Build a rocket, launch a balloon at UniSA

By on 14 January, 2020

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The Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program (SHSSP) has officially opened at the University of South Australia, bringing together more than 50 participants from 11 countries.

Now in its 8th year, the prestigious program is conducted by UniSA in partnership with the International Space University, based in Strasbourg, France.

More than 250 students have graduated from the SHSSP at UniSA and this year’s class of 54 participants is the largest yet.

They hail from Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, UAE and USA.

The SHSSP is part of an extensive commitment to the space industry at UniSA.

UniSA’s Innovation and Collaboration Centre (ICC) has also launched Venture Catalyst Space, an incubator program to develop ideas from entrepreneurs and start-up companies in the space sector.

SHSSP program co-director Dr Ady James is a Senior Research Fellow at University College London Department of Space and Climate Physics and an adjunct staff member at the University of South Australia.

“South Australia’s well-established contribution to the space industry was further recognised with the recent announcement that Adelaide will be home to the Australian Space Agency,” Dr James said.

“With a new Space Agency and the growth in interest in space in the community – especially among young people – there are opportunities for Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program alumni to create a critical mass of expertise in a variety of areas.

“The recent extension of the ISU and UniSA relationship agreement provides an opportunity to continue to expand this productive educational collaboration to support the wider space community.”

The SHSSP is designed for professionals involved in the international space sector, graduate researchers seeking broader knowledge of international space activities, and undergraduate students in the final two years of their studies seeking exposure to the various aspects of space studies.

There are four public events:

  • Astronaut and Human Spaceflight Panel with International Astronaut Dr Paolo Nespoli at the Allan Scott Auditorium, City West Campus, from 6pm on January 17.
  • Hazards of Human Space Exploration presentation with guest speaker Dr Gordon Cable from 7pm on January 23 at UniSA Mawson Lakes Campus.
  • Opportunities in Australia’s Space Industry panel at UniSA Mawson Lakes from 7pm on January 31.
  • Interstellar Program Alpha Centauri event with guest speaker Dr Simon Peter ‘Pete’ Worden from 4pm on February 2 at the Allan Scott Auditorium, City West Campus.

During the program, SHSSP participants will have the opportunity to design and build rockets in teams and then launch them with altitudes of up to 900 metres expected to be reached.

Participants will also launch a high-altitude balloon, which will carry a satellite payload designed to simulate a small satellite mission.

The SHSSP program runs from January 14 to February 15.

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