Croatia Space Inspiration Program Embarks on Year 3 with Remarkable Success and Expansions

Croatia – December 15, 2023 – This school year marks a significant milestone for the Croatia Space Inspiration Program (CroSIP) as it celebrates the commencement of its third year. This awe-inspiring program, initiated in 2020, is a collaborative effort between the Lady Rocket Foundation (USA), AVISA Space Ltd. (Croatia), and the Ivan Gundulić Elementary School in Zagreb, Croatia. It is designed to kindle the flames of curiosity and inspiration for space among elementary school children in Croatia.

Under the dedicated guidance of the teachers at Ivan Gundulić Elementary School and the visionary leadership of AVISA Space, coupled with the relentless support from the Lady Rocket Foundation, the program has achieved tremendous success. More children now have the opportunity to become part of this thrilling space education journey.

The primary goal of the Croatia Space Inspiration Program is to introduce elementary school children to the fascinating world of space and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The program utilizes a modified NASA-JPL curriculum that includes engaging workshops and hands-on experiments, all tailored for elementary school students. The uniqueness of the program lies in its global outreach. Classes from participating countries connect, share their findings, and learn to communicate with students worldwide, thereby fostering a deep passion for space and inspiring young minds to pursue STEM fields.

The pilot project, initiated in Zagreb, set out to test the waters and lay the foundation for a continuous space education course. The resounding success of this endeavor, even during the COVID-19 pandemic and a constantly changing global landscape, showcased the power of cooperation and determination. Both the Lady Rocket Foundation and Croatian schools have demonstrated how collaborative efforts can open new and exciting opportunities for future generations.

As the Croatia Space Inspiration Program enters its third year, it expands its horizons. In partnership with the Adriatic Aerospace Association (A3) and multiple elementary schools in Croatia, CroSIP is scaling up and offering space education to children across the entire country. The program is also eyeing international expansions, taking its message of space education to new countries and markets.

This significant achievement adds to the portfolio of successful programs conducted worldwide by the Lady Rocket Foundation. From the United States to Lithuania, LRF continues to expand its footprint and unite students globally under the common mission of space education and inspiration.

About Lady Rocket Foundation, A3 and AVISA Space

The Lady Rocket Foundation’s mission is to ignite a passion for space through innovation in entrepreneurship development, education, arts, media, and space-related research. LRF endeavors to make space more relevant on Earth by championing space innovations that improve lives and humanity on our home planet.

AVISA Space is a human space experience company dedicated to facilitating human access to space. By demonstrating future off-world capabilities, AVISA aims to pave the way for private exploration and settlement in space, ultimately catalyzing the true space economy. This journey is just beginning, and as we look to the future, the possibilities are limitless. 

A3 is a non profit association of science and technology institutions and individuals, all devoted to foster endeavor of bringing space closer to the people. This is achieved by education, spreading knowledge to wide population, initiating projects on all levels of space science and technology, and very importantly fostering international and regional collaboration.

Visit to the People’s Republic of China 19-28 November 2023

Visit of A3 to PR China by Prof. Slobodan Bosanac, was initiated by the invitation to give a lecture at the thematic discussion “Industrial talent cultivation” within the conference MYLAKE Aerospace Information Industry International Ecosystem Event 2023, which was held in Chongqing from 20th to 21st. November. At the end of the conference, the stay was extended due to activities in the framework of the existing and signing of future cooperation with partners in the PR China.

The welcome to the conference was given on arrival in Chongqing by the members of the Organizing Committee, employees of the company FutureSpace: Ms. Iris Cai Yun (VP) and Ms. Xiaohong Zhou (Investment Specialist) who provide technical support of the conference. Upon arriving at the venue of the conference, the founder and CEO of the company, Mr. Niu Min, gave a welcome, and a meeting was also held on the topic of future contacts for possible cooperation. FutureSpace is a commercial aerospace ecosystem company, including investment, in orbit delivery, spacecraft, International cooperation etc. This cooperation is possible in many activities of using space for commercial and education purposes, in particular organising visits to sites connected with the space activities, such as launching sites.

