SSP16 Haifa, Israel hosted by Technion

Space Education Panel

Thursday 28 July, 2016  7.30pm to 9pm
Churchill Auditorium
Open to public upon registration
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Moderator: Donald James (NASA Associate Administrator for Education)


  • Haim Russo (National Council for R&D (MOLMOP), Chairman of the committee for Industry-Academia Relationship and member of the Space Committee, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Technion),
  • Dr. Chris Welch (Prof. Astronautics and Space Engineering, ISU, International Astronautical Federation Vice President, for Education and Workforce Development),
  • Dr. Matthew Daniels (NASA Engineer, Research Affiliate, Stanford University, Advisor to the Director, Office of the Secretary, Defense/Net Assessment),
  • Dr. Pini Gurfil (Director, Asher Space Research Institute, Technion)

An important responsibility of the world's Space Agencies, commercial space companies, and informal STEM-related institutions (e.g. science centers) is to inform, inspire, and engage the public about the latest advances and discoveries in the space sector, and to develop programs that will inspire and help young people pursue careers in science and technology.

As we begin the second century of flight however, we must remain committed to excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and ensure that the next generation of explorers can accept the full measure of their roles and responsibilities in shaping the future. That includes broadening our reach to an even wider cohort of students and going beyond STEM. It’s no longer sufficient to have firm boundaries around traditional “STEM” fields for space exploration.

Space exploration must engage and appeal to artists and designers, makers and communicators. Students must be interdisciplinary, collaborative, and more “global” to be successful. Education for the future of space exploration can play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today who will be the leaders and pioneers of tomorrow. This Space Education Panel features experts who each day lead activities to inspire and motivate students to ensure the existence of a qualified workforce and to ensure progress in future space activities.

David Levy - A Nightwatchman's Journey

Monday 15 August, 2016  7.30pm to 9.30pm
Churchill Auditorium
Open to public upon registration
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David Levy is an internationally renowned Canadian astronomer who is celebrating 50 years of searching the sky for coments 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 “A Nightwatchman’s Journey”, discussing his experiences and observations in astronomy.

Dr. Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He 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.

Israel in Space Panel

Sunday 24 July, 2016  7.30pm to 9.30pm
Churchill Auditorium
Open to public upon registration
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Moderators: Dr. Deganit Paikowsky (Senior Researcher, Yuval Neeman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security)

Panelists: Avigdor Blasberger (Israel Space Agency Director General), Amnon Harari (Director of Space Program Office, Defense R&D, Israel Ministry of Defense), Opher Doron (Director General, MBT-Space, Israel Aerospace Industries), Pini Gurfil (Director of the Asher Space Research Institute, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology), Ofer Lapid (Space Entrepreneur, SpaceNest), Avishay Gal-Yam (Senior Scientist, Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science), Nili Mandelblit (Space Domain Coordinator, Israel Europe R&D Directorate)

Israel NASA picture

Ever since its early years Israel has been involved in advanced research and development activities in space. With its first scientific research rocket launched in 1961 and its first satellite launched in 1988 (making it the 8th member of the spacefaring nations club). Israel's insistence on maintaining ability to design, build, test and launch its own satellites has led to advanced engineering achievements and a startup mentality with regards to space technologies. These achievements and this mentality goes on as Israel enters the age of New Space and ever growing accessibility to space.

The 'Israel in Space' panel will present all aspects of space in Israel, with representatives from government, academia, industry and startups.

International Space University SSP16 – Chair Announcement

posterSSP16 webThis year again a large number of Faculty applied to be a Chair of either the core lectures, departments or team projects, all of which compose the two-month Space Studies Program.

After confirmation from ISU’s Academic Council on the selection of the chairs for SSP16, Dr. John Connolly, SSP16 director states: "During SSP16, ISU will, for the first time, nominate "Associate Chairs".  The Associate Chair position recognizes talented younger members of the ISU community and allows them to gain some important experience in partnership with a senior faculty member."

Dr. Su-Yin Tan, University of Waterloo, SSP16 Core Co-Chair, and SSP16 Space Applications Department Chair adds: “As the first SSP to be hosted in the Middle East, SSP16 promises to be a fascinating session and I am delighted to continue serving as Core Co-Chair.  I look forward to working with ISU and local staff and inviting international experts to Israel to speak about all interdisciplinary aspects of space.  It will also be a pleasure to Chair the Space Applications Department, since Israel's remote sensing satellites are amongst the best worldwide with many companies engaged in satellite operations, development and manufacturing of satellites, and the sale of telecommunication and remote sensing services.  This will offer a wealth of technical activities and visits that will enable participants to learn about the important role of civil and commercial space applications in Israel.”

Congratulations to the SSP16 chairs, co-chairs and associate chairs!

