“IAA Conference on the Use of Space and the Heads of Space Agencies Summit” January 09-10, 2014, Washington, USA


Speech by Academician Yefim Malitikov

Chairman of the Interstate Committee

on knowledge dissemination and adult education,

President of the International Association “Znanie”

Training of specialists in space exploration by means of distance learning
“EARTH IS A Cradle of SUSTAINMENT, BUT WE CANNOT LIVE IN A Cradle Forever” by K. Tsiolkovsky

The modern stage in the development of world cosmonautics is characterized by increasing integration processes in space exploration. The number of joint space programs is growing, and more and more countries are involved in space activities. At the same time the demand for highly qualified young specialists and scientists grows naturally. However, on the other hand, the world practice shows that the personnel situation in the space industry is rather complicated due to the lack of a proper inflow of young specialists and, as a result, the “aging” of its staff.

One of the powerful instruments in the system of training and re-training of specialists in rocket and space field is distance learning which becomes more and more popular recently.

Distance learning is designed to solve a considerable part of the problems, which in modern social and economic conditions have become global in nature due to the fact that traditional forms of getting education and models of learning cannot satisfy the needs for educational services, usually concentrated in big cities or educational centers, and getting quickly updated modern special knowledge, which a limited number of specialists possess.

The main priority areas of training, in our opinion, should be:

ecological monitoring and remote sensing of the earth;
Automated vehicles for solution of economic tasks;
Long-term orbital stations and transportation systems;
exploration of the Moon and planets by automatic and manned vehicles.
Dissemination of knowledge and education in new scientific disciplines, formed and developed in scientific schools, internationally recognized, including space flight dynamics; practical
rocket engine engineering; unique rocket-space technology control systems with high reliability; space medicine and life support systems for manned space systems; theoretical generalization of scientific space information about the Universe and the planets of the solar system;
studying achievements in advanced engineering of design, manufacturing and operation of complex space systems based on advanced automation and microelectronics; remote control and monitoring of spacecrafts, measuring their motion parameters at interplanetary distances as well as technology of space-building and multifunctional spacecrafts based on non-hermetic platforms of modular design;
acquiring knowledge of practical use of Space by creating systems of space weather support; geodetic satellites; ecological monitoring systems; global monitoring of natural resources and environment; global telecommunications system and building a common information space in Russia on this basis
transition from subject-oriented education system to education system based on comprehensive cosmonautics project with significant expansion of the number of project participants based on modern information and education technologies with retention of existing knowledge and experience and new system of continuous professional development, updating and accumulation of knowledge.
The system of distance learning and training of specialists in the field of rocket and space subjects, the general structure of which is shown in Fig. 1, is a complicated territorially distributed, multifunctional system processing, storing and exchanging between its elements a variety of educational and scientific information of great volume.

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Modern universities and centers of learning must build and possess their own space teleports, becoming, in essence, telecoms for the exchange of mutually-accepted best content. All of them should be involved in the export-import of knowledge through a single distribution teleport, which becomes a Planetary Knowledge Exchange, delivering it on demand to any end of the world, to any consumer, from the “individual” to the university.

Following the conversion doctrine of military production the International Association “Knowledge” together with the English company SatEduNet put forward the idea of creating the World University of Distance Learning (WUDL) and providing global coverage in the interests of world cooperation and international division of labor through mutual exchange in the form of export-import of knowledge from leading universities and professors of the world.

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The World University as a distributor of modern knowledge is the guarantor of the provision of the world economy with highly qualified labor resources at the national and international level.

  Organizationally, legally and already in fact, the work of the WUDO began with the efforts of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Thus, the technical center of the ATE is provided by the Research Institute of Space Systems with the support of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

The International Association “Znanie” has a super modern educational base structure. It is the Academy, the University and the Institute, which is simultaneously a university, one of the largest television companies and an electronic library, exceeding the volume of the U.S. Library of Congress.

  It has its own space teleport, covering more than 400 cities in 14 countries.

  2,500 professors provide training in 68 specialties for 175,000 students.

  It is one of the three largest universities in the world.

  Its virtual audience is 4,000 times larger than the classical one.

The use of distance learning system for training rocket and space industry specialists will allow:

expand the opportunities for gaining knowledge on rocket-space subjects

different categories of citizens;

to provide continuous training, retraining, learning and

to ensure uninterrupted training, retraining and education of space industry employees through the use of

use of modern distance learning technologies;

improve qualification of specialists involved in space activities without discontinuing their principal activity
reduce the training period for new specialists by means of specialized training programs
reduce the time required to disseminate the knowledge, skills and experience accumulated in the industry


reduce the time of training specialists in new technologies;
reduce the cost of training specialists.

On this basis, International Association “Knowledge” offers mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as:

design and creation of technical centers and group terminal complexes for distance learning;
development of electronic educational and methodical materials (lectures, tutorials, tests, etc.);
Lectures and classes via distance learning with involvement of teachers from higher educational institutions and space rocket industry organizations;
organization of distance learning for different specialties in the field of space activities: design and creation of rocket and space engineering products, control, testing and operation of space vehicles, dynamics, ballistics and control of space vehicles movement, etc.

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The role of education in sustainable human development has not been sufficiently appreciated or reviewed for decades. And here it is appropriate to recall the words of Harvard University President Derek Bock: “If you think education is too expensive, try ignorance.

  The traditional education system is based on the formula: “Education for Life,” Time has demanded a different formula: “Education Through Life.”

  It should become a priority of state policy, an integral part of laws and constitutions, and then – a mental attitude of human civilization. It is necessary to introduce this formula in all the efforts of states in order to successfully overcome the existing problems and achieve the set goals.

  Thank you for your attention!