TECHNION PRESIDENT Prof. Peretz Lavie addresses the first summer program of the International Space University in Haifa yesterday..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
More than 100 students from 24 countries, including Israelis, have come to Haifa for two-and- a-half months to attend a special summer program of the International Space University at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. It is the first such program in Israel and in the Middle East.
ISU, which was founded in Strasbourg, France, in 1987, is a private, nonprofit institution that develops the future leaders of the world space community by providing interdisciplinary educational programs to students and space professionals in an international, intercultural environment.
The post-graduate-level university also serves as a neutral international forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas on challenging issues related to space and space applications; promotes international understanding and cooperation; and informs the public about space initiatives.
The courses include space engineering, space medicine, space sciences, space law and policies, systems engineering and management of space businesses.
Its 4,000 graduates from 100 countries, current students and faculty form an interactive global network to encourage the development of space for peaceful purposes, improve life on Earth and advance humanity into space.
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Rona Ramon – widow of fallen Columbia space shuttle astronaut Col.
Ilan Ramon – said that what she learned in Houston where he trained was that US National Aeronautics and Space Administration employees “are devoted not only to space but also to improving the lives of people on Earth.”
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Technion president Prof.
Peretz Lavie recalled that, in 1984, he had a connection to space as a psychologist and sleep expert. He developed with the Harvard professor who guided him a device to research sleep in space that has been used since then by NASA.
Having ISU here to give courses, Lavie said, “is a great honor for us, as a leading university in the sciences and engineering and one of the first in the world to send a satellite to space. Next year, we are due to dispatch to space the world’s first cluster of three autonomous satellites that will move in space in formation.”
ISU president Prof. Walter Peeters thanked the Technion for its warm welcome and said: “We hold the program every summer in a different place, and today, to advance significant space projects, cooperation is needed. No one body or country can do it by itself.
The summer program is very broad, including not only engineering but also politics, commerce, law and entrepreneurship.”
The commander of the international space station, US astronaut Jeff Williams, sent a photograph with congratulations to the ceremony.
“The station will influence the future of humanity in the coming decades. We hope you enjoy the opportunity to study and work in the beautiful city of Haifa in Israel.”
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said the decision to hold the Technion’s program in Haifa is “excellent. First, this is where the Technion is located. Second, this is the smallest city in the world to have three Nobel Prize laureates, all from the Technion. Third, it’s the only city that for over 100 years has promoted life with real cooperation of Jews and Arabs.”
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