Core Chair 1: Su-Yin Tan, Canada
Core Chair 2: Chris Welch, UK
APP Department Chair: Su-Yin Tan, Canada
ENG Department Chair: Joe Pellegrino, USA
ENG Associate Chair: Maya Glickman-Pariente, Israel
HPS Department Chair: Kris Lehnhardt, Canada
HPS Associate Chair: Ana Diaz Artiles, Spain
HUM Department Co-Chair: Norah Patten, Ireland
HUM Department Co-Chair: Geoff Steeves, Canada
MGB Department Chair: Adil Jafry, USA
PEL Department Chair: Chris Johnson, USA
SCI Department Chair: Rene  Laufer, Germany
TP Big Data Chair: Barak Fishbain, Israel
TP Big Data Associate Chair: Rogan Shimmin, Australia
TP Mars Environment Chair: Jacob Cohen, USA
TP MEC Chair: Remco Timmermans, Netherlands

The Space Studies Program (SSP), an intense two-month professional development course for postgraduate students and professionals of all disciplines, is a unique educational experience. The curriculum covers the principal space related fields, both non-technical and technical and ranges from policy and law, business and management and humanities to life sciences, engineering, physical sciences and space applications. SSP16, the 29th Space Studies Program session will be hosted by the Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa in Israel in 2016 from 12 July to 1 September 2016.

Further information:
Applications online:

International Space University 29th Space Studies Program to convene in Haifa, Israel

Technion Campus Core 11 04 02The International Space University (ISU) is proud to announce that the 29th annual Space Studies Program (SSP) session will be hosted by the Technion Institute, Haifa in Israel from 12 July – 01 September 2016.

“ISU has a long‐standing relationship with Israel in general and Technion in particular. Many participants of Israel were able, also thanks to the Ilan Ramon Fund, to attend the ISU programs previously. It is therefore a genuine pleasure for ISU to further enhance this relationship and convene the SSP16 session in Haifa. It is evident that there will be considerable interest from other countries to discover more closely the amazing hi‐tech achievements and cultural richness of the host site” declared Prof. Walter Peeters, President of ISU.

Technion President, Prof. Peretz Lavie stated: "The Technion is proud to host the 29th annual Space Studies Program (SSP) in Haifa. The Technion is one of the first Universities that launched a satellite and has an active space program. We will ensure to turn the 29th program into an exciting event that will allow the participants to experience first‐hand Technion scientific achievements, and the beauty and culture of Israel".
ISU SSP16 One Pager recto

The SSP is an intense two-month program which offers the participants a unique and comprehensive professional development experience covering all aspects of space programs and enterprises. Disciplines highlighted include space physical sciences; space engineering; space policy, economics and law; space management and business; space and the humanities; space applications; and human performance in space. This program targets young and seasoned professionals from all disciplines as well as post‐graduate university students. The team projects allow participants to refine the topic as a team, and also produce professional quality reports and final presentations, all in the span of a few weeks. Every summer, the SSP takes place in a different location around the world. Recent sessions have convened in Graz, the NASA Ames Research Center, Beijing, Melbourne (Florida), Strasbourg, Montreal and Athens (Ohio).

Technion Campus Core 11 04 02International Space University is delighted that Israel will host the first-ever Space Studies Program in the Middle East.  Haifa is a world-class city that will provide a beautiful backdrop for our international, interdisciplinary and intercultural program, and Technion will offer our participants world-class facilities and educational opportunities.

More information on the Host Site:

Technion Israel Institue of Technology:
Asher Space Research Institute, Technion:

"Big Data" Space Information


In recent years the global data volume growth has been forty percent each year, the number of bytes created daily is 10 to the power of 18 and the number of servers used by big data companies ranges up to the millions. Although a lot of the data acquired might seem useless to the general population, governments, academia, and industry are learning how to use your location check-ins, your car engine temperature log and your cell phone reception quality history to make conclusions about the public mood and opinion, about traffic patterns and about environmental parameters such as air quality.

Space related research and space based observations are great contributors of big data, satellite telemetry, sensor data, observation logs and manned space mission studies all produce enormous amounts of information that can be examined again and again to understand more about our universe, our solar system, our planet and our body.

The "Big Space Data" TP will examine the world of big data with the eyes of the space community; the TP will map the data creators, the data depositories, the data managers and data consumers related to space and space based activities. The TP will then find ways to better the data flow from sensor to processor to general public. The TP should evaluate ways of using and reusing data acquired by space based and terrestrial sensors to learn as much as possible about the universe around us, the leading question should be "how do I make new conclusions on other matters from all the data available to me". The TP will need to take into consideration the technological challenges in data management as well as the legal and ethical issues that stand between protecting privacy and intellectual property and the general good.


In the past twenty years the leading question in the acquisition of knowledge and data has changed from "is the answer out there?" to "how do I find the most relevant answer out of the data haystack?". The quests for both obtaining and presenting the most accurate and relevant data are very important to space related research. As more and more private and public organizations conduct space related missions for Earth observation, space exploration and other scientific research using advanced sensors that pour trillions of bytes into data depositories there comes a need to manage the flow and dissemination of information. Leading research and development organizations, such as NASA and Google, employ whole departments dedicated to the management of knowledge and the improvement of data flow and conservation. Other organizations such as ESA have started annual space data conferences which discuss matter of data management, processing and dissemination. There is a need to better the flow of space related knowledge not only within a single organization or research discipline but globally, to all stakeholders.

