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Introduction

A brief introduction to The International Space Fellowship.

The International Space Fellowship (ISF) is an international news and information network dedicated to the development of the space industry.

The organisation works to report and communicate space news and information to its valued community. Offering a unique and fresh approach, the International Space Fellowship works alongside leading space organisations with the goal of bringing space to the general public. Our online news service finds the latest space news from both inside and outside our community often meaning we are the first place for breaking news.

The ISF works as a platform to promote global networking, we see the general public playing an active role in space exploration. Our community forum has become a hotbed for space enthusiasts to share their thoughts and ideas, our knowledge sharing culture remaining at the heart of the ISF ethos.

We offer a range of services with quality being at the forefront of progression, our innovative team working to give users a unique online experience. Working to accommodate users’ needs we are in a constant state of evolution as we mould to fit the changing needs of our members. Our team combines experience with expertise with a shared vision of giving our members the most accurate and informative resource available to them. So, who are we?

Sigurd De Keyser has been behind the creation of the Space Fellowship, the main strategy and programming. With his many years of experience from working in the Video Games Industry he brings a business mind and a technical prowess. Sigurd has gained valuable business experience working as CEO for both Gabitasoft Interactive and the Benelux Game Initiative, a Branch organisation representing over 50 companies.

Matthias De Keyser heads the ISF design, his artistic license consistently seen throughout the ISF website, Matt has been the vision and the style behind the next generation Space Fellowship, his experience at Gabitasoft Interactive creating a perfect balance between his business mind and his artistic license.

Robert Goldsmith comes to the Space Fellowship after gaining an Honours degree in “IT & Computing” from the University of Gloucestershire (UK). He has also more recently finished a Post-Graduate in “Technology Management” from the Open University. Robert continues to use his management skills throughout the ISF, guiding the organisation to reach the goals the team have set.

Klaus Schmidt joined the International Space Fellowship team after working on his own popular space website. Klaus once a student trainee at DaimlerChrysler also attended the University of Stuttgart (Universität Stuttgart).

The ISF team share the combined vision that the fellowship can provide the general public with the means to actively participate in the growing private space industry. The ISF breaks down barriers and promotes a culture of openness and knowledge sharing.

Ever since our formation as the official Ansari X-Prize community in 2003 our goal has remained the same, to deliver our members with an accurate and informative online news service.

Why a Fellowship about space?

By Lourens Veen, a valued member of our community: Well, exploration is one thing, which is just another word for completing a difficult task in an effort to gain social status. It's no different from trying to win the Tour de France seven times in a row, or climbing Mount Everest, or sailing around the world solo non-stop. As Lance Armstrong's book says, "It's not about the bike", and his fellow Armstrong, Neal, might as well have written a book "It's not about the moon". Apollo wasn't about space, or the moon, it was, as Kennedy said, about doing something because it is hard, something harder than what the Russians had already done. They might as well have had another war in between Korea and Vietnam, but fortunately (miraculously?) managed to channel their energies into something more productive.

There's another aspect to Apollo though. Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote about the Apollo programme in her book "If the sun dies". She quotes Ray Bradbury:

Don't let us forget this: that the Earth can die, explode, the Sun can go out, will go out. And if the Sun dies, if the Earth dies, if our race dies, then so will everything die that we have done up to that moment. Homer will die, Michelangelo will die, Galileo, Leonardo, Shakespeare, Einstein will die, all those will die who now are not dead because we are alive, we are thinking of them, we are carrying them within us. And then every single thing, every memory, will hurtle down into the void with us. So let us save them, let us save ourselves. Let us prepare ourselves to escape, to continue life and rebuild our cities on other planets: we shall not long be of this Earth!

This seems to be the only realistic, long-term reason for wanting to go into space. Really long-term reason, because it will take another few billion years for the sun to die and our planet to explode. And that gives you your answer. Billions of years and billions of miles are impossible to imagine. We have managed to deal with this intellectually, which has allowed us to send spacecraft all throughout the solar system, and even beyond. But to most people that doesn't mean anywhere near as much as, say, being given a lopsided smile by an attractive member of your preferred sex. Which makes sense, because if our ancestors had been staring at the stars instead of making babies, we wouldn't have been here.

So, that leaves us geeks: a tiny minority who place a greater than average emphasis on intellectual endeavours. We do look at the stars and dream of colonising space. We do think beyond tomorrow and our back yard. And even if that doesn't make any practical sense, humanity needs us, too, because the sun will go out eventually. But somewhere between then and now, we'll make humanity head out for the stars.

Welcome to the Fellowship.



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