The International Space University’s annual graduate-level Space Studies Program (SSP) has landed in the Middle East for the first time.

The eight-week SSP will bring guest lectures and panels to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

Among those leading sessions will be US astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Jeff Hoffman and Jessica Meir; Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon’s widow, Rona Ramon; Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev; Canadian astronomer David Levy, who discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9; and aerospace engineer and science-fiction writer Eric Choi.

Now in its 28th year, the France-based International Space University provides graduate-level training in all disciplines related to space programs and enterprises, such as space science, space engineering, systems engineering, space medicine, space policy and law, business and management, and space and society.

The program will include public lectures in English and events such as a robotics competition on July 28, a rocket launch on August 19 at Kibbutz Gal’ed, and the first SpaceUp Unconference in the Middle East, on July 22.

International Space University (ISU) President Prof. Walter Peeters will be at the opening ceremony tonight along with John Connolly, SSP director and senior NASA engineer; Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie, Director General of the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space Peretz Vazan, Israel Space Agency Director Avi Blasberger and other dignitaries. Prof. Pini Gurfil, head of the Asher Space Research Institute at the Technion, will moderate the ceremony.

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