Management of data requires consideration of many aspects that range from the technicality of holding and processing the data through issues of ownership, accessibility and privacy to matters of accuracy, reliability and subjective bias prevention.

Today, most of the space related data is available on the World Wide Web. However, this data and knowledge is distributed in many depositories and points of access. Although the abundance of space related databases has its advantages such as redundancy, lower susceptibility to biases and a broad reach to different communities, it also has disadvantages in matters of quality assurance, the format unification required for research and the danger of "not seeing the whole picture".
A need for a building a central data warehouse, a database of databases arises.


The primary objectives of this Team Project include:

  • Map the players and stakeholders in the knowledge flow process, from data acquisition, through data processing, data storage, data-based applications and utilities to data dissemination.
  • Study the benefits and hurdles and the different aspects (research, social, legal, technical) in holding a central point of access to space related data.
  • Draft a roadmap and recommend strategic actions that the space community in general and data providers (e.g., agencies, universities, companies, research institutes) in particular should implement to improve the knowledge flow process.
  • Realize the positive educational experience in learning how teamwork and problem solving are achieved in an international, multicultural, and multidisciplinary environment with time and resource constraints.
  • Produce a high quality report with practical and actionable recommendations that will assist decision makers and influence the future space related knowledge processes.


The tasks required to achieve these objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • Research, Identify and map current situation of space data to draft the current and near future space related knowledge flow.
  • Point out the obstacles, hurdles and tasks in data sharing and fusion on the legal, ownership, privacy, technical and proper use aspects.
  • Draft an optimal (and feasible) situation for the flow of space related knowledge and data.
  • Analyze specific case studies, in space sciences research fields and in space services fields, while referring to the current and desired states.
  • Define a set of parameters that could track the implementation of the strategy in short and long term.
  • Document findings and produce practical and actionable recommendations that will assist decision makers and influence the future direction of space related knowledge processes.
  • Produce all required SSP deliverables that will document the team’s work, conclusions and recommendations and use these deliverables to produce conference papers to the 2016 International Astronautical Congress and the 2017 ESA Conference on Big Data from Space.

Suggested References

Implications of New Discoveries in the Martian Environment


Recent Mars missions have revealed a new perspective on the Martian geological and atmospheric environment, including an abundance of groundwater and the presence of regolith perchlorate concentrations.  These findings may provide important resources for Human exploration and insight into Martian history while at the same time posing new challenges.

Water, and in particular flowing water, is important for life as we know it on Earth and an important resource for any future Human colony on Mars.  While perchlorate may pose a significant hazard to future space missions, it may be potentially leveraged as a resource.  By studying the origin and utilization of Mars environmental resources on Earth, we gain a better understanding of potential risk and use on Mars.


Our species will visit and colonize Mars.  As we analyze data from our current and past robotic missions to Mars, we get a new view of our neighbor, a view that includes both opportunities and risks.

Life, as we know it, and our species requires liquid water to sustain itself.  When Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed Mars in the late 1800’s he observed a network of lines that were interpreted as canals.  These interpretations changed as telescope resolution improved. In 1971, Mariner 9 returned images of dry riverbeds and canyons that seemed to indicate that water had existed on the Martian surface.  Recently, analysis of rock samples examined by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has confirmed an ancient wet environment that was favorable for microbial life.  Analysis of data obtained by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provided direct detection of water in the form of hydration of salts.

On Earth, perchlorate occurs both naturally and as a manufactured compound. Perchlorates are used extensively within the pyrotechnics industry, and ammonium perchlorate is also a component of solid rocket fuel.  Perchlorate was detected by Phoenix as the perchlorate ion in solution.  Reanalysis of the Viking Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) results implied its presence at the Viking sites.  The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on Curiosity is detecting perchlorate by the release of oxygen and chlorinated organics when samples are heated.

The Mars environment presents both challenges and opportunities for space exploration and the potential for life.  What will it take to make Humans on Mars a science reality and not science fiction?  When will our species truly step out of our nest called Earth?


  • Review Mars geological and atmospheric environment with an emphasis on recent Mars environment findings.
  • Study the implications of the new discoveries on future Human space exploration missions to Mars and how they can be used as in-situ resources for life support and habitability.
  • Discuss the biological implications of the recent Mars findings on Space Biology, Astrobiology, Human health, terraforming and Synthetic Biology.
  • Draft a Mars Human space exploration science and technology roadmap that outlines the priorities needed to further understand the potential use and effect of the new discoveries on crew and hardware.
  • Produce a final report with recommendations that will inform decision makers and influence future Human space exploration missions to Mars.