“The conference aims to build a global platform of exchange, collaboration, and service for the aerospace information industry, which brings together the wisdom of the global aerospace information industry to collaborate on innovation and development, and enable information to better serve economic and social progress.” The conference participants were top officials of the PR China aerospace sector, state and local authorities, and foreign guests, among others the President of the IAF and the High Representative of the IAA.

As part of the thematic discussion, I gave a lecture  New Space and Innovative Industry in which the main foundations that determine the talents of the industry were presented, and the backbone were the conclusions of the New Space Summit conference, which emphasised the important role of SME in the development of innovations. As an example how a small country like the Republic of Croatia could find its role in the aerospace sector was also given.

The backbone of the visit to Beijing, after Chongqing, was dedicated to establishing close contacts with the Deep Space Exploration Laboratory (DSEL). The laboratory was established in 2022 by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Anhui Province and the China University of Science and Technology. The laboratory is an important step towards the implementation of an innovation-based development strategy and strengthening China’s strategic strength in science and technology, with a focus on strengthening international cooperation in the development of aerospace activity. It is expected to conduct scientific and technological research focused on major national projects in the field of deep space exploration.

The visit to Beijing began with a reception on 24-th November at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the People’s Republic of China by the advisor to the Embassy mrs. Bisera Fabrio. I was  accompanied by Mr. Ling Fei, Deputy Director of International Cooperation Center of DSEL and Mrs. Liu Yakang, Project Manager of International Cooperation Center of DSEL. The central topic of discussion was the presentation of DSEL and the projects on which they are active and are planned. By signing the Cooperation Agreement, these projects are open to our participation, but also to be the mediators to non-A3 members from Croatia and the region. In this context, a brief overview of A3’s activities as well as segments were given in which cooperation could be achieved.

On November 24, a meeting was held at the DSEL headquarters in Beijing with the aim of signing the A3-DSEL Cooperation Agreement. The participants on the side A3 were

Slobodan Bosanac – President of the Adriatic Aerospace Association
Sun Gongling –             Professor at International Space University
Li Yi –                                 Associate Professor at NW Polytechinal  University, Xi’An

whilst on the side of  DSEL/LESEC (Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center)

Guan Feng –                    Executive Director General of DSEL and  Director General of LESEC
Wang Wei –                     Director of International Cooperation Department /  LESEC
Wang Zhongmin –        Director of International Cooperation &  Exchange Center / DSEL
Ling Fei –                           Deputy Director of International Cooperation & Exchange Center / DSEL
Liu Yakang –                    International Cooperation & Exchange Center / DSEL
Zhang Wei –                    International Cooperation & Exchange Center / DSEL
Shen Yuduo –                 International Cooperation Department / LESEC

In a pleasant atmosphere, points of mutual interest and possibilities of cooperation were discussed, and the meeting ended with the signing of the Cooperation Agreement. This Agreement opens up great opportunities for the participation of Croatian scientific institutions and companies, as well as those from the region, in projects that are at the top of the profession of the world space program. The Agreement enables the exchange of experts, the transfer of knowledge and technology, long-term and short-term participation in educational processes and direct participation in the development of certain components in the moon research program.

Discussion on cooperation.

I completed my trip to China in Xi’An by visiting the School of Astronautics, NorthWestern Polytechical University, where I met with the Dean of the School Prof. Xiaokui Yue and his deputy Prof. Yang Li, accompanied by Prof. Li Yi. There was talk of upgrading the Cooperation Agreement that A3 signed in 2019 with Prof. Li Yi to the

 

 

Presentation of a gift

level of institutions. This Agreement would enable young people from Croatia to study at the School of Astronautics (the first in the PR China in terms of quality) at all levels, exchange of lecturers, joint organisation of meetings and conferences.

 

Thanks to Prof. Gongling Sun ( 孙 功 凌 ) for inviting me to the conference and for activities related to signing the Agreement

Thanks to Prof. LI, Yi ( 李 易 ) for organising an extremely useful post-conference visit to the PR China and for activities around the signing of the Agreement.
Thanks to Ms. LiangWanjun ( 梁 婉 君 ) for her friendship that made the visit memorable.