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OU Hosting Space Program in 2015

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Ohio University has announced that it will host the 2015 session of the 28th annual Space Studies Program, a summer program for aspiring space-exploration professionals.

The SSP, scheduled to run June 15 through Aug. 14, 2015, is a program organized by the International Space University, a private non-profit university focused on graduate-level programs for students interested in working in a variety of fields related to the exploration of outer space. The Institute, based in Strasbourg, France, is formally recognized by the government of France as an official institute of higher education and has graduated over 3,300 students worldwide.

Gary Martin, SSP director, was quoted in the Ohio University Compass saying, “With its cutting edge academic facilities and modern accommodations all situated in the rolling hills and forest of southern Ohio, the university is one of the nicest spots in America.”

The partnership between ISU and OU is the result of some close faculty ties between the institutions, with Dean Dennis Irwin from the Russ College of Engineering serving as an ISU faculty member and frequently participates in the SSP sessions since 1998. Dean Irwin is excited that university will host this event.

“It is unusual that we host such a dedicated and theme-focused group. The intellectual energy will be at a level new to us,” Irwin said.

In the past, ISU Dean Angie Bukley also served as the College’s Stocker Visiting Professor.

The program plans to bring guest lecturers to Athens, many coming from a broad array of disciplines. Numerous lectures, including famous astronauts and scientists, will be open to the general public. There are plans for multiple workshops covering relevant topics including remote sensing instrument design, small satellite design, space habitat design and microgravity experiments that will all be held on OU’s campus.

Irwin feels that this type of program will ultimately benefit his college and the entire university in attracting a higher caliber of student and faculty.

“Participants typically represent many of the top engineering and scientific institutes and companies from around the world, and many hold academic degrees from the most prestigious universities in the world,” Irwin said.

The areas of study to be covered 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.

Irwin says that no major cost for hosting this event will fall to the university.

“The Russ College will provide a small amount of in-kind contributions, mostly personnel and logistical support.  However, most costs will be reimbursed by ISU to Ohio University,” Irwin said.

The university plans to hold this summer’s event at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

The SSP caters mostly to young professionals and graduate students.

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