Public Events

Opening Ceremony
With the participation of Dr. Buzz Aldrin
​Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Lecture​
Dr. Buzz Aldrin
The Hubble Space Telescope: A Quarter Century of Science
Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman
John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and the American Space Program​
Dr. John Logsdon
​International Astronaut Panel
Space Entrepreneurs Panel
Arthur C. Clark Panel
Be there!
Robotics Competition
Robots collect gems on simulated Mars terrain
Panel - Young Leaders in the Space Industry
Model Rocket Launch
Up up up! Clear skies!
Starships
Dr. Simon "Pete" Worden
​Geopolicy and Future of Exploration Panel
The Future of Education
Innovation Panel
Team Projects Final Presentations
Closing Ceremony

Speaker: John Logsdon

Two U.S. presidents, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, made decisions that have had a lasting impact on the U.S. space program. Kennedy, of course, set as a national goal landing humans on the Moon before the end of the decade of the 1960s, and followed that decision with the mobilization of human and financial resources to achieve that goal. Richard Nixon was president in 1969 when Apollo 11 reached the Moon. Over the subsequent three years he decided to lower the priority of the space program, and thus its future budgets, and to approve as the central post-Apollo the space shuttle, thereby limiting human spaceflight to low Earth orbit since the last Apollo mission left the Moon in December 1972.

This talk will discuss the reasoning behind the space policy decisions of John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The combined effect of their decisions to a large degree has shaped the space program that the United States has carried out over the past 45 years. The talk will feature audio and video clips and draw upon original documents reflecting both presidents’ decisions. It will be based on two award-winning books by John M. Logsdon, John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon (2010) and After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program (2015). A limited number of copies of each book will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture.

Speaker: Jeffrey Hoffman

Since its launch, the Hubble Space Telescope has become one of the most extraordinary and beloved space science missions, and has provided some of the most memorable images of the cosmos. But the telescope was not an immediate success - without the work performed by the STS-61 crew, including astronomer and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman, the Hubble could have been a scientific disaster. Dr. Hoffman will explain what led to Hubble’s initial problems, recall his shuttle experience as a space telescope “repair man”, and discuss how those repairs have led to the telescope becoming one of the greatest science instruments ever built.

Speaker: Simon “Pete” Worden

At the Royal Society in London on July 20, 2015, Yuri Milner, Stephen Hawking and Lord Martin Rees announced a set of initiatives — a scientific programme aimed at finding evidence of technological life beyond Earth entitled ‘Breakthrough Listen’, and a contest to devise potential messages named ‘Breakthrough Message’. In addition, atop the One World Trade Center in New York on April 20, 2016, ‘Breakthrough Starshot’ was announced, an interstellar programme to Alpha Centauri. These are the first of several privately-funded global initiatives to answer the fundamental science questions surrounding the origin, extent and nature of life in the universe. The Breakthrough Initiatives are managed by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Speaker: Buzz Aldrin, ISU Chancellor

Each year, ISU honors the memory of one of its greatest supporters, Dr. Gerald Soffen, with a lecture featuring a prominent visionary in the space sector. Few are more visionary than ISU’s Chancellor and Apollo 11 moonwalker, Dr. Buzz Aldrin.
Buzz Aldrin earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. He was selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, and earned the nickname “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised are still used today. He also pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking. In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz set an EVA record for a 5 1⁄2 hour spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moon walk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.
Since retiring from NASA, Buzz has remained a proponent of human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler”, and has received three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to addressing science literacy for children by igniting their passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through delivering hands-on STEAM activities and inspirational messages.
Dr. Aldrin is an author of nine books including his New York Times best-selling autobiography entitled, “Magnificent Desolation”. He continues to inspire today’s youth with his illustrated children’s books: Reaching for the Moon, Look to the Stars, and recently released Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. His 2013 book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration”, outlines his plan to get us beyond the moon and on to Mars. As one of the leading space exploration advocates, Buzz continues to chart a course for future space travel and is passionate about inspiring the younger generations of future explorers and innovators.

Speaker: David Levy

David Levy is an internationally renowned Canadian astronomer who is celebrating 50 years of searching the sky for comments and asteroids. He is best known for his co-discovery in 1993 of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with the planet Jupiter in 1994. Dr. Levy will be sharing his lecture “Talk, Text, and Tunes: A Nightwatchman’s Journey”, discussing his experiences and observations in astronomy. Dr. Levy has discovered 21 comets, eight of them using his own backyard telescopes. His discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9, with Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California, produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. Levy is currently involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, which is based at the Jarnac Observatory in Vail, Arizona but which has telescopes planned for locations around the world.

astro 1 astro 2 astro 3

The International Astronaut panel is an annual highlight of each ISU session. ISU participants and the public will have the opportunity to interact with this outstanding group of astronauts who represent over 30 years of international spaceflight experience ranging from the Spacelab, to the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.

