Reaching for the stars with Coimbra Space Summer School


Reaching for the stars with Coimbra Space Summer School

The 9th edition of Coimbra Space Summer School (CSSS) took place on the 6th, 7th and 8th of September 2023 and was a total success! CSSS is an event dedicated to higher education students, researchers, entrepreneurs and to everyone who is interested in exploring the space economy or intents to develop a business idea that uses space technology.

This year’s edition was the first international edition and brought together 39 participants from 16 countries around the world, and it was a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and experts from the space community. 

The event kick-off with a presentation from the organisation IPN, OGAUC, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Planetary Geosciences- GeoPlaNet,.The GeoPlaNet Master is promoted in partnership by the Universities of Coimbra, Nantes (France) and Gabriele d’Annunzio di Chieti/Pescara (Italy). 

In this edition our focus was the latest phase of Jupiter exploration: the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), a mission aiming to explore Jupiter itself, along with its moons: Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. 

During the three days all the participants were able to contact with experts in the space sector and get to know more about entities related to the space sector, such as ESA Academy and Portuguese Space Agency.    

Among the thirteen speakers were some leading persons of the European space community, including Natacha Callens, Administrator of the ESA Academy, Maarten Roos-Serote, planetary scientist and fiction film director at LightCurve Films, and Carlos Romero Moreno, from ESA BIC Madrid. This year we had two sponsors providing mentorship to the teams  Present Technologies and SpacEngineer. 

The Summer School also included a visit to the Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra (OGAUC) for a Night Observation, on the first day. 

The teams adressed the proposedchallenges with innovative cutting-edge ideas, that can contribute to set multiplanetary life, revitalise our villages, learn by playing using space tech and AI. sAfter an intense business ideas competition and a great pitch session, the jury, made up of representatives of tree entities: University of Coimbra, LightCurve Films and Active Space Technologies, had a difficult task! 

The winner of the business ideas competition was Simars team, that proposed a simulation and strategy game, where players create extraterrestrial colonies using real data from research, space missions and satellites. Additionally, team ReMoon took home an honourable mention for their idea, a project aiming to reduce the space debris, in a sustainable manner, picking and landing them on the Moon to be re-utilized in the construction of moon bases. 

The initiative is organised by IPN, which coordinates ESA Space Solutions Portugal, in partnership with OGAUC, the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences and the GeoPlaNet Master’s Degree. This year´s edition is over, we hope to see you back in 2024 for the 10th edition! Ad astra!

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