Florida Tech Welcomes International Space Students

By  //  June 4, 2012

Distinguished Panel

From left, Florida Tech President Dr. Anthony Catanese, NASA's KSC Director Bob Cabana, Karen Bukley of the International Space University and university chair Guy Boy discuss the impact of ISU's Space Studies Program being held this summer at Florida Tech. (Image by Ed Pierce)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – International space students, space scholars and space professionals are converging upon the Florida Institute of Technology tonight to learn about all aspects of space programs and exploration.

Florida Tech and Kennedy Space Center are hosting the nine-week Space Studies Program of the International Space University here through July.

At a special press conference at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center Monday before the opening ceremonies commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first Space Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987, university professor Guy A. Boy (chair of the Florida Tech organizing committee for the program), Bob Cabana, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center director, Professor Angie Bukley (ISU Dean and SSP Director) and Florida Tech President Dr. Anthony Catanese talked about the importance of having the program here in Brevard County this summer.

“We’re delighted to host the ISU,” Catanese said. “The interest and enthusiasm for space is still there with young people.”

Cabana said he‘s thrilled to have Florida Tech and KSC act as hosts for this year’s program, which will draw as many as 140 international scientists and space students to Brevard County,

“It was a natural fit and we’re happy to be a part of it,” Cabana said.

Bukley pointed out that program participants will study space physical sciences, space systems engineering, policy and law, business and management, space and society, satellite applications, space life sciences and human spaceflight.

Special TEDx event

She said the program also is excited that this year’s TEDx TED Talks will be held in conjunction with the ISU program from 9 a.m. to noon July 6 at Florida Tech.

TEDx speakers and leaders from the space community will address how ideas in technology, entertainment and design influence inspire their work in space. The audience will be made up of leaders from the space industry, participants of the ISU-SSP12 session, NASA personnel, local commercial space industry companies and the general public.

“Florida Tech has maintained close ties to NASA and KSC since the university’s founding by rocket scientists in 1958. The first ISU space studies program was held at MIT in 1987; we are proud to have it here on the Space Coast in 2012,” said University Professor Guy A. Boy, chair, Florida Tech organizing committee for SSP ’12.

International Space University is a prestigious private institution of higher education headquartered in France.

It specializes in providing graduate-level training to the future leaders of the emerging global space community at its Central Campus in Strasbourg, France, and at locations around the world.

Unique curriculum

In its two-month Space Studies Program and one-year masters program, ISU offers its students a unique 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 also 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 in 1987, ISU has graduated more than 3,300 students from more than 100 countries.

“It’s interesting that we at Florida Tech think we’re at the dawn of a new era of space travel and exploration,” Catanese said. “I heard Elon Musk on 60 Minutes say last night that the future of humanity will rely upon international cooperation in the exploration of space and we’re very fortunate here at Florida Tech to be a part of something like this and in training the space leaders of tomorrow.”