Week 1 – Online

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As I write this blog, I can feel the SSP2021 mission countdown in my mind and feel my heart racing!!!!
Every space mission consists of two teams: Astronauts and the Mission Team and the overall mission can be understood by understanding two main parameters: Time and Complexity. These two parameters hold special and specific meanings when defining any space mission.

SSP2021 is also a unique “space mission” that is going to be conducted by ISU and join me in the preview of this mission.

SSP2021 is first of a kind program that is going to be conducted by ISU. This SSP will be conducted simultaneously across 2 separate host sites and an online version. The host sites are located in Granada, Spain and Strasbourg, France and the online version on Zoom platform. This idea itself presents the complexity within SSP2021 in terms of technicality and logistics. I am not going to bore you all with that. But just imagine participants spread across the European continent and globally, in terms of onsite and virtually respectively, interacting and networking with each other across multiple time zones. Phew!!! Just amazing.

This is the mission complexity the Teaching Associates (TAs) of SSP2021, online and onsite, have to handle deftly. The online TAs started training on various online platforms to understand the nuances of the application, weeks before the official launch of the program.

The sole purpose of online TAs was to crash every application and understand the issues for breakdown so as to be ready to troubleshoot said issues, during SSP2021. (Honestly, that is the most amazing part of this entire mission, personally.) With each practice session, lessons were learnt and the program assistance handbook for TA started increasing in size.

Here let me introduce Miss. Mission time of SSP2021 and she is shown in the figure below:

She assists in determining the mission status before launch (SSP2021 Opening Ceremony) time-wise. And she also tells when all mission systems must be read so as to allow mission astronauts to tinker with them. The astronauts of SSP2021 mission are the 115 international participants spread across the onsite and online versions. The participants themselves are given continuous training in using the applications by Academics and IT teams. With each passing day, the mission staff and astronauts continues training to be better equipped with the tools and breakdowns happen each day.

Finally, the main rehearsal days have come upon us. Now the entire ISU IT team works furiously testing various equipment that will be needed to keep both onsite and online SSP2021 versions in touch with each other.

TA Nipuni assisting the onsite ISU IT team by acting as an ISU lecturer

Alex, our online version Academic Coordinator giving a thumbs up indicating that all systems are performing optimally.

The astronauts (participants) and mission team (SSP2021 organizing team-local and global) have reached the level of expertise in handling all the online and onsite systems. The launch has been approved and it is go time. As I finish writing this blog, I would like to mention that we have entered the time-zone from where there is no coming back.

On behalf of the SSP2021 team, I invite you all to join the mission countdown later in the week.
To SSP 2021 astronauts: Ad Astra and travel deep into space!!!!! This mission team will be looking out for you and will be there when you land.

Salut la mia Space Familia!!!

Habitat Officer
Shrrirup Nambiar

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