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International Space University 2.0

Rona Ramon, who also helped organize the university and the foundation she heads, said at the ceremony: When you come to NASA, you meet people who made history. You feel that everyone is working for a high purpose - and for the entire human race regardless of religion, race, belief and gender * Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman - the students learn about space from all aspects, not just the technical ones, which is important in the space age 2.0

Opening of the International Space University hosted in Haifa, July 2016. Photo: Avi Blizovsky
Opening of the International Space University hosted in Haifa, July 2016. Photo: Avi Blizovsky


This week the summer course of the International Space University opened at the Technion in cooperation with the Asher Institute for Space Research in the Faculty of Aeronautics and Space Engineering at the Technion and in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and the Municipality of Haifa.

John Connelly, Director of the International Space University, Space Studies 2016 who opened the press conference that accompanied the opening ceremony: "I am happy to be here, and to bring the International Space University's space studies cycle to the Technion. We hold the Space University studies around the world and I am happy for the opportunity to bring it to Israel."

"I want to talk about the students we brought here. These are the future space leaders. The Space University was created to educate the next generation of space leaders in an international, multidisciplinary and multicultural way. We have 104 students this year, which by the way we don't call them students but participants. Most of them are in their early thirties, and all of them have an advanced degree - a master's degree or even a doctorate, as well as 3-5 years of professional experience. They are already progressing but they want to study at ISU because they want to be a part of something bigger and become part of the global space community. We are happy to bring them to Haifa and the Technion."

Jeff Hoffman, professor of aeronautical engineering at MIT and former NASA astronaut for 20 years. I have good ties with the city of Haifa since my brother was here on an exchange student in high school in the late sixties. I have been back several times since then. When I was on the space shuttle and we were flying over Israel and the Middle East I said that I could see the most modern technology in the world and on the other hand - this is the land of the Bible. As we see in the Technion that develops the latest technologies. I am happy not only to teach the students but to see what people are doing here at the Technion.

In response to the question of the science website, how does the Space University prepare its graduates to participate in what is known as Space 2.0

Connelly: "Space 2.0 is an excellent term. It means that more and more private entrepreneurship is entering areas that used to belong to NASA. We see this in the US when SpaceX and other companies enter the field of private space, we see initiatives all over the world doing things that countries used to do."

Hoffman: "One of the main strengths of the Space University is that we not only teach space engineering and space science but also business, political, economic, moral and legal aspects that are essential today in the era of the changing environment of the space field with all the startup companies. We want the students to be exposed to all aspects of space efforts, not just the technical part."




Prof. Walter Peters, the president of the Space University, said at the same press conference: The reason we travel around the world is not because we don't have a center, but because the field of space has become global, when space operations become more and more expensive and it is not possible for one country to develop everything. Therefore, the decision of the founders of the university was to allow as many people as possible to participate in it."

"I am happy that we are here, the Technion is one of the best technological institutions in the world and in entrepreneurship you are in seventh place in the world. Thank you for the support we received to conduct the semester here. "

The president of the Technion, Prof. Peretz Lavi: "We are happy to host you. We have heard a lot about the International Space University. The Technion is one of the first universities in the world to launch a satellite, Taxat, which was supposed to operate for six years and operated for 13 years. Now we are about to launch three nano satellites. I'm glad you came because you raise awareness of the field of space, as well as the students and the open lectures."

In his lecture on the stage of the opening ceremony, Prof. Lavi added that the first faculty that came up on the current Technion campus was the Faculty of Aeronautics, according to the request of the legendary Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion who wanted to build a strong aerospace industry here. Prof. Lavi also told about his participation in research on sleeping in space, the results of which are still used by the astronauts every night.

Mayor of Haifa, Yona Yahav: "The Technion was founded 40 years before the state. Haifa is the largest city in the world in that over half of its population has an academic degree. And the smallest city in the world with the largest number of Nobel laureates, three and all won during my tenure. This is the only city where there has been coexistence between Jews and Arabs for over a century. "

Lihav also has memories of the space field - after finishing his law studies in Israel, he asked to live for a while in London to improve his English. He enrolled at the University of London and studied space law. "When I graduated, President Nixon signed a deal with Brezhnev that made everything I learned worth nothing."

Peretz Vezan, CEO of the Ministry of Science: My office and I are happy to take part in the event. We support the tuition fees of the Israeli students. More than a decade has passed since the first Israeli participated in the space shuttle. The Space University is a must for anyone who wants a career in the field in Israel.

Avi Blasberger, Director of the Israel Space Agency. "This is an important event because one of the tasks of the space agency is to bring awareness to the field in Israel, to promote engineering studies and interest the younger generation. Space is an important driver of the desire to study mathematics and engineering among students.

The opening event was also attended by Rona Ramon, the widow of the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who established the Ramon Foundation in the name of Ilan and their late son Assaf, who was killed in a training accident as a pilot in 2009, with her motto being academic excellence, social leadership and courage.

"I'm sure you'll have a fun summer. In the most beautiful city, you are at the respected institution for science and space - the Technion, you are in the good hands of the Israel Space Agency."

"A lot of things happened behind the scenes. A few days ago I received a letter from one of the first graduates who wrote about a dream that came true. When we arrived in Houston in 1998, it was clear that we were going to represent the country, Ilan as a pilot wanted to represent the Air Force. But as soon as you enter the corridor of NASA, everything changes. You know people who made history. You feel that everyone is working for a higher purpose - and for the entire human race regardless of religion, race, belief and gender. Good people working for such an important cause to make the world a better place

"When we were in Houston, Ilan learned a lot of things, including the educational aspect of the mission. NASA is routinely involved in education. We learned about the educational program, we wanted Israel to participate in it as well, and Ilan organized a class that polished mirrors for an international project, and also convinced students from Ort Motzkin to participate in what was the first experiment of students from Israel in space.

13 years have passed since the Columbia disaster, it was important to me as an Israeli to keep in touch with the space field. The agency does things from the diplomatic side, but I wanted to continue Ilan's tradition in education. Michael Porter, was the first to reveal the Space University to us. He insisted that there be Israeli students and with the help of friends and later also of the Space Agency and the Ministry of Science we were able to send so many good students to the university. They became important graduates in the field and that's what brought you (Space University) here."



Chris Salberger, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Space University and a graduate of the program's first cohort, reinforced Ramon's words and said that "beyond its scientific mission, the International Space University is a neutral platform that promotes the best in the world. Within the framework of the university, unprecedented ties were established between the US and Russia during the Cold War, and I believe that the existence of the program here in the Middle East may promote dialogue in this conflicted region as well. Remember: you came to study, but you were chosen because you are potential leaders who are going to change space - and humanity - in the decades to come."

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