Space Studies Program 2018

25 June - 24 August 2018
hosted by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and will convene at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, in close cooperation with Leiden University and the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA-ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Netherlands.

The International Space University (ISU) provides graduate-level training to the future leaders of the emerging global space community. The Space Studies Program (SSP) is a nine-week program that covers the main space related fields.

SSP18 Poster

Host Institution


NL Space Logo “Global challenges, NL space solutions”. This slogan for the Dutch space sector applies fully to the Dutch hosting of the ISU Space Studies Program in 2018. The Dutch have a history of exploration. Dutch seafarers explored the world’s oceans. Not to conquer, but to establish trade routes and build international networks of cooperation. In the process they developed the law of the sea, the basis for modern air and space law. The hereditary gene of Dutch DNA for exploration and innovation is carried forward into the space age, where the Netherlands is an important high tech and space applications hub. The Netherlands is looking forward to passing this Dutch DNA on to a new generation of space professionals that attend the Space Studies Program in 2018.

Noordwijk astronautSSP 2018 is the first SSP to be held in the Netherlands. It is the first SSP to benefit from the knowledge, facilities and location of three of the top space institutes in the world. The program is hosted in the province of South Holland, the area of the Netherlands where most of the Dutch space sector is concentrated. Participants and staff will be housed at the campus of Delft University of Technology. From this ‘home’ location the program will be co-hosted by two more leading space institutes in this region. Leiden University is a leading institute in the fields of air and space law and astronomy. Both Delft and Leiden are located close to The Hague, the administrative capital of the Netherlands. The third core location will be the European Space Agency Technology and Research Facility ESTEC in Noordwijk. This is the largest ESA facility and functions as a global hub for space innovation, as well as being the largest test center for European spacecraft. SSP 2018 is the first SSP to be co-hosted at an ESA site.

Three host institutes

TU Delft LogoDelft University of Technology (TU Delft), founded in 1842, is a modern university with a rich tradition. It is the oldest and largest university of technology in the Netherlands. The eight faculties belong to the top echelons of technological research and promote the advancement of science for the benefit of society. Currently TU Delft ranks 19th on the 2014-15 THES World University rankings on engineering and technology. The faculty of Aerospace Engineering is one of the world’s largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. It is the only research and education institute in the Netherlands engaged in research and teaching that is directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects, from Space Systems Engineering and Astrodynamics to innovative aerospace materials, control and operations of airports and airlines and wind energy. The faculty is home to around 2,500 BSc and MSc students, 214 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff. Around 37% of students is of international origin.

TU Delft Aerospace Faculty

Leiden University LogoLeiden University offers a broad range of bachelor’s and master’s programs. Leiden’s international reputation is apparent from the University’s prominent position in the rankings of European and worldwide universities. Founded in 1575, Leiden was the first university in the Netherlands and is one of the oldest in the world. It is known worldwide for the many great scientists that have studied and carried out research in Leiden. Four Leiden scientists have been awarded a Nobel Prize. Of specific interest for SSP are the Leiden Observatory at the Faculty of Science, and the International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL) at the Law School. Astronomy in Leiden has a long tradition. In 1633, Leiden University established an observatory, making the “Sterrewacht Leiden” the oldest operating university observatory in the world. The Institute is now larger than ever before and stands at the forefront of astronomical research. The Leiden Observatory is the only Dutch institution in the worldwide top-5 of its discipline. The International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL) was founded in 1985 and is one of the leading international academic research and teaching institutes in the world in this field. Leiden was the first university to have a dedicated chair in air law, later extended to space law.

TU Delft Aerospace Faculty

ESA LogoThe European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk is the largest ESA establishment, employing over 2,700 people. ESTEC was established in 1962 and manages half of ESA’s resources. Teams at ESA-ESTEC support European space industry and work closely with other organizations, such as universities, research institutes and national agencies from ESA Member States, and also cooperate with space agencies all over the world. Directly adjacent to the ESTEC site is the ESA Business Incubator Centre in Noordwijk, which hosts start-ups using space technologies for terrestrial applications and provides them with technical and managerial expertise, as well as access to private investors. ESTEC is home to many space science and engineering facilities, including labs for Concurrent Design, Mechanical Systems, Electrical Power, Avionics, Materials and Electrical Components, Propulsion, Electrical Systems, Life, Physical Sciences and Life Support, Microgravity and Hypergravity research, Telerobotics and Haptics, Planetary Robotics, Planetary Protection, Optics and Opto-electronics, Antenna tests and Electro-magnetic Compatibility, Full-spacecraft Thermal Vacuum and Vibration tests, and Advanced Concepts.

ESTEC aerial view taken from brochure 2009
SSP18 Netherlands

Important dates

Application Deadline

Still not applied? Hurry up! 

Arrival Day

Registration takes place between 9am - 6pm!

Welcome Dinner

Participants' self introductions...

Welcome Brunch

SEAC Graduation Ceremony
Staff's self introductions

Opening Ceremony

Smile! You are in the official SSP18 Class Picture!

Robotics Competition

Are you ready to assemble and operate the winning robot?

Core Lectures Exam

Be there!

Model Rocket Launch

Up up up! Clear skies!

Space Leiden Day

One day full of space activities at Leiden University

Space Masquerade

Let's win the space costume competition this year!


A must do.

Professional visits

Two days for all to visit industrial sites in Luxembourg or Germany

TP Presentations

Your time to shine

Closing Ceremony

Get pinned!
Welcome to the space mafia!

Departure Day

No more crying! Please...


The SSP18 is supported at different levels. ISU would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support:

SSP18 Program Alliance Partner

Airbus Logo

SSP18 Distinguished Partner

ArianeGroup Logo

SSP18 Program Supporters

OHB Logo
TNO Logo
NLR Logo
Nova Logo
S[&]T Logo
Inmarsat Logo
Cosine measurement sytems Logo
NVR Logo
Air France KLM Logo
Huis ter Duin Logo
Rhea Group Logo
SES Networks Logo
Koninklijke Luchtmacht Logo

SSP18 Institutional Partners

NSO Logo
TU Delft Logo
Leiden University Logo
ESA Logo
Noordwijk Logo
Delft Logo
Den-Haag Logo
Leiden Logo
Holland-Rijnland Logo
Provincie-Zuid-Holland Logo

Program Supported By


Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)


China Space Foundation

UK Space Agency

China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General (CLTC)

Stichting Space Professionals Foundation (SSPF)

For more information about sponsorship application and promotional opportunities, please contact us.