The fifth week of SSP222 had an array of department activities lined up for the participants. This week is also highly special for reasons that are mentioned later in this article.
The week started off with a daylong professional visit to various companies that embody the growth of space industry in Portugal and to see how encouraging the Portugal Space Agency is in supporting startups and contributing to various space missions across the globe. The participants were divided into three diverse groups, and they had the chance to visit the Instituto Pedro Nunes (incubation center and labs), the Critical Software, the Active Space Technologies, the Centre of Earth and Space Research of the University of Coimbra (CITEUC), and the Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics (LIP).
The following days included different department activities ranging from the remote control of a Mars rover to digital geocaching and discussions on the legal aspects of NewSpace business and how to build companies and be smart entrepreneurs. Also, the participants worked on delivering their Team Project (TP) plans, which they intend to implement starting next week when the TP phase starts.
As mentioned above, this week of the SSP (Space Studies Program) was highly special, because ISU (International Space University) alumni came together on the weekend to meet the onsite participants and network with them. This year, we had alumni from SSP03, from SSP91 and more. The alumni began their stay in SSP2022, on Friday, with a trip to the beautiful Sintra and then came back to the campus for the largest culture night of this SSP. On Saturday, the alumni conference was in full swing. They presented their current ongoing work and how ISU helped them in their careers followed by an update on the progress made by ISU, till date, on their various programs. This day ended with the highly anticipated and attended event, Space Masquerade. Also, before the Masquerade started, ISU staff along with the participants and alumni celebrated 35 years of ISU. The alumni week ended with the customary football match between staff and participants which was played at the local stadium.
The onsite participants will enter Week 6 brimming with ideas, meeting old alumni, and having an entire week lined up of department activities and TP (Team Project) activities, which involves visits to companies and different organizations.
Good luck and ad astra to all the participants for another marvelous week at SSP2022!!!
Team Project Teaching Associate