MSS16 Graduation and MSS17 Opening Ceremony

Masters of Space Studies Graduation for the class of 2016 and the opening Ceremony for the new class of 2017 took place on Thursday 8th September 2016 at 10:30 in Strasbourg.

All present and watching from the live stream were welcome by ISU president Prof. Walter Peeters. This was followed by the presentation of diplomas and an ISU pin to the MSS 2016 Graduates delivered by Prof. Pascale Ethrenfreaud (ISU Vice-Chancellor), Prof. Walter Peeters (ISU President) and Prof Chris Welsh, MSS Program Director. Amazingly the diploma was signed by Buzz Aldrin himself!!

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Students for the Masters class that were still on their internships were presented with an empty folder and will receive their diploma and ISU pin in December.

Then an amazing presentation was given by student representative Lei huang from China and Jonathan Stimmer from the US. This was a great opportunity for the graduating class to remember their year and what ISU meant and for the new class to see what is to come for the ISU journey.

A speech was then given by Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreaund, Chair of the Executive Board at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Then was the amazing opportunity to meet the new MSS class for 2017! Everyone is so well educated and bright eyed for their new beginning at ISU. It was an exciting opportunity to get to know them. Again each had 30 seconds to introduce themselves and explain why they have come to ISU.

The last two speakers of the ceremony was Mr. Larry Price from Lockheed MArtin and Ms. Catherine Trautman, the vise-president from the Eurometropole of Strasbourg.

It has been an incredible year at ISU and i want to thank all the professors and my family and all my new ISU family class for making it amazing. To MSS17 your going to love it and i wish you all the best with your studies.

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MSS16 Summer Internship: ESTEC

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“As part of the Master of Space Studies at the International Space University, I am currently an internee at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), European Space Agency (ESA), in Netherlands.

Here I am working in the Electric Propulsion Section of the Propulsion & Aerothermodynamics Division, under the supervision of Eduard Bosch Borràs, ESA Propulsion Laboratory Infrastructure and Quality Manager, and José González del Amo, Head of the Electric Propulsion Section.

In the Electric Propulsion Section, I am part of the ESA Propulsion Laboratory (EPL) which is an operational facility providing a test service in the field of spacecraft propulsion.
I have, among other things, participated in a verification test of an electric thruster, which we demonstrated in front of the ESA Astronauts, to evaluate the possibilities of the astronauts getting more hands-on experience with electric propulsion.

Apart from my work in the testing facility, I have undertaken an individual study of a possible post-ISS space infrastructure with an emphasis on the mission analysis for all-electric space tugs, e.g. transferring cargo between Earth and the Moon. I have likewise been working in a team to evaluate the future market for electric propulsion and the possible up-and-coming trends.” – Mads Jacob Kalisz Hedegaard

MSS16 Summer Internship: ESA

European Astronaut Center, Germany: Orla Punch

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“I am currently carrying out a traineeship at the European Space Agency’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne for duration of six months.

The area I am working in is called SpaceShip EAC which is ran by Dr. Aidan Cowley, an EAC research fellow. This initiative was started in 2012 by Frank De Winne, Head of the European Astronaut Centre. SpaceShip EAC’s aim is to foster activities relevant to Lunar Exploration and in-situ resource utilization in order to prepare astronauts and technology for future Moon missions, and the team consists of multi-disciplinary backgrounds.

As an architect, the role I have on the team is based on the architecture of ESA’s Moon Village concept. I am working on the architectural design of a future habitat to be used as part of a Lunar analogue facility to be built here at EAC to further expand their simulation capabilities. This new facility will simulate operations on the Lunar surface with a 30 meter diameter dome consisting of Lunar regolith simulant. It will be used in training for Lunar surface exploration, as well as technology and operations development, and human factors development with an overall goal of enabling future human space flight, and a return to the Moon.”

