Here we are – another amazing week of ISU’s and UniSA’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program, SHSSP23 in Adelaide Australia, said goodbye to us, leaving lots of warm and exciting memories. It is just unbelievable how fast time flies, and yet, paradoxically, it feels like we spent not one week but the entire month in each other’s company! This week was special in many regards, rich in experiences, emotions and events. It was a week of bliss, exploration, wonder, and creativity.
The week started with a bus trip to Adelaide city where participants visited the Innovation & Collaboration Centre and listened to a lecture on Mars and its Habitability from Professor Graziella Caprarelli. They then explored the Museum of Discovery, viewing an exciting exhibition about the human body and future technologies. In the afternoon, everyone visited the Andy Thomas Space Resources Center to learn about space science, lunar rovers, and local robotics initiatives. The day concluded with a Space Entrepreneurship panel led by Tom Walker and Professor Walter Peeters, which was joined online.
Day 2 was filled with educational activities, starting with three core lectures on financial issues and techniques of new space projects by Christian Thaler-Wolski, Astrobiology by Charley Lineweaver, and Industrial Impacts on Lunar Heritage by Dr. Alice Gorman. In the afternoon, participants who were part of the balloon workshop had a quick debrief session. Then, the cohort was split into 3 groups, each attending a different workshop: Space Tourism with Michael Davis, A Leaders Manifesto with Daniele Dallari and a visit to the UniSA planetarium.
Day 3 was slightly different to the previous one since it was the last day of the core lecture series and the day before the big exam! After listening to 3 fanstastic lectures on Telecommunications by Prof. William Cowley, International Space Cooperation by Dr. Francois Spiero and Space Ethics by Dr. Sunil Savur, participants celebrated and got an emotional boost before exam rehearsals.
Day 4 was a true roller coaster! In the morning, students took their exam quiz and interdisciplinary essay, which ran smoothly. In the afternoon, they attended a talk on space architecture by Brent Sherwood from Blue Origin and split into groups for TP sessions. The day ended with a thought-provoking public cosmology lecture, where participants explored the idea of multiverses and debated the definition of “nothing.”
Day 5 was a day of continued TP work and networking, followed by a chat with local ISU alumni. The week culminated in a fantastic Saturday with an alumni conference organized with the help of our amazing TA, Frank Papa, and a space masquerade where 16 individuals and 5 groups competed for a prize and for the hearts of our audience.
To sum up, this week was a blend of busy schedules and thrilling experiences, marked by a range of emotions. Participants had ample opportunity to strengthen their relationships with one another and to collaborate more effectively, gaining a deeper understanding of what it takes to succeed as a team. Looking ahead, everyone is eager for the next chapter of the journey – Week 4. Let’s see what it will bring!