Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ISU Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program Wraps up in Adelaide

Following an intense five weeks of lectures, the ISU Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program has wrapped up in Adelaide. The joint program between the International Space University and the University of South Australia brought together 43 students from 9 countries together, including Australia, Brazil, India, China, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Malaysia and Italy.

 The 2010 ISU SH-SSP Graduates (Photo: University of South Australia)

The Program involved lectures from industry leaders from across Australia and the world, including Astronauts Soyeon Yi from Korea and Jean-Jacques Favier from France, and covered all aspects of Space – including engineering, science, medicine, policy and law.

For those who are interested, there are some good photos from the program on their Facebook page here

Their White Paper titled “Paths to Progress – Space and the Southern Hemisphere” which can be found here, examines a range of problems and solutions facing all Southern Hemisphere nations (for the report, this was all countries below the tropic of cancer), and makes for an interesting read. In particular, the report focuses on three main areas:
  1. How Southern Hemisphere countries can improve Space-related capabilities
  2. How Space Based Earth Observation technologies can benefit Southern Hemisphere countries – in particular by reducing the impact of natural disasters (a highly relevant topic as the white paper was written in Jan 2011)
  3. How Space Based Telecommunications can be used to address the UN Millennium Development Goals, with some interesting discussion on tele-medicine.

Overall the report makes a strong case for utilising Space-based capabilities to help solve social and economic problems that all Southern Hemisphere countries face. If you do get a chance to read it, don’t miss appendices 2, 3 and 4, which make for an interesting summary of some of the research that went into the report.

Perhaps one of the most important outcomes of the program for Australia is both the high number of young Space professions that have graduated and will hopefully become part of the Australian Space Industry, as well as the networks that they are now part of across the region – with the Southern Hemisphere Space leaders of tomorrow.

From all reports the Program was a great success – congratulations to all graduates. In fact, Space Boomerang hopes that he might be able to attend the program one day!

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