Arthur C. Clarke

Moderator: Chris Welch

Panelists: Kathryn Denning, Nahum Romero Zamora, Alastair Reynolds

ISU's Arthur C Clarke Panel celebrates the intersection of space and popular culture, in the same way that Arthur Clarke's works popularized space to the general public. From books to films, from social media to music and art, space themes can be found everywhere. This panel invites practitioners from different cultural areas to share how space has inspired their work, how they have engaged with space and space-related themes, and to consider how their work may influence future space activities and endeavors.

 

2001 space odyssey dave arthur c clarke2

Moderator: Christopher Stott

Panelists: Brian Rishikof, Meidad Pariente, Adil Jafry

An evening of insightful 'to and fro' conversation with proven space entrepreneurs who are leading advances in the global space markets with new services, products and technologies and all with deep ISU connections.

Moderator: Omar Hatamleh

Panelists: Laura Keogh, Jamie Drew, Abdul Mohsen Al Husseini

The Space Studies Program (SSP) offers an interdisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on international, and intercultural education. The SSP exposes participants to a broad new perspective on the world’s space activities. The SSP includes a wide variety of lectures by renowned experts, hands-on activities and projects, team work and professional visits. Since the beginning of the program in 1987, there have been over 4200 alumni participating in the program. Many of them are now in high level positions contributing vastly to the field. In this panel, several ISU alumni will discuss their career path and how ISU help shape their future. The panellist will also share their stories with participants seeking to pursue careers in the field of space. Some topics of discussion will include how to increase awareness and support for space activities, how to capitalize on the unique opportunities that ISU has to offer for networking across the space sectors, and will share with participants the advantages of undertaking space-related careers.

Moderator: Niall Smith

Panelists: Courtney Dressing

Are we alone in the universe? What are the odds that life exists somewhere in the universe? The pursuit to find other planets like Earth has been revitalised by the popular interest surrounding the discovery of many planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy. The challenge continues to identify terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of their stars where possibly life might exist. The NASA Kepler space telescope has recently help discover thousands of Exoplanets planets beyond our own solar system. These newly discovered planets come in a variety of sizes and orbits. The internationally recognized experts in the panel will discuss some of the latest findings regarding the newly discovered planets and the possible life somewhere else in the universe.

Moderator: Matthew Daniels

Panelists: Philippe Clerc

The panel will discuss the strategic, policy, and operational environment for space science and exploration activities in the years ahead. This discussion will focus on how leaders think about the biggest opportunities for their programs in the next decade. The panel will also discuss multi-national projects like ISS, opportunities with emerging space programs, and potential roles for new privately funded initiatives.

Moderator: Omar Hatamleh

Panelists: Dava Newman, Jon Mogford, Per-Fredrik Hagermark

The Space Studies Program (SSP) offers an interdisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on international, and intercultural education. The SSP exposes participants to a broad new perspective on the world’s space activities. The SSP includes a wide variety of lectures by renowned experts, hands-on activities and projects, team work and professional visits. Since the beginning of the program in 1987, there have been over 4200 alumni participating in the program. Many of them are now in high level positions contributing vastly to the field. In this panel, several ISU alumni will discuss their career path and how ISU help shape their future. The panelist will also share their stories with participants seeking to pursue careers in the field of space. Some topics of discussion will include how to increase awareness and support for space activities, how to capitalize on the unique opportunities that ISU has to offer for networking across the space sectors, and will share with participants the advantages of undertaking space-related careers.

Moderator: Omar Hatamleh

Panelists: Steve Barsh, Yuji Sano, Dimitris Bountolos

The power of innovation to create economic value and reward pioneers with high profits is a deeply held belief. Innovation can enrich companies and may even disrupt entire industries. Most industries work at the leading edge of technological standards, and are constantly on the lookout for new technologies to make operations simpler, innovative, safer, and more cost effective. Finding innovative solutions for challenges often requires venturing off looking for diverse ways of thinking to bring new value added. This panel will take us further in an endeavour to connect and discuss common challenges, benchmark innovations, discuss analogies along various industry lines. The panel will also discuss the innovation techniques that are employed by some of the most innovative companies and how to best harvest the best ideas in different organization.

