Boston University Conference to Examine Future of Space Exploration

in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, News Releases, Science & Technology
March 5th, 2007

Contact: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 | kjastive@bu.edu

(Boston) – With NASA recently announcing plans to develop an international base camp on the moon by 2020 and a manned mission to Mars another long-term goal of the agency, space exploration is on the cusp of major advancement. On the heels of these new initiatives, Boston University will host The Future of Space Exploration: Solutions to Earthly Problems? – a three-day conference (April 12 – 14) that will examine what else lies ahead for the next half-century of space study.

Sponsored by the Boston University Center for Space Physics, the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, and the Secure World Foundation, this conference will bring together leading scholars from the natural and social sciences and the humanities to consider the issues and questions facing the future of space travel, exploration, and utilization.

“From the viability of space tourism and colonization to space resource mining to solve problems here on Earth, we stand at a critical junction. The tremendous potential offered by access to space can be used to address many important human issues and concerns – scientific, technological, and societal,” said Supriya Chakrabarti, professor of astronomy and director of BU’s Center for Space Physics. “A major objective of this symposium will be the articulation of our goals in space for the next 50 years in the context of international partnership.”

Featuring discussions led by noted researchers from around the world, including Dr. John C. Mather, 2006 Nobel Prize Winner in physics, and a keynote address by Lord Rees of Ludlow, president of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, the conference will focus on:

- The convergence of technologies that will play important roles in future space exploration and travel, such as alternative propulsion systems

- The role of space exploration to solve critical societal needs

- Scientific usage of outer space, such as astronomical observations from the far side of the moon

- Space governance and policy

- Social, theological, philosophical, and public policy implications of finding Earth-like planets and the discovery (or not) of extraterrestrial life

- The role of space for commercial applications, including communications and space tourism

An additional highlight of the conference is a Friday evening discussion with Susan Eisenhower, president of the Eisenhower Group Inc. and author of Partners in Space, and Dr. Sergei Khrushchev, senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and son of former Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev. The event will examine international cooperation in space and offer unprecedented insight into the Soviet and American space programs during the Cold War.

Event:
“The Future of Space Exploration: Solutions to Earthly Problems?”

Dates:
April 12 – 14, 2007

Location:
The Executive Leadership Center
Boston University School of Management
595 Commonwealth Ave.

For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.bu.edu/pardee/2007/04/13/future-of-space-exploration-a-pardee-center-conference/.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Note to editors: Interviews with conference organizers and speakers available upon request.

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