  • Survey of current understanding of the Mars environment with an emphasis on new discoveries.
  • Research the implications of the new discoveries based on Earth and space analogue observations and results.
  • Review National and international Mars exploration goals set by various committees (MEPAG, ISECG, etc.)
  • List the Mars environmental challenges and opportunities for Human space exploration.
  • Review ISRU technologies and suggest new approaches utilizing the new discoveries, such as converting in-situ materials and 3D printing to support human space exploration
  • Describe and suggest instrumentation for future Mars missions or strategize on mission designs around the presence of the new discoveries. (Optional)
  • Discuss how the new discoveries affect us on Earth and potential national and international implications. (Optional)
  • Produce a document that summarizes the findings and recommendations in a format that can inform decision makers and be used to develop a conference paper or position article.

Artificial Gravity


One of the key challenges of long term human presence for exploration and research in low earth orbit is the microgravity environment. This environment is a key enabler for research on today's International Space Station, but is also a major factor contributing to negative effects on the human body and mind.

In order to expand the capabilities of a future orbiting station the element of artificial gravity will need to be added. This team project will look into the design challenges of a large orbiting facility in low earth orbit. This orbiting facility should not only support microgravity and other space-based research, but also be a place to live, work and visit for much larger numbers of people than current space stations.

The Artificial Gravity Conceptual Vehicle Design includes key engineering and design considerations for a crewed low earth orbit space station, which uses rotation to provide artificial gravity. It will have a center section which will provide a microgravity environment for research and manufacturing, and will also serve as the docking location for the station. This vehicle will be a grand complex. It is designed to be orbited in the 2035 to 2040 timeframe, and it will make living and working in space commonplace. The station will be very large and provide an environment compatible with work and tourism. It is expected that up to 200 people may reside on the complex at any one time. Workers and their families will live on board. A hotel to house tourists will be part of the complex. There will be schools, stores, green areas
with ponds or streams, a cinema, restaurants etc.


This proposed TP has been proposed by a commercial entity that is not currently associated with ISU. The proposal asks for ISU to study an artificial gravity LEO facility for the commercial customer, but authorizes open release of the study results.


Conceptual design and associated analyses of a commercial artificial gravity (AG) LEO space station.


  1. An overall technical description of the operational AG Space Station. 
  2. An overall description of the trades and recommended technical solutions involving major AG Space Station systems.
  3. Resupply strategy for the AG Space Station. The resupply needs should be traded against system design (e.g., life support closure level vs. consumable needs)
  4. Launch and assembly strategy of the AG Space Station should attempt to minimize launch costs while remaining consistent with the ground rules and constraints.
  5. Suggest an appropriate name for this facility.
  6. Business case analysis for an AG LEO facility, including identification of commercial and other customers
  7. Analysis of the legal framework for a commercial LEO facility


This proposed TP examines a commercial space project, without consideration to nation of development, launch, operation or servicing. Unlike team projects that address specific issues of national space agencies or geographic regions, a commercial project of this type can be implemented by any a broad range of international or commercial interests, and offer services to a broad international customer base.

ISU is being asked to perform this TP for the unique international and intercultural perspective that the ISU participants bring to this task.


  • ISU requirements (TPP, TP Report, Executive Summary, Final Presentation)
  • IAC Paper and Presentation (Sep 2016)
  • UN-COPUOS STSC/GA Conference Paper and Presentation (Feb/Jun 2017)
  • Stakeholder presentation and academic poster template for local participant use

Suggested References


ISU SSP16 – “We want you!”

If you haven’t applied for SSP16 yet, or are a step further and do not know which department to choose from, listen to Dr. Rene Laufer, SSP03 alumnus and SSP16 Space Science Department Chair!

In less than six months over 100 space enthusiasts will participate in ISU’s 29th Space Studies Program. This session located for the first time in the Middle East, is hosted by The Technion, Haifa, Israel, one of the first universities having launched a satellite and holding a space program.

The participants will be welcomed by Prof. Pini Gurfil, head of the Asher Space Research Institute and director of the local organizing committee of this SSP. They will be exposed, in the true spirit of ISU, to a fine and dense mix of activities including an encounter with Rona Ramon, Ilan Ramon’s widow, a model rocket launch from a kibbutz, a spectacular viewing of a meteor shower. 

Start a virtual tour of the libraries now!

The International Space University Library and the Technion Libraries are already working together to provide you with the best services and resources to support your learning and research needs over the SSP.

ISU library has a rich collection of resources covered in priority all aspects of the space sector. Besides printed resources, the catalogue also contains e-resources from the internet, e-books and student reports. Publicly available documents and past Team Projects reports are readily available to you!

ISU Library Portal:

ISU Library Facbeook webpage:

ISU Library

The new library portal of the Technion libraries combines all 14 departmental/faculty libraries with the Central Library and provides access to a large panel of multidisciplinary resources, including space-related subjects. Through the portal, users can search for books and e-books, scientific journals and articles and use online databases.

Technion Libraries Portal:

Technion Library

Follow SSP16 on Social Media

The 2016 edition of the ISU Space Studies Program will kick off at Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa on 12 July. More than 100 participants from all over the world will start an eight week rollercoaster ride through the world of space. During these eight weeks participants will go through all aspects of the space industry, through lectures, workshops, professional visits and special hands-on activities. Some of these activities, like special VIP evening lectures, are open to the general public, but of course you will have to be present in Israel to be able to attend.

