two colors are black and white). Shield shape, represents ‘protecting’ and an emblem worn by those that protect. Grey outline on the shield echoes the color of a badge, but also represents the color of ash. Overall, the shield encompasses all the colors depicted in Greek mythology for Artemis. The olive branches represent peace and Earth. The Olympian goddess Artemis, she’s the protector of the environment/ animals. It also represents us being the “Artemis generation.” And it also symbolizes the strong presence of female staff, both TAs, lecturers, and participants; in addition to being a reference to the focus on nature conservation through the development of the team project. The southern Cross represents the Southern Hemisphere and “woman in the sky” for Noongar People.

Despite the challenge of being the second on-line program on ISU’s history, and still with the COVID19 pandemic preventing participants and staff to travel, and University of South Australia to host as usual the program in its facilities in Melbourne, everyone is very excited to start the program from the comfort of their homes in different corners of spaceship Earth.

This online program is just a reminder of human capacity and resilience to be able to adapt to drastic changes, and how we can move forward with the development, not only of our professional profiles, but with the development of human civilization in search of conquer the final frontier.

Ad Astra

Camilo Andrés Reyes – Colombia/Germany

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