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SHSSP22 TA Blog – Week 5

Welcome to week 5 a.k.a the last and final week of SHSSP22. The past 4 weeks have been filled with a rollercoaster of emotions and the participants are ready for one last push with their Team Project (TP). The last week of the program is usually an intense TP week and participants are hustling with an intense caffeine rush to finish their deliverables to meet their respective deadlines! Parallel to the participants submerging themselves into the final preparations of their big day, the ISU SHSSP team were in full swing, busy with the preps to be done behind the scenes IT setup-wise for the online TP and closing ceremony.

The week kicked off with a brief feedback session on the Draft Report and Executive summary from our three brilliant TP Chairs Dr. Francois Spiero, Prof. Rodrigo Ventura and Dr. Jacques Arnould who are experts on Lunar surface/missions and French human spaceflight, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Space ethics respectively. The participants continued to refine their deliverables until their deadline on 17th February 2022. The sheer coordination between AU and EU participants had evolved greatly at this point and each member of the team knew what they had to do to reach the finish line successfully. The TP faculties, Alex and directors had a secret premiere launch of the Team project video one day before the submission to ensure the quality of content and give the participants general feedback for all the hard work they had been doing so far. Alongside, for the closing ceremony eight eminent guests from various Space Agencies across the globe were being finalized to come and speak to the graduating class of SHSSP22 in the Online Closing Ceremony and the certificates for all the graduating participants was in the making.

The week ended on Friday, 18th February, 2022 with a remarkable display of Using Artificial Intelligence & Machine learning to optimize a lunar outpost location from the SHSSP22 cohort in the TP presentation. I must mention the highlight of the TP video presentation was the participation of a very young Space enthusiast-Owen Baylis who is actually the son of Michael Baylis (SHSSP22 Participant). We hope Owen’s curiosity only grows from here and is inspired to join the ISU community one fine day.

The questions post presentation was handled with grace, patience and adeptness by the cohort, which also displayed their sense of unity and fine knowledge on the subject matter they had been working on for the past five weeks. The final feedback from the chairs was very positive and the cohort was appreciated greatly for all their efforts and applauded for delivering a polished Team project within a very short time frame!

With that it was time for the final touchdown! The grand Closing Ceremony of SHSSP22 was kicked-off by the ISU Director, Kenol Jules followed by the President of ISU, Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund and UniSA Prof. Marnie Hughes Warrington congratulated the graduating class of SHSSP22 for the successful completion of the five-week intensive program and welcomed them to the ISU Alumni Community.

Moving forward in the ceremony, we were joined by our Distinguished Guests and ISU alumnus, Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency and Darin Lovett, Director Space for the South Australian Space Industry Centre who briefly talked about the various objectives of their Space Agencies and shared their experiences of being an ISU alumnus. The two big surprises for the participants, came from JAXA and NASA. JAXA Astronaut, Akihiko Hoshide who congratulated the participants and talked about the growing space race that can be explored by everyone and yet another ISU alumna who spoke was, NASA Astronaut, Jessica Meir who not only congratulated the graduating participants but also shared how the 3Is of ISU will resonate and play an important role moving forward in their space journey as they make incredible contributions to the space sector.

The participants were further more applauded on their graduation by Distinguished Guests of various space agencies who spoke about the importance of the growing space industry and how the future valuable contributions by the participants would be an asset in the overall development of Space domain.

Other guest speakers included:

  • Noelle Riza D. Castillo – Director of the Space Policy & International Cooperation bureau (SPICB), Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA)
  • Salim Ansari – Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration, Program Management Support Group (ESA)
  • A. Rajarajan – Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (ISRO)
  • Yoshihara Toru – Director of System Safety and Space Operations Safety Unit (JAXA)

The participants were then handed their graduation certificates and shown a quick retrospect into their 5-weeks journey of SHSSP22. The Director thanked all the sponsors whose support made it possible to make this program into an immense success that it turned out to be and declared the program close. Indeed, it was an emotional yet proud and delightful moment for the SHSSP22 cohort!

Supprabha Nambiar , SHSSP22 TA & Academic Coordinator (EU)

Harshitha Chavan SHSSP22 Teaching Associate (TP-TA)