Welcome to week 4 of the Space Studies Program 2022 in Oeiras, Portugal. This week has been a rollercoaster of activities and emotions with department activities (DAs), exams and the end of the Core lecture seminar series both onsite and online.
We kicked off this week with Rockets & Space propulsion by John Connolly, who is also here with us to facilitate the famous Rocket Launch with the participants. The department phases are in full swing with participants brain-storming about their individual projects and various professional visits by different departments.
The Space Humanities department visited Fabrica da Polvora (The gun Powder Factory), which is now a museum and a cultural heritage in Barcarena, Portugal. The participants reflected on the transition of an important source of rocketry and space era to what is now a landmark of local space heritage and accessible to the public and not just experienced personnel. Similarly, Human Performance in Space; Space Policy, Economics and Law; and Space Applications indulged and participants had plenty takeaways from their visits.
We had a distinguished lecture by James Green, the former Chief Scientist of NASA on how science fiction has always propelled inspiration and as Jim Green would say a “gravity assist” to generation of people ever since the space era has begun. He spoke to us about Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ and took us on a journey of NASA’s input and suggestions to the movie with respect to the Martian environment and provided a realistic element to the movie.
Mid-week shenanigans with various elective workshops with Harold ‘Sonny’ White on Pilot wave theory and ‘Painting your own Stars’ with Herve Cadiou and many others.
The week is almost coming to an end with ISU’s very own Cultural night with India, Ireland, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Australia. Well, week-4 did not end here and continued Saturday morning with groups of participants from the Engineering department build rockets and take them out to the Sintra Air Base in Portugal for the launch.
Yet another long, exciting, and successful week at SSP22.
Harshitha S Chavan, Space Humanities Teaching Associate, SSP22