Sure…. The Space Studies Program (SSP) is a nine week conference for participants from around the world, but did you ever think of what makes SSP tick? The staff.
We are volunteers – most of which are former SSP’ers. They know the drill, but for me, I came into this as a total outsider – meaning, I had never been to an SSP conference. Basically, I didn’t know what to expect and I was completely thrown into the deep end.
My intimate love affair with space began a few years back when I attended a NASASocial event for the SpaceX’s CRS-5 launch. This little launch taught me so much that I could spend hours explaining… There were scrubs meaning the launch was cancelled and then, there were reschedules. I went back to that little launch three times at the NASA causeway and I’m really glad I did.
I learnt the importance of what goes into a launch and who is involved to make it happen. It taught me to respect the rocket and those persons frantically working behind the scenes. It also launched my intimate mental love affair with engineers, scientists and space dreamers. Seriously. I have so much incredible respect for them.
When the SpaceX rocket finally launched, everything I knew about the world flashed before my eyes. I saw the history of humanity and how if we work together great things, like this very launch, could happen. The launch became a beautiful moment frozen in time as the rocket rose into the dark night sky turning everything around us into an orange hue; it slowly disappeared with an unforgettable crackling sound. You’ll never hear anything else like it.. and you’ll never forget it.
I actually had tears escape from the sides of my eyes and I didn’t even know it. They were tears of joy… I had this incredible and very personal overview effect and it changed the life that I had known up until that very point. I mean, I was just a TV producer… but, let me explain more…
I attended many of ESA’s @Social4Space and @NASAsocial‘s. I used my journalism credentials to become press to attend more launches and to learn as much as I could. I wanted to BE in this incredible new world that I knew nothing about. And, then… I was invited to SSP17. I was an outsider and knew it, but I quickly learnt the ropes.
I used my skills as a TV producer to help make the program run smoothly the best way I knew how and you know what – It was awesome! I felt a part of a larger community of likeminded people that were just like me. I felt so included even though the only background in science I had was straight A’s in my high school and university biology classes. Here I was meeting scientists, engineers and astronauts and I felt like I was finally making a difference.
I met people who believed so much in the science community that they would do anything for it. I had finally met MY people. These were the people who weren’t afraid to learn. They weren’t afraid to look silly and dance. They weren’t afraid to load their laptops up with space stickers and they weren’t afraid to work really hard during the day and put arms around each other and sing emotional songs together late into the night. These were a special bunch and it made me feel so incredibly proud to be a part of this space family.
I spent 10 weeks in Cork, Ireland and hardly left the campus. Ireland didn’t feel like the Ireland that I had grown to love, but it had familiar comforts. The Irish humour for one was still alive and well… and I was thankful. The Irish fry-up was always a welcome site in the mornings but ultimately, it was the relaxed Irish culture that helped me keep going.
Every morning I woke up for an 8:30am meeting and every night I’d go home and collapse in my single bed for a maximum of four hours of sleep. Sleep at SSP is optional – and from that, I learnt how to function for two months on absolutely no sleep. And, SSP taught me to accept different ways of thinking and to be open to them. I mean, everyone that was here was from another place in the world. This was an utopian society for two entire months and I was a part of it! SSP created friendships that I will cherish forever and mostly, the memories that come with it will never be forgotten.
Ultimately, SSP pushed me well and truly beyond my boundaries and I am forever thankful. There were breaking points, but I absolutely smashed though them. I conquered so many fears and now I get to put all of what I learnt to the test. But most of all, a lost little girl who once saw a rocket launch finally found a family: A space family.
I’m ready to to help make this world a better place and that’s why I’m launching my newest endeavour, LaunchPad Creative.
LaunchPad Creative is one of the most unique visual and social media services in the world because we specialise in strategic branding for the science, space and renewables sector. We offer tactual solutions tailored to your audience and vision along with comprehensive and integrated media campaigns to fit your brand. Basically you tell us what you need, and we make it happen.
But, you know what else is great? We believe in science and technology just as much as you! We want the world to know about all the great things you’re doing and that’s why we strive for high engagement. And, we understand that words are much more than just words; we know how to turn them into vessels of emotion. You do the science, we’ll launch the brand and together, it’ll be a success!
They say that after SSP, you’ll deorbit – but, I actually don’t think I ever will. SSP showed me that I have always been on the right trajectory the entire time. SSP helped me discover that we are all a part of a big space family and the space industry actually needs creative minds just as much as the scientists and engineers. So this deorbit for me, is really a reorbit. I’m looking forward to seeing you around the globe!
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!