SSP18 428What is Future Studies? What is the difference between predicting, forecasting, and inventing the futures? Jim Dator responded to these questions and more by using his 50 years of work in Future Space. Mr. Dator is a professor and director of Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, and he is a legend among the ISU community. He even has his own brand and T-shirt that participants placed orders for!  

One of the highlights of the space program is the International Astronaut panel where participants and other members have the opportunity to learn from astronauts and discuss their experience and to meet and greet the space explorers. This year our astronaut panel was held at Space Expo in Noordwijk, on July 2nd of 2018. It was formed by Italian Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Dutch Astronaut André Kuipers. Where Korean Astronaut Soyeon Yi and NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott joined us through videos.  5.RGM2. Astronaut panelThe week continued with an exciting and fun workshop in team building by participants building the Rube Goldberg machine, challenging the members to solve simple problems by using complex designs and devices. This activity was introduced to all participants in Week-1 by Astronaut Soyeon Yi. The participants created 12 different teams and assigned very creative names such as Space Sheep, Hubble Trouble, The Flying Dutchmen, Boom Boom, etc. Four judges were assigned to evaluate each team based on functionality, complexity, creativity, and innovation. The first place was given to Boom Boom, second to Interstellar, and third to Hubble Trouble. 

Furthermore, SSP members learned about some unique initiatives to find answers to questions of life in our universe. For this purpose, Breakthrough Initiatives was founded by 4. Yuri and Julia Milner with collaboration of Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Hawking.  Pete Worden, former NASA Ames Director  joined us the night of July 4th, 2018 at the University of Leiden to present about these initiatives and his new addition to the foundation called Breakthrough Starships. The idea is to send hundreds of single mission nano-scale chips into space and to use light beaming technology to sail through the stars.  

What an amazing fun and knowledge filled week this was!