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SSP22 Blog – Week 1 (onsite)

Buckle up, an interesting journey is about to start! 

This weekend, the International Space University’s (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP22) participants have finally landed in Lisbon, Portugal, and the SSP22 team welcomed them to the most exciting summer of their lives! To all the Space folks around the world, SSP22 is about to start, get ready for the impressive activities we will be sharing during the upcoming weeks.  

If you are wondering how the weekend for the participants was, check this out: “Just landed in Portugal, jet-lagged probably, feeling the chilly weather in Lisbon. Wow, a lot of new faces around, some looks familiar though, probably sharing some interests or ideas, this we will discover along the summer. Short chats here and there with different people, many accents, and diverse backgrounds. Now, it’s time to get familiar with the program; lectures, departments, and team projects, and more information about the logistics and details of SSP.”  

Opening Ceremony: Let the fun begin! 

A traditional SSP opening ceremony involves inspiring speeches from the program organizers and sponsors. Participants march with their country flags reflecting how international and inclusive this program is. In addition, participants get to meet the local organizing committee and enjoy Portugal’s authentic music and food. This magnificent event was streamed on ISU’s official channels. 

Immerse yourself in your very own Journey to Space! 

Participants get the chance to share with each other their most interesting stories, passions and experience in the space field during different sessions of “My Space Journey” which is one of the social events taking place each year in SSP. 

Building the team! 

Team projects are one of the core components of the SSP program, four different fundamental workshops take place during week one for different team projects; participants can be better prepared to work together in a culturally diverse learning environment – whether face-to-face or online. Workshops’ content includes small group discussions, games and hands-on team projects. These workshops aim to enhance communication among people with different backgrounds and gain an understanding of effective team leadership/followership, critical thinking and sensitivity to group dynamics. 

Meet an Astronaut!  

On-site participants enjoy inspiring workshops and lectures by astronauts, two of these distinguished lectures took place during Week 1;  

Soyeon Yi is the first South Korean to fly in space. She is a usual speaker at SSP events where she shares her experiences as an astronaut in a presentation that she calls “Mindfulness from Weightlessness”, which is a worldwide inspirational talk. 

Paula Bontempi has been a biological oceanographer for 25 years. She has been invited to teach the Earth Science module of NASA’s astronaut training class over the last several years. Paula’s distinguished lecture discusses some Earth observation applications: Can we detail disasters from space? How can timely access to reliable, relevant data and analyses be made available to help in disaster prevention and relief?  

Keep posted for this Summer Space Activities! 

Hoda El-Megharbel, Teaching Associate, Space Applications Department, SSP22