São José will host the world’s largest space studies event

Jose Roberto Amaral


Secretariat of Innovation and Economic Development

São José dos Campos was announced as the host city of the largest space studies event in the world. The SSP23 (Space Studies Program) will be held from June 26 to August 25, 2023 in the city.

Organized by the ISU (International Space University), the SSP is considered the most important and comprehensive training program in the space area, having trained around 5,000 professionals from over 100 countries.

For 9 weeks, São José dos Campos will be the world capital of studies related to space. The city will welcome about 300 people from 50 different countries, including teachers, students, astronauts and world leaders of space agencies.

It will be the first time that the program will be held in Brazil. In Latin America, only the city of Valparaíso, in Chile, hosted an edition of the SSP, in 2000. The 35th edition of the event will be held in San José.

Academic studies will be carried out at INPE (National Institute for Space Research) and ITA (Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica), which jointly submitted the proposal to host the SSP 2023 with the City Hall of São José.

The event also has the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations and the AEB (Brazilian Space Agency).

official announcement

SSP22 participants during the opening ceremony of the event being held in the city of Oeiras, Portugal: Photo: Portugal Space

The announcement of São José dos Campos as the host city of the SSP23 was made by the president of the International Space University, Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund, during this year’s edition of the event, which is being held in the city of Oeiras, Portugal.

“SSP23 will be the third event in the Southern Hemisphere in the ISU’s 35-year history (after Valparaiso, Chile in 2000 and Adelaide, Australia in 2004). Partnerships with INPE and ITA will further strengthen ISU’s ties with South America,” said Ehrenfreund.

In March, ISU directors were in São José dos Campos for a technical visit and had the opportunity to assess all the requirements for the city to host the event.

INPE’s general director, Clezio Marcos De Nardin, stated that it is “with great satisfaction that we receive the news of our selection”.

“It represents an important opportunity for the Brazilian Space Program and the city of São José dos Campos to bring our community of space-related institutions together, allowing greater interaction, global cooperation and motivating our industry to the frontiers of space technology,” said Clezio De Nardin.

The ISU is the only university in the world entirely dedicated to space education since 1987. Today, the ISU comprises a unique worldwide network with a Central Campus in Strasbourg, with hubs in the US and the Asia-Pacific region and partnerships with leading space organizations around the world.

international showcase

In addition to the academic purpose, the SSP represents an international showcase. Institutions and companies that work in the space area can show their capabilities, strengthen contacts and sign commercial agreements and international cooperation.

Also, during the period of the program, astronauts and illustrious personalities from the sector will travel through São José dos Campos who will participate in events open to the general public – astronaut panel, lectures, robot competition, rocket launch competition – and other activities aimed at for the popularization of science and space activities.

Space Studies

The program began in 1987 at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, USA) and since then has been taking place annually in different cities, such as Strasbourg and Toulouse (France), Toronto and Vancouver (Canada), Bremen (Germany), Adelaide (Australia), Barcelona (Spain), Haifa (Israel), Delft (Netherlands), Kitakyushu (Japan), Huston, Cleveland, California and Florida (USA), among others.

The program targets young and experienced professionals of all disciplines from around the world, as well as graduate university students. Team projects allow participants to refine a space-related topic as a team and also produce quality reports and final presentations, all within a few weeks.

Highlighted disciplines include space physical sciences, space engineering, space applications, space exploration and human performance in space, space policy, economics and law, space management and business, and space and humanities.


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