International Space Studies Program to be held in Athens

Russ College of Engineering and Technology Dean Dennis Irwin, who has chaired ISU’s SSP space systems engineering department, briefs a high-power rocket design team on launch regulations. The session was held as part of the 2009 ISU SSP, held at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Calif. (via Colleen Carow)

In 2006, Ohio University began the application process to host an event that wouldn’t happen until almost a decade later.

About seven years have passed and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology recently learned that the International Space University’s (ISU) 28th annual Space Studies Program (SSP) session will be held in Athens.

The nine-week event is planned to occur in the Academic and Research Center on campus from June 15 to Aug. 14, 2015. In years past it was held in Australia, Chile, France and Thailand. This year it will be held in Brazil.

“It is an honor that we will have it here,” said Russ College of Engineering and Technology Dean Dennis Irwin. “This will be the first time in my knowledge that it has been held in ... such a small place.”

Gary Martin, SSP Director at ISU, said that OU is one of the nicest spots in America.

“Ohio University is an excellent location for SSP15, with its cutting-edge academic facilities and modern accommodations all situated in the rolling hills and forests of Southern Ohio,” he said in a news release.

About 170 attendees will participate in lectures and sessions to gain a cultural understanding from a wide array of disciplines, Irwin said.

“Space professionals and students will come together from disparate areas; we will have people from medicine, law, public policy, business, engineering and science who all have different perspectives,” he said.

Colleen Carow, director of external relations for the Russ College, said that she thought because of Irwin’s past experiences and relationship with ISU, OU was able to be considered as the host site.

“I think it is an exciting opportunity for the university and local community to be exposed to some of the world’s leading space professionals,” she said.

Some of the leading space professionals who will take part include astronauts located in the International Space Station, who will host a video lecture for attendees.

“Ohio University is very pleased to support the advancement of space exploration and discovery through the use of our academic and research facilities,” said OU President Roderick McDavis in a statement.

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