What is the ISSEF?

Using space to encourage students to understand, study and support science and technology

The International Space Station Education Fund (ISSEF) has been set up to help ESA in its aim of encouraging students from the Member States to understand, study, and support science and technology in the future by using the exciting resources of space.

Space for life

Space is increasingly a part of our lives here on Earth. Through the understanding and exploration of space we are building knowledge of our own planet, finding new ways of forecasting and dealing with natural events, enhancing understanding of our environment, and making discoveries that are changing the way we live.

The International Space Station (ISS) is a crucial part of this journey of discovery. On completion, it will be the largest man-made structure ever to orbit the Earth, providing a permanent human presence in space over the next 15 years.

Today, astronauts are already living and working on board the ISS, undertaking experiments, and acquiring expertise that will benefit our life on Earth for current and future generations. Through them, we are learning more than ever before.

Pencil and notebook
European tradition of learning

Space for learning

The European goal to become the leading knowledge based society of the 21st century rests on a vision which is not of dominance, but is based on our humanism, history, and culture; such a vision relies on the European tradition of learning, and finds its support in an enthusiastic and educated population.

Space is not only the environment from which many of out future discoveries will come. It is also an ideal means to capture the imagination of children of all ages, and both sexes, developing an interest in science and technology, and building an understanding of natural and scientific phenomena.

Today's children will be the scientists, politicians, and voters of tomorrow. Their lives will be touched in unimaginable ways by discoveries from space. It is up to us, now, to encourage them to understand, study, and support science and technology in the future by using the exciting resources currently in our hands. The mysteries of space, the challenges and excitement of human spaceflight, and the technological achievements of the International Space Station provide us with the way to succeed.

ISSEF funding

Legally established in July 2002, the Fund has been given almost one million Euros of seed funding, and administrative support, by ESA. It is now seeking additional contributions from appropriate organisations, and is offering a range of strategic, tangible, and targeted benefits in return.

Last update: 3 September 2007

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