SSP16 hashtags

Read more: Follow SSP16 on Social Media

Space Studies Program – Only a few days left “To make history with ISU”!

“If you want to make one giant leap with us this summer, together with one hundred already selected participants – sign up before 30 April 2016!” - John Connolly, director of the Space Studies Program 2016.

In less than three months over 100 space enthusiasts will participate in ISU’s 29th Space Studies Program. This session located for the first time in the Middle East, is hosted by The Technion, Haifa, Israel, one of the first universities having launched a satellite and holding a space program.
The participants will be welcomed by Prof. Pini Gurfil, head of the Asher Space Research Institute and director of the local organizing committee of this SSP. They will be exposed, in the true spirit of ISU, to a fine and dense mix of activities including an encounter with Buzz Aldrin – ISU Chancellor, Rona Ramon, Ilan Ramon’s widow, Jessica Meir a model rocket launch from a kibbutz, a spectacular viewing of a meteor shower.

Join the SSP16 #DreamItLaunchIt team! Register before 30 April 2016 under


Technion Campus Rules

Rules of Behavior at the Neve Shaanan Campus – Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology

1. Entry procedures:

Security inspection and identification – all persons entering the campus must identify themselves to the security personnel and undergo a security inspection process. A persons refusing to identify themselves or present their belongings for inspection will be denied entry.

Entry with a vehicle/motorcycle – entry with a vehicle is allowed only to approved persons with a valid parking tag or a pre-arranged entry permit.

Entry with firearms – entry with firearms will only be allowed for bearers of a valid permit after inspection and identification.

Bicycles – entry with bicycles is permitted. Parking is allowed only in the locations intended for this.

2. Behavior around the campus:

Billboards – you may not post private or advertising bills such as selling a vehicle etc. Regarding bills on the student association's billboards – you should contact the association for approval.

Advertisement – it is forbidden to distribute advertising material around the campus without prior approval.

Smoking – It is strictly forbidden to smoke in the various buildings. Smoking is allowed only in the open areas outside the buildings and in places designated for smoking.

Peddling – it is strictly forbidden to peddle around the campus without prior approval.

Clothing – you may not enter the campus bare-chested of bare-footed.

You may not bring bicycles, skates, skate boards, scooters etc. into the buildings. You may not ride a bicycle or any of the vehicles on the lawns.

3. Security behavior rules:

A. Safeguarding personal belongings – you are requested to guard your personal belongings and never leave it unattended around the campus.

B. Emergencies – if you have been requested to leave the office/classroom due to a security/safety issue, you are requested to do so in a speedy fashion (no running) and exit in the quickest way to an open area/parking lot.

C. You must follow the security personnel's instructions.

4. Entry and driving with a vehicle:

A. Entry is permitted only for the holders of a permanent or temporary permit issued by the Department of Security.

B. You may view the rules for issuing permits to eligible persons, as well as the costs, at the Department of Security's web page on though the tag distribution office.

C. A vehicular entry permit is personal and is not transferrable. You are strictly forbidden from transferring the permit from one person to another or from one vehicle to another.

D. Parking – you may only park in the marked parking spaces and according to signage.

E. Driving inside, the campus will only be done according to the road signs and markings and according to the security personnel's instructions.

F. Driving and parking contrary to the instructions consist a disciplinary breach of the Technion's regulations, a person committing a breach will be reported and summoned to an academic disciplinary committee.

5. Reporting unusual events, objects, and persons

A. You are required to report to the Department of Security about any suspicious or unusual object or person (for this matter, an unattended object is considered a suspicious object).

B. In case of suspicion of burglary or theft of your belongings or work equipment, you are required to report immediately to the security center.

C. Fire event – in case you have encountered a fire event around the campus you are requested to report to the security center and move away from the place.

D. In case of a medical event or an injury you are required to report to the security center (even if an Ambulance have already been called).

E. Suspicious mail – in case you have received a mailed item for which you do not know of the sender's identity and you suspect its contents, you may not open the envelope and you must report to the security center immediately.

6. Contact details:

  1. Depart of Security center for day to day affairs – 04-8292740, 04-8294242.
  2. Depart of Security center for emergencies – 04-8292222 04-8294242.
  3. Tag distribution office – 04-8293590.
  4. Department of Security offices – 04-8292494.
  5. Department of Security web page –

Download the Technion Campus Rules

ISU Chancellor Dr. Buzz Aldrin to address SSP16 in Haifa, Israel on July 26

Celebrating 47 years since his historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, the International Space University’s (ISU) Chancellor, Dr. Buzz Aldrin will visit ISU's 2016 Space Studies Program (SSP16). Dr. Aldrin will address SSP16 participants, faculty and the general public on the evening of 26 July 2016 in the Churchill Auditorium on the Technion campus in Haifa, Israel. Buzz Aldrin is one of only 12 humans to have walked on the moon, and is one of the leading advocates for a human Mars mission.

ISU Jerusalem Oct2015 035

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 or iconic than Apollo 11 moonwalker, Dr. Buzz Aldrin.

