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Summer School 2003 in Liège

The Human Factor and Success in Space Transporation

Main focus

  • Summer School 2003 - LiègeWhich human factors contribute to the failure or success of a launch?
  • What can we learn from the failures within the globally successful STS and Ariane program?
  • What kind of communications and crisis management are used during failures and recovery plans?
  • What kind of differences in human factors contribute to large space programs and other aerospace programs?


30 Students from Université de Liège, SUPAERO Toulouse, Politecnico di Torino, Universidad de Barcelona, Hochschule Bremen.


4 weeks programme during summer 2003 in Liège, Belgium.

Cultural and social events

Diversified sightseeing and cultural programme in and around Liège. Visits at Techspace Aero Liège, Alcatel ETCA Charleroi, SNECMA Vernon, EADS Space Transportation Les Mureaux, DLR Colone. Reception at the City Hall by Mayor Willy Demeyer.


Summer School 2003 - LiègeThe fourth international Summer School on space technology closed on Friday August 9th at the University of Liège.

During four weeks of classes, workshops and dedicated project work five competing international student teams studied the implications of "The Human Factor" on the success of space missions. Among the participants were 28 university level students from Toulouse, Torino, Barcelona and Bremen and two young engineers from EADS SPACE Transportation in Les Mureaux and Friedrichshafen.

In particular the teams re-analysed original flight data and press releases dealing with launcher failures of the past. The investigations were focussed on the Ariane programme as well as on the US Space Shuttle.

The students' tight work schedule was highlighted by visits at Techspace Aero Liège, Alcatel ETCA Charleroi, SNECMA Vernon, EADS Space Transportation Les Mureaux, DLR Colone and a diversified sightseeing and cultural programme. Mr. Willy Demeyer, Mayor of the City of Liège welcomed the CVA student group in person during a reception at the Liège City Hall.

On the closing day of the course the student groups presented the results of their studies in front of an expert jury. The final award ceremony and the subsequent gala dinner were arranged in the remarkable setting of the Museum of Metallurgy in Liège.

Mr. Jacques Durand, Head of the Ariane Development Programmes at ESA and chairman of the jury expressed his satisfaction with the remarkable work and congratulated the students for having completed "truly professional studies". Special merit was credited to the winning team for their investigation on "Ariane 1 L02 and the Human Factor".

Prof. Bozet, programme manager at the University of Liège, reviewed the course with honest appreciation and thanked the participants for their enthusiasm and dedication.

The CVA Summer School is an annual programme designed for 30 university students and young engineers from space industry. It is organized on the initiative of the Community of Ariane Cities CVA, an association comprising 36 cities, industrial members, space agencies, urban and commercial authorities