The International Space University 31st Space Studies Program Kicks Off

The International Space University 31st Space Studies Program opens its doors today at the European Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, Netherlands.

For over three decades, the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP) has trained generations of space professionals. This year, the program will be hosted by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) in collaboration with three leading Dutch space organizations: Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Leiden University, and the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESA-ESTEC) in Noordwijk. Combined, these institutes represent the best in European space research, engineering, technology, operations, and policy.

The programme officially opens today at ESA ESTEC, with the presence of the Dutch King Willem-Alexander. For the next two months, 110 space professionals from 25 countries will learn about the latest advancements in space technology and research. The program offers participants a comprehensive professional development experience, covering disciplines such as 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. 

“The historical academic reputations of Delft and Leiden Universities, combined with their excellent modern facilities, will provide the academic foundation for SSP.  The partnership with ESTEC will further strengthen ISU's ties to ESA and will offer a venue where the SSP participants can witness today's theories and technologies becoming tomorrow's space missions,” stated Space Studies Program Director John Connolly.

During the summer the ISU will also host a series of side events open to the public with a focus on space. Citizens will have the chance to meet astronauts from ESA and NASA, participate in a robot building competition, watch space-themed movies, and many other activities


The future of humanity relies on space exploration. Conquering the next barrier not only is full of expectations for the advancement of science, but also is also highly regarded as a journey that will bring humankind together. But where will we go (and where we will not) by 2030? For the 24 edition of OPENSPACE, we met the experts who can answer the question, “What does the future of space exploration really hold?”