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Students Study Human Spaceflight While Exploring Greece This Summer

For four weeks this summer, a group of students from the Daytona Beach Campus traveled overseas to Greece with Embry-Riddle Spaceflight Operations Professor Dr. Ryan Kobrick for a course on spacesuits and human spaceflight. In this unique summer abroad program, arranged by Embry-Riddle’s Office of Global Engagement, students found themselves leaving the classroom behind in Greece to study topics related to spaceflight operations. They connected the coursework to their real world adventures in a foreign country. Their rally cry was “Spacesuit Up!”

As they immersed themselves in Greek culture, they began to understand the similarities between exploring a new and unfamiliar landscape and exploring a planet in space—living and working on a sailboat in the Aegean Sea was analogous to traveling on a spacecraft. Scuba diving mimicked wearing a spacesuit in the low gravity environment of space. Preparing for and hiking up to a mountaintop retreat related to preparing for an EVA on a distant planet, while working and living in the mountain lodge correlated to being in an extraterrestrial habitat.

In the final video project of the student’s time in Greece, Nick Lopac, a sophomore spaceflight operations major said the class learned, through their adventures, what it takes to simulate a mission on Earth. They realized what was involved in keeping an astronaut safe in space and ultimately, how to explore, leaving the familiar behind, whether on this planet or beyond.

Learn more about the Spaceflight Operations degree program and the Spacesuit Utilization of Innovation Technology (SUIT) Laboratory in the Applied Aviation Sciences Department of Embry-Riddle’s College of Aviation at the Daytona Beach Campus.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.