Dr. Aldrin earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. He was selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (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 ½ hour spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, 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 vocal 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.

The SSP is an intense two-month program which offers the participants a unique and comprehensive professional development experience covering all aspects of space programs and enterprises. This session located for the first time in the Middle East, is hosted by The Technion, Haifa, Israel, one of the first universities having launched a satellite and holding a space program.

ISU Alumni Conference: 3-6 August 2016

Dear Alumni and Members of the ISU Family,

It is my pleasure to invite you to the 2016 ISU Alumni Conference / Weekend, hosted this year from August 3rd – 6th 2016 in Haifa, Israel at the Technion University! Each year this Alumni event brings together ISU alumni from across the world for a mixture of informative and informal activities. One of the key focuses of these activities is networking. After 28 years the ISU family now includes over 4,000 alumni from ISU’s core programs: The Space Studies Program, Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program, Master’s Program, and Executive MBA.

ISU Alumni Conference 2016

This year in Haifa you will have the opportunity to meet alumni from all of these different ISU programs. In another ISU intercultural experience, the event schedule has been shifted forward to accommodate the Shabbat. In light of this the program organizers have scheduled a series of optional tours for ISU alumni seeking to explore the cultural and historical history of the area together.

We will once again be hosting a joint career fair and poster session with both the SSP participants and the ISU Alumni. This promises to be a great event for alumni looking for work, hiring, or interested in showing off their latest projects and activities to fellow alumni. On the event website you will find a detailed overview of this very diverse program. Everyone at ISU is looking forward to welcoming you to Haifa!

Walter Peeters, ISU President

All information and registration for the ISU Alumni Conference 2016 can be found here at the ISU website

Technion is ready to welcome SSP16... in a BIG way!

Haifa, 27 May 2016. The Technion Local Organizing Team put up the Space Studies Program 2016 banner at one of the buildings of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology yesterday. Only 45 days to go until the opening ceremony, where participants from all over the world will start their eight-week journey into the world of space, with Technion as their Mission Control Center!

Technion Team

Photo credit: Neta Vizel (Technion)

Simon "Pete" Worden - The Breakthrough Initiatives

Tuesday 2 August, 2016  7.30pm to 9.30pm
Chruchill Auditorium
Open to public upon registration
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Simon Pete WordenAt 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.

SSP16 is ready for launch - Week 0 blog

Haifa, 11 July 2016, by Remco Timmermans - The arrival of the mission control crew at Technion marks the beginning of an epic eight-week global space education mission. In the so-called week zero the core crew checks if all systems are go and gets itself acquainted with all processes and procedures. This core crew consists of Management, the Academic and Logistics Coordinators, the all-important Tech Team, the External Relations Team and the different Teaching Associates. Week zero is almost a mini-SSP in itself, as this group of about 25 people prepares things such that the 100+ participants will have the best space experience of their lives, just like most of the crew had when they were participants.

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ISU SSP17 Call for Chairs, Call for Teaching Associates & Staff, Call for Faculty

ISU is now accepting applications for Chairs, Teaching Associates, Staff, Faculty and Visiting Lecturers for its 2017 SSP in Cork Institute of Technology in Cork (CIT), Ireland from 19 June- 18 August 2017.

IMPORTANT: Applications will only be accepted through the ISU Space Studies Program Involve online application form. The link is provided below. Applications submitted by e-mail will not be accepted.


  • SSP17 Core, Department, and TP Chair Responses:
    26 August 2016 by midnight GMT
  • SSP17 Staff, TA, Faculty and Visiting Lecturers:
    30 September 2016 by midnight GMT

To respond to this open call, please follow these steps:

1. Using any web browser, open the link:

2. Click on the "Calls for next SSP Chairs, Faculty, Staff, and TAs" link in the gray box. PLEASE READ THE CALLS FIRST! This is important, even if you have applied/participated in the SSP before. There are changes and updates, including the new Team Project descriptions for 2017.

3. After you have read the calls, please log in to ISU-SSP Involve.

a. If you have never logged into ISU-SSP Involve before, click the "Create my account" button at the bottom of the page. Provide your preferred e-mail address and then input a password, any password, but preferably one you can easily remember. We will use your preferred e-mail address to communicate with you.

b. If you have already created an account, log in with the e-mail address and self-selected password that you used to create your ISU-SSP Involve account. Remember: this account is separate from your ISU account.

4. Input your contact and background information. Save it.

5. Provide the information requested for the position(s) in which you are interested. Save your inputs.

6. Sign out when you are finished with the session.

7. You do not need to complete the entire form at once. You may return to ISU-SSP Involve and log in to edit , update, or add to your response up until the deadline.

If you have any questions about the INVOLVE website, please contact ISU IT.

Please share this announcement with anyone you think might be interested. While we try our best to reach everyone in the ISU community and beyond, we inevitably miss a few. Do not hesitate to share.

We are looking forward to your applications.

Sightseeing in Caesaria

By Allyson Reneau - One of the best things about being on staff at International Space University’s Summer Studies program is the wonderful opportunity to travel and explore together. Our trip to this ancient city of Caesarea was no exception.

