Annual Interstellar Symposium in Tucson to Welcome Harvard, NASA Speakers

The Interstellar Research Group has announced the keynote speakers at its 7th annual Interstellar Symposium, taking place Sept. 25-27, with pre-symposium seminars on Sept. 24, in Tucson. 

Hosted by The University of Arizona, the conference will be held at the Tucson Marriot University Park and will feature a wealth of additional speakers, a reception on Friday night, select meals and an awards banquet on Saturday night, all included in registration. There are also “add-on” options to register for seminars, working tracks, and tours. 

“Hosting this prestigious national event in Tucson is an honor and an opportunity to hear from world-renowned experts on interstellar exploration,” said conference organizer Stephen Fleming. “A multitude of creative minds are uniting to express ideas that may completely change the future as we know it.”

Keynote speakers at the 7th Annual Interstellar Symposium include:

  • David Brin is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant and world-renowned author. His novels have been New York Times bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. David is the opening reception speaker and will share his knowledge on an eclectic range of topics. 
  • Esther Dyson is a well-known writer, speaker and a trained cosmonaut: she spent six months (2008-2009) training as backup to space tourist Charles Simonyi in Star City outside Moscow. Esther will share her experiences and lessons learned throughout her career. 
  • Abraham (Avi) Loeb is professor of astronomy at Harvