Week 3, SSP22 is in full throttle, and participants have reached the highest possible orbit. We are halfway through (can you believe it!?) as we continue with our perilous journey. That does not mean it gets any easier and the mission control center was packed with incredible activities. Buckle up!
This week marked the second stage of the online program. More hands-on practice and activities started with an on-site quiz and incredible online workshops (EWS).
Monday kicked-off with Bertrand Goldman, an ISU Central Campus Faculty member as Research facilitator and Instructor in the Space Sciences discipline, telling is all about data mining. Joining us all the way from down under in Adelaide, Australia, Kerrie Dougherty, a Senior Heritage, and Outreach Officer with the Inspire Program at the Australian Space Agency held a workshop on Sending a message to ET, where she highlighted the complexity of attempting to create a culturally neutral interstellar message. ISU’s very own Steve Brody introduced the Lessons-Learned from Selected NASA Human & Robotic Missions whereas Dr. William Kramer talked about Bioethics and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life.
None of these activities can happen safely without the appropriate legal and regulatory framework. Well, no one other than Tanja Masson-Zwaan to explain International Space Law and the laws applicable to the New Space Economy. We are sure participants know the space law principles like the back of their hands. Also, Magda Cocco elaborated on how these international space law principles are incorporated into national law during her seminar on National Implementation of Space Law.
Don’t you think for a minute that space is not about art. If you thought so, Dr. Alice Gorman, leading space archaeologist assisted by Kerrie Dougherty, highlighted the significance of space objects and their relevance in formed new stories about the history of modern space exploration.
By the first night, ISU put together a panel on the Importance of Outreach joined by Niamh Shaw, Jim Green, and Alice Gorman. Such an incredible panel, all directed toward one thing – inspiring the next and current generation of space enthusiasts.
Online workshops continued with Hazuki Mori, an Expert to the Space Applications Section of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), explaining the goals and activities of UNOOSA and the overview of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Brent Sherwood, a space architect with 25 years of professional experience in the space industry, described in his seminar how the habitability design challenge is integrated exploring the unique environmental, safety ergonomic architectural factors to consider in the design of structures and habitats required for the extremes of space. The day ended with another distinguished lecture on how to make space walks successful presented by none other than Jim Green, former NASA chief scientist.
Wednesday was filled with lectures on very interesting topics such as astrophysics, remote sensing and GIS and space flight planning, training, and mission control. Nuno Santos, a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) and Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at FCUP, enlightened us about Our Solar System and Exoplanets, followed by Sunny Panjwani joining us from NASA to give an incredible perspective on Space Operations, particularly human spaceflight, and the ISS. To talk about Current & Future Trends of Remote Sensing, we welcomed our one and only Su-Yin Tan, a Senior Lecturer in the Geomatics Program, Teaching Fellow of the Faculty of Environment, and Director of the Applied Geomatics Research Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
After the core lecture, TP lectures started on with the first topic – Astrobiology and earth analogues followed by Large-scale Remote Sensing techniques to assess past Subsurface Habitability on Mars. The day was super intense and participants earned an activity-free evening on the next day.
On Thursday, which was likely as intense as the previous day (we might have spoken too soon) with even more lectures oriented to business, space law, and GNSS. Rodolfo Condessa introduced us to Venture Capital, and Scott Madry talked about Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT). More incredible TP lecturers came to dig deeper into the TP and especially the methodologies to detect life on other celestial bodies. Niamh Shaw then gave a speech on her inspirations during the “ask me anything” session and gave very interesting leads for the space mission that the online participants will write on for the NASA proposal.
At last, Friday. A bit calmer but, nonetheless, extremely interesting. Two lectures: Scott Madry came back to talk about Current & Future Trends of Satellite Navigation following Fred Scharmen providing us with an incredible perspective on Humanity & Space Exploration. After lunch, participants had the chance to ask Dr. Jim Green anything in another successful installment of “Ask Me Anything” sessions, a fantastic opportunity for participants to get valuable contribution to the online TP directly.
The journey continues and the mission is not over yet. Space is awesome and the week was packed. Interdisciplinary activities, international lectures, intercultural experiences, all interconnected. Now, participants will continue to work on their TP, in search of extraterrestrial life. Can’t wait to have another Wow! – signal moment!
Vini Aloia & Thomas Chretien, Teaching Associates, Online, SSP22