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Planetary Exploration with... Lego!

Haifa, 28 July 2016, by Remco Timmermans - Planetary exploration is an important topic of the ISU core lectures and workshops at the beginning of the summer program. The best way to learn about a topic is to experience it, so every year about 25 participants take the challenge and some long hours to build planetary exploration rovers. In the timespan of two or three days they design, build, test and rebuild a small rover that complies to basic interplanetary research criteria. It needs an obstacle avoidance system, a way to keep it within a certain research area and - most importantly - a system to collect samples. If time permits, the ability for the robot rover to play music may be added, which may not be useful for scientific purposes, but certainly increases the entertainment value for the audience. 

Read more: Planetary Exploration with... Lego!

SSP16 goes to Mars

Haifa/Montreal, 9 August 2016, by Marit Meyer - Driving a rover remotely from the comfort of your own computer seems like it is straight out of a video game. So when I first heard of a ‘Robotic Planetary Exploration Analogue Mission' (RPEAM), I imagined a geeky adolescent on a computer with soda and chips at her or his side, working a joystick with greasy fingers and cheering when the rover mission goal was accomplished.

SSP16 Mars Mission Sponsors

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The Human Side of the Columbia Mission

Space shuttle Columbia’s STS-107 mission was a milestone for space life science, but the mission’s vast accomplishments were overshadowed by the mission’s tragic end on 1st August 2003. Embedded within this mission are many human stories - not only of the crew, but of the thousands of people on Earth whom the mission touched. This event also had a strong impact in Israel as the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, lost his life in this tragic accident.
SSP16, in Haifa, Israel, was therefore a very appropriate venue to highlight the human side of this tragic event. An exceptional panel was brought together in Technion with panelists who were closely involved in this tragedy.
Rona Ramon and Jon Clark shared the most personal connection to the mission, their spouses, Israeli Air Force officer Ilan Ramon and NASA astronaut Laurel Clark, were two of the crewmembers lost on the flight.
ISU faculty Doug Hamilton was a flight surgeon who worked with the crew and participated in their recovery, and John Connolly led one of the many teams who searched 3000 square kilometers of east Texas to recover the remains of shuttle itself.

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Read more: The Human Side of the Columbia Mission

ISU Chancellor Dr. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin visits SSP16

As part of a tour in Israel, sponsored by a number of Israeli organizations including ELAL, the recently appointed ISU Chancellor and Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin visited ISU’s Space Studies Program hosted by Technion, Haifa on 26 July 2016. 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, Dr. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin!

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SSP16 Week 5 TA Blog

Haifa, 14 Aug 2016, by Dan Cohen - This week, as all those before it, was really packed with amazing activities! The most special ones for me were the scientific experiment on board of the drone, which was sent to the stratosphere by the engineering department. We used the balloon as a tribute to Victor Francis Hess, Nobel laureate for the discovery of cosmic radiation using a balloon!

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Read more: SSP16 Week 5 TA Blog

Jerusalem, the Holy City

Jerusalem, 12 August 2016, by Sanja Šćepanović - Being in Israel is not complete without a visit to Jerusalem. Depending on whether one considers themselves religious or not, this visit might look different, but in every case is an extraordinary experience. This is a result of discussions with several colleagues and participants who also visited there.

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A mari usque ad astra!

Haifa, 17 August 2016, by Maria Lucas-Rhimbassen - After having an amazing experience during SSP15, I had the chance to be granted the opportunity to be joining once again the SSP team and to work alongside remarkable people who all share a deep passion for space. Initially, my role was defined as librarian/accountant, making sure all the staff gets their weekly stipend and reimbursement in the local currency (NIS). This role does not vary throughout the summer and I must scan on a weekly basis all the receipts as well as compile all transactions in an excel sheet which is shared with ISU Central. This way, I keep in touch with all the great people within the ISU community.

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Read more: A mari usque ad astra!

Israel Heritage Tour

Haifa, 16 August 2016, by Irina Thaler - Last week we went on a two day tour to explore Israel. We first visited Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Holocaust memorial museum. It provided a very balanced mixture between an enormous collection of historical facts about the Holocaust and its different forms in various countries combined with personal stories.

After that we visited the old city of Jerusalem. We saw the grave of King David, who made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom. In the same building there is the church from which it is said that Jesus had the last supper with his Apostles.

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Team Project Space Big Data

Haifa, 23 August 2016, by Dimitra Stefoudi - This summer in Haifa, one of the ISU SSP Team Projects is working on Space Big Data, under the leadership of Barack Fishbain, Daniel Brack and Sanja Scepanovic. Our team comprises of thirty-five people and we are all aiming at going through a project that will significantly impact the world of Space Big Data. Our journey together started a few days after the kick-off of the Space Studies Program, with team-building activities, where we acquired strong cooperation skills and got acquainted with efficient team organization.

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The Amazing Space Big Data Team Project, showing how big Big Data is. (Intentional multiple use of the word “big”)

Read more: Team Project Space Big Data

Business in space. Dream it. Launch it. Sell it.