MSS16 Summer Internship: NASA

NASA Ames Research Centre Team: Sema Husseyin, Ruslan Skomorohov, Anushree Soni, Carlos Manuel Entrena Utrilla, Veena Shelvankar, Adam King, Adrian Babis, Joseph Christensen and Kamalanathan Kaspar

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Sema Husseyin is having a fantastic time in the Aeromechanics Department with her Mentor William Warmbordt and Project Mentor, Larry Young. She is currently working on a new and innovative design which will be 3D printed and tested in a wind tunnel. She is also Group Leader of 4 other interns from all over America and helping them with their projects. She is also working on created a database on planetary exploration air vehicles.


Ruslan Skomorohov’s ISU internship is as a visiting Research Scholar at NASA Ames International Partnerships Office and is focusing on international partnerships and related topics. This includes performing research on international relations, supporting international partner visits, and writing white papers on relevant subjects affecting international relations, partnerships and space exploration. A core research topic is focused on the potential international partnerships in the context of resource sourcing, supply chain, and processing for in-orbit spacecraft manufacturing. His mentor is Terry Pagaduan who is the International Partnerships Chief.


Anushree Soni is currently working at the Office of the Chief Scientist, Dr. Jacob Cohen at NASA Ames Research Centre. Focus of her work is to create a framework for the development of integrated distributed system technology for aircraft, spacecraft, UAVs, underwater vehicles, and other robotic applications.


Carlos Manuel Entrena Utrilla is mentored by Dan Rasky  and Darlene Mendoza Wiedemann this summer at NASA Ames. He is working at Space Portal on a project of his own, reviewing all the potential cislunar markets, their interconnections, and possible evolution. Continue reading “MSS16 Summer Internship: NASA”

MSS16 Summer Internship: Japan

Japanese Team; William Jones, Martina Russitano Lanza and Jonathan Stimmer at Tohoku University in Sendai.

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Martina has joined the Hakuto Team of the Space Robotics Laboratory, managed and operated by Ispace, a startup founded by Takeshi Hakamada and Prof. Kazuya Yoshida. She will design a wireless communication system for swarm Intelligent robots based on LTE technology. This system will represent a testbed for further research and implementation on groups of multiple rovers for lunar exploration. Her supervisor, Nathan Britton (MSS09), is the engineering manager of the Hakuto Team.


William is under the supervision of Prof. Kazuya Yoshida, director and CTO of Ispace, and has joined a team in the Space Robotics Laboratory that have recently begun the development of a legged robotic system to be used for resource utilization in the rocky environment of the polar regions of the Moon, with funding awarded by the JAXA Space Exploration Innovation Hub Centre.  He is currently working on researching insect like robotic designs that utilize small spines on the feet of the limbs to aid in climbing, and will assist in design and testing of the robot further into his internship.


Jonathan is working in the Department of Earth Science at Tohoku University. After applying through Tohoku University, he was awarded a scholarship to do his internship through the COLABS scholarship program. He is the first MSS student from ISU to be interning in the Earth Science department of Tohoku University. He is currently researching the formation of organic molecules during the late heavy bombardment. He constructed a gas line experiment to replicate and test some of these early Earth conditions, and will begin experimenting with the constructed apparatus this week.

MSS16 Summer Internship: Inmarsat, UK

Inmarsat, UK: Paul Iliffe

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Paul Iliffe is undertaking his internship at Inmarsat, which is a provider of global Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and serves government, aviation, maritime, and enterprise market segments. He is working with the Service Assurance Problem Management team, which is responsible for measuring and improving the user experience for users of Inmarsat’s satellite communications. Within this team his project will focus on the understanding of the customer experience, analyzing data connectivity, and producing reports that will assist in improving the service.

International Space University apple tree

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We, Master of Space Studies 2016 (MSS16) have left our print at the International Space University.

MSS student Martina Russitano Lanza planted a small apple tree on the grounds of ISU which was originally used for her ISU open day activity on the 13th March 2016 an her Individual Project.

The apple tree is now planted close to ISU’s Building to celebrate this year’s MSS promotion and as a symbol of our passage at ISU similar to that of a Russian tradition which requires that astronauts should plant a tree right before leaving for a space mission, in order to avoid any trouble during their flight.