Experts from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France will arrive in Israel for the first time in July 2016, to hold its annual Space Studies Program at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.ISU is a private, non-profit educational institution. It was established in 1987 to develop future leaders of the world space community by providing interdisciplinary educational programs to students and space professionals in an international, intercultural environment in France and around the world.The institution also serves as a neutral international forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas about space and space applications, and promotes international understanding and cooperation.This will be the first Space Studies Program to be held anywhere in the Middle East.The course was recently held in Ohio, Florida, Melbourne, Montreal and Beijing. The Technion and ISU’s joint efforts, as well as Israel’s advances in space technology, led the program to be held in Israel.The Technion and ISU announced on Wednesday that retired US astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the second man after Neal Armstrong to walk on the moon, will arrive to head the delegation. This will not be the 85-year-old space hero’s first visit to Israel, as he attended the annual International Astronautical Congress of the International Astronautical Federation in Jerusalem, just this past summer. Aldrin joined ISU’s team only recently.In its two-month Space Studies Program and its one-year master’s degree program, ISU offers its students a core curriculum covering all disciplines related to space programs and enterprises, space science, space engineering, systems engineering, space policy and law, business and management and space and society.Both programs involve an intense student research team project, providing international graduate students and young space professionals the opportunity to solve complex problems by working together in an intercultural environment.Since its founding, ISU has graduated more than 4,000 students from over 100 countries, many of whom now hold senior positions in the space industry, said ISU president Walter Peters.The visitors will meet with Science, Technology and Space Minister Ophir Akunis and Rona Ramon, widow of Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, who died in the ill-fated return to Earth of NASA’s Columbia mission in 2003. The program will also feature a panel analyzing what went wrong with that international mission.