...and deal with it!

Haifa, 24 August 2016, by Maria Lucas Rhimbassen - This year's Space Management and Business was all about experiential learning. The outcome is a group of 15 participants who have all shown great proactive spirit and initiative, great teamwork and humble but effective leadership. The MGB crew managed itself as a small company, where both organic management and community management became one and the same, while the MGBer's dynamism sparked through not only great interest in entrepreneurship, but of natural talent for intrapreneurship and agility. Needless to say how impressed and proud we are, both the Chair (Adil Jafry) and myself (TA), of our crew who made it happen and who will do business in space by dreaming big, launching their creativity and selling their innovative ideas.

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Read more: Business in space. Dream it. Launch it. Sell it.

SSP16 Rocket Launch

Kibbutz Ga'led, 19 August 2016, by John Connolly, SSP Director - Fridays are typically the first day of the weekend in Israel, but Friday August 19th was a work day for International Space University’s rocket scientists.  Four-person teams from the SSP Engineering department were each challenged to design, construct and fly a mid-power rocket that satisfied a specific set of requirements, and teams worked into the early hours of launch day to complete their unique – and experimental – rockets.

This year’s launch site was a kibbutz southeast of Haifa that has been in existence since 1945.  Gal‘ed is home to 400+ Israelis who live in a collective community, and on this morning they welcomed 100+ ISU participants, staff and faculty to their land.  A large white tent was in place to provide shade, couches and tables provided a comfortable environment to watch the launches, and generous breakfast buffets – complete with artistic baristas – provided breakfast for the early morning crowd.  This is the way all rocket launches should be catered!

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ISU Space Studies Program 2016 successfully closed in Haifa

On 1 September 2016 ISU’s Space Studies Program, SSP16, was successfully closed at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. SSP16 director John Connolly received the traditional SSP poster signed by all the participants at this occasion.

The audience was addressed by video by Bob Richards, ISU founder, Prof. Pini Gurfil on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee and Tom Cremins, representing NASA. Nahum Zamora presented the views of the participants as class speaker, who got their SSP certificates in the presence of Steve Brody, ISU Vice President.

Also as per ISU tradition, Prof. Niall Smith, representing the SSP17 Local Organizing Committee, presented the Cork Institute of Technology, the next SSP site. He was introduced by Dr. Omar Hatamleh, who will take over as SSP director, on detachment from NASA.

The day before, the three SSP16 Team Projects were presented, namely:

  • STARPORT1, presenting the concept of a commercial space station in LEO. The station foresees artificial gravity for a permanent habitation of 200 people;
  • aMARTE reviewed the most recent discoveries on the Martian environment and evaluated the different implications thereof for human Mars exploration;
  • SPACE BIG DATA examined the exponential growth of data received from space assets and proposed a solution, involving the private sector, to exploit these data.

More details on the outcome of this project can be found in the video:

With this first SSP ever in Israel being a success, and the next SSPs also taking place in countries which never hosted an SSP before, ISU is more and more continuing to expand its footprint all over the world.

SSP16 Team Projects in the ISU Library

The three Team Project reports the Space Studies Program 2016 are now available online on the Library website in the STUDENT PROJECTS section.

- Starport 1.
The report designs a public and commercial space station in low Earth orbit (LEO) capable of accommodating people in an artificial gravity environment.

- Space big data: overcoming barriers, creating value.
This report provides a definition of space big data and presents a comprehensive analysis of the activities of stakeholders within the space big data value chain

- aMARTE: a Mars roadmap for travel and exploration.
It explores the implications of new discoveries in the Martian environment on a future human exploration mission to Mars.


  1. Management
  2. Chairs
  3. Academics
  4. TAs
  5. Logistics
  6. Public Relations
  7. IT
  8. SEAC & TP Editors
  9. Participant Liaison & Library

SSP16 Host Institution

Technion Logo Eng Ver White

Technion City, Haifa, Israel

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology was founded in 1912 in Haifa and is the oldest university in Israel and the Middle East. The university offers degrees in science and engineering, and related fields such as architecture, medicine, industrial management and education.

The Technion is a science and technology research university, among the world’s top universities, dedicated to the creation of knowledge and the development of human capital and leadership, for the advancement of the State of Israel and all humanity.

The Technion is noted as a global pioneer in multidisciplinary research into fields including energynanotechnology, and life science.

The Technion has 4 Nobel Laureates, a graduate and 3 faculty members.

More about the SSP16 host institution:
Welcome to Technion
Technion Map in English (PDF)
SSP16 Campus map



The SSP16 is supported at different levels. ISU would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support:

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Host Institution


Local Sponsors


MoSTS Logo

Ilan Ramon Foundation

Haifa Municipality Israel ADELIS logo 10ans
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logoelbit ENG ELAL


Major Sponsors

ADELIS logo 10ans Axiom SPACE
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Program Supported By

China Space Foundation   ESA

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Ilan Ramon Foundation

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For more information about sponsorship application and promotional opportunities, please contact us.