Ivy Space Coalition

About

Who We Are

The Inter-Ivy Space Coalition (IISC) is an organization that represents a large constituency of space-related organizations spanning across the entire Ivy League. Currently, although each of the respective Ivy League institutions possess one or more student project teams or clubs focusing on space technology and exploration, the project teams and clubs all remain relatively disconnected with one another, even within a given school’s campus. Bridging this intra-Ivy and inter-Ivy disconnect is the primary goal of the Inter-Ivy Space Coalition.

Our aim is to connect students and organizations across the Ivy League that have an interest in aerospace engineering, space exploration, and improved space technology, thereby fostering a greater sense of space community through shared connections, conversations, and experiences. In partnering together as a League, not only do students have the unique opportunity to individually benefit from one another’s knowledge in expanding their respective clubs and project teams, but they also have the chance to revolutionize the fast-growing space community collectively.

The IISC has already coordinated multiple inter-Ivy speaker sessions via livestream technology and is excited to host the 1st Annual Inter-Ivy Space Coalition Conference. The conference, which will be held at Yale University on April 6th-7th 2018, will offer each of our member groups a platform through which to meet and connect with other students and leaders in the space industry, thereby serving as a premier hub for students interested in aerospace, space technology, and other space-related fields to meet one another and discuss potential collaborative project ideas.

The Conference

The IISC’s inaugural conference will be an excellent and fun opportunity for students from across the Ivy League schools to meet and build meaningful relationships with peers from the other institutions, learn more about advances in aerospace technology from industry experts, present their projects and research to a broader audience, and network with potential employers. The deadline for registration is March 23rd.

Conference Topics

Alternative Energy in Aerospace:

Energy sources for power generation and propulsion in aerospace are rapidly changing in response to the development of new technologies and the need to reduce carbon emissions. In aeronautics, electrified propulsion is likely to become commonplace within the coming decades. New technologies in electric propulsion as well as power storage and distribution will allow for distributed electrified propulsion in commercial aircraft improving efficiency as well as reducing the cost to fly, both economically and environmentally. In space, solar power and electric propulsion are allowing spacecraft to go farther with less fuel and nuclear fission and fusion hold the promise of allowing humans to become an interplanetary species; serious challenges remain: can nuclear power be safely launched and used in space? When will fusion become a practical reality? This track will cover these topics and focus on how new forms of energy will coexist with and eventually replace current chemical power generation technologies.

Space technology:

This track focuses on advancements in science and engineering that impact the development of the aerospace industry. Some of these technologies include asteroid mining, ion propulsion, human factors, and light arc. (Asteroid mining) Asteroids are being mined for their rich source of natural resources that can be either utilized in space or taken back to Earth. The different applications of asteroid mining continue to be posed. The commercialization of the aerospace industry and the rise of private over public space programs will prove to have an unknown impact the development of this technology. (Ion Propulsion) Ion thrusters use electron bombardment to produce a highly energetic plasma. Ion thrusters are being applied alongside developing technology in order to build new systems like the Dawn spacecraft. What are other commercial applications of ion propulsion? What are the benefits of ionization over other forms of propulsion? (Human factors) An understanding of how flight systems interact with a pilot will allow for safer and more efficient aerospace travel. This can be used to combat fatigue or random error. In the modern age of the privatization of the aerospace industry, the reality of space tourism and space colonization is emerging. This is sure to have a significant impact on society.

Reusability:

Reusability is becoming an increasingly essential component of innovation in space exploration and research. Reusable rockets and air-launch platforms are facilitating inexpensive and frequent access to low Earth Orbit. Three-dimensional printing capabilities have launched development to a new level, creating new opportunities to manufacture products in space. The emerging ability to mine resources in space begs questions regarding the future of in space propulsion, space infrastructure, and commercial business opportunities, as well as their implications on deep space exploration. While reusability makes access to space more readily available, it is also important to consider the limits and challenges posed by accessibility. Will regulatory processes that govern accessibility facilitated by reusability become more rigorous? What sort of consequences might commercial business opportunities have on space development? What are the most pressing technical challenges we face? Among so many others, these questions will become essential to understanding how society can take advantage of utilizing reusability in space.

Exploration:

Despite a shift towards commercialization, exploration remains a significant driver in space development; there are many avenues, new and old for exploring the cosmos. Observation from afar using telescopes will continue to be a major method, especially with the launch of the James Webb Space telescope, but what discoveries are on the horizon? Will we discover planets capable of sustaining life? For our nearer astronomical neighbors, robotic explorers, will go where humans can’t, but crewed exploration is on the cusp of a revolution. Multiple countries are pursuing a return to the moon, and it seems unlikely humans will fail to reach Mars by 2050. Perhaps, even permanent settlements will be established on extraterrestrial bodies during our lifetimes. Even extrasolar exploration may be possible in the form of Project Breakthrough Starshot. Is this the century humanity becomes a truly interplanetary species?