ISU co-founder Bob Richards welcomed us into the “Space Mafia” of SSP12 by explaining that one of the reasons ISU was set up was to enable the founders to “meet the people we wanted to meet, to make the future we wanted to see”. He talked about the culture of ISU: interdisciplinary, international and intercultural – and perhaps most importantly to me, a culture of “anything is possible”.
How refreshing to be in an environment where I’m not only allowed, but actively encouraged to dream. Not just dream, but dream big. It was at the ISS Symposium in Berlin that JAXA astronaut Chiaki Mukai told me “if you can dream if, you can do it”. In the last couple of days I’ve heard variations of that phrase so often that I’m beginning to believe it’s true.
The positivity, the imagination, the excitement that is present in not only the participants, but the teaching staff and guest lecturers is almost surreal. Our (top secret) induction, including the “pinning ceremony” where we received our official ISU pins was high-energy, high fun with an element of secret club. I can’t help but love it.
Is it a bit much? Is it a bit crazy? I’m almost concerned it might be. There again, as we’ve been reminded – all forward thinking ideas are ridiculed to begin with, so we should be prepare to take a risk, dream big and work hard to make those dreams come true.
I got to Space University, who knows what I else I can do?