The Swiss Space Center (SSC) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have joined in partnership to prepare ESA_Lab@CH, an initiative meant to give students the opportunity to develop technologies to sustain life in extreme conditions and beyond Earth.

How to design and build a human habitat in Ice? This is the challenge posed by the Swiss Space Center, inviting all students in Europe to share, discuss, and demonstrate their ideas on this topic.

The space sector is entering a new era. Formerly accessible to only a few spacefaring nations, it is becoming an incredible ‘playground’ for many new enthusiastic actors: emerging private companies and industries, a fast growing number of countries, academies and citizens join forces and seize the new opportunities in space to create knowledge, wealth and services for humans all around the globe.

The European Space Agency (ESA) drives this development by strengthening its ties with academia and other innovation partners, fostering a constant flux of radically new ideas and disruptive, future oriented solutions for space challenges.

ESA_Lab@ is a new ESA initiative that creates an open cooperation scheme between ESA, academia and also other actors to intensify research, development, and outreach. Recognising that innovation and education drive growth, ESA_Lab@ aims to inspire the next generation of space experts who will carry on the pursuit of technological and commercial successes in space.

ESA_Lab@CH will explore a new way to set-up and implement international, collaborative student projects on visionary space topics. As a first pilot, the Swiss Space Center is preparing a project on the topic of A Human Habitat in Ice: Demonstrating key enabling technologies for life support in frozen worlds. The vision of this project that is also supported by the Swiss Space Office of the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation (SERI/SSO), is to develop, together with students from all over Europe, technologies that will enable humans to live away from Earth – and live better on Earth.

In the new era of Space 4.0, space is no longer exclusively driven by experts. Space should be for everyone, and the more people think about a problem, the better the solutions become. There are many people that have unique experiences, knowledge, dreams, and competences that could benefit the way we design, fabricate and use space systems.

Students, your ideas, combined with some space expertise, will drive the future of space!

Join the discussion and the project on www.myideafor.space

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