The SSETI association was created in 2003 in order to gather the participants of the SSETI programme by providing a common and legal structure for the projects within the programme. The purpose of the association is to work as an umbrella for international student space projects and create, develop and support a network of students that will work together do design, build, launch and operate satellites or spacecraft. By providing this, the association take part in fulfilling the aims of the SSETI programme itself.
The association aims are:
- to involve and educate students about space and to develop and promote interests in space technology and space-related topics.
- to promote autonomy of young people by giving them the tools to develop an educational space project.
- to promote exchange of ideas and cross order collaboration between European students.
The association infrastructure provides the student network with tools they need to work together fulfilling their dreams as well as the aims of the SSETI programme. These tools are for instance an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server, a newsgroup server, a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server and a knowledge database.
Having a legal structure for the projects is essential and one of the main purposes of having the association. This legal structure gives the students support and advice in legal issues, that occur while they are working in an international space project. This support can include help with proper sponsorship contracts, help to solve problems connected to the intellectual property rights of the designs made by the students or help to register a satellite and the radio frequencies in use.
Public relations are of importance for promoting the SSETI programme and the association. Therefore the association provide tools, such as promotional campaign material, posters, folders and material for conferences, in order to help the students to exchange, share and spread the knowledge within the association and to other students across Europe.
The treasurer and his team is the financial backbone of the SSETI association. He is the contact person in various financial matters concerning: administering ESA funds and sponsorship money from other organisations, supporting infrastructure and PR with financial expertise, being in charge of reimbursing travel expenses to his members caused by various events, reporting about the usage of received funds (cost analysis), keeping the financial past on track by taking advantage of a professional accounting software and many more topics related to financial issues.