We are proud to announce the second edition of SpaceUp Ireland to be held during SSP17 at CIT in Cork on Saturday 8 July. SpaceUp is the world’s leading series of space unconferences. At SpaceUp the program is determined during the unconference, by the participants. There will be a nice venue, coffee, food, goodies and plenty of cool space people. However, YOU make the program. All participants are expected to contribute to the program of the day, in the shape of a presentation, a talk, a panel discussion, a hands-on workshop, a Q&A, anything. As long as it is about space!
SpaceUp Ireland is open to all SSP participants, staff, visitors and the general public from all over the world. For all information about times and (free) registration, see www.spaceup.org

Join us for the Space Job Fair and take the unique opportunity to build connections with decision makers in the space industry. With a growing demand for interdisciplinary and interculturally trained talent, SSP and ISU alumni have the skills and passion companies are looking for.
Space Job Fair launched last year as an initiative by an ISU alumni to create and organize events helping people interested in a career in space. It is exciting to come to Cork and kick things off with ISU. Our goal is to become the missing link between space companies and the best graduates and workforce available, in all disciplines and experience levels. To achieve this goal, we developed an agile way to participate at the Space Job Fair, allowing physical and remote participation.
Our vision is to create and maintain a flexible platform where like-minded people come together, talking possibilities, exploring opportunities, and sharing a passion for space. As participant you will be exposed to:
•    Workshops and interview trainings to prepare for the fair
•    Evening events and receptions to meet and to network
•    Company presentations
•    Candidate success stories
•    Discussions about the future of space jobs

Ireland and SSP17 are much about space entrepreneurship. This is reflected in two of our Team Projects, in the Space Management and Business Department, in evening panels, and much more. In addition, we are organizing a very special startup weekend, in close collaboration with local and international partners. We are proud to partner with ESA and Google for the first ever ESA Space Solutions Startup Weekend, to be held at CIT on 29 and 30 July 2017.
During the weekend you will work with the world’s best startup experts from space, technology transfer and business design to prepare your startup for a successfull launch in the real world. We will follow the best-in-class Google LaunchPad concept, to guarantee that you develop the best possible business plan for your startup. The best teams qualify for cash prizes, investment funds, and for enrollment in the ESA business incubation program in Cork and other centers in Europe.
This event is open to all SSP participants and staff, plus to external teams, with a basic business plan. If your startup idea is still just a good idea, we have developed a mentoring program to prepare your idea for the Google LaunchPad process. We will publicize the entry criteria at the start of SSP17, and offer a (mandatory) instruction during SpaceUp on 8 July 2017. All details will be further explained in the first week of SSP.
We hope you will all bring your startup idea to this unique event and show the world what SSP participants are made of! Participation in this startup event is free of charge for SSP participants and staff.

take off parachute staff rocket

 

International Space University conducts an annual rocketry launch competition during Space Studies program. Participants from ISU’s Engineering department are divided into international teams of four to design, construct and fly a rocket that will meet a set of difficult requirements for altitude, payload, data capture, and design style. Each team designs a unique rocket from a limited selection of body tubes, nose cones, rocket motors and other components, aided by computer design and simulation programs. Each rocket design passes several safety checks before it is certified to fly in the competition. And, as with any competition, there is only a single winner - Will the rocket attain the correct altitude? Will the fragile payload be returned safely? Will the vehicle fly straight and stable? It is a real-world challenge and the team with the best performance will be recognized for their hard work. This is an event open to the public and visitors of all ages are welcome!

 

 

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There are two major tasks in this competition. One is navigation of unknown world. There are scattered rock obstacles in the competition field and the robots should recognize them with onboard sensors, then make appropriate avoidance maneuvers. Also there is a boundary of the field, and the robots should remain inside the field during the competition activity. Two is sample collection. In the competition field, there are many of precious pieces called “gems” and the mission is to collect as many gems as possible in a given time, while satisfying the first task. If your robot is succeeded in bringing the gems back to a home position, a bonus mark will be awarded for the completion of a sample-return mission. All mission must be conducted completely autonomously, which is a great exercise of a real planetary exploration scenario.

Thanks to LEGO Mindstorms, teamwork and a lot of imagination, ISU participants design and build autonomous robots to achieve the above-mentioned tasks. The performance of the robots will be evaluated by a group of judges, and prizes will be given to the winning teams.
Visitors of all ages are welcome to share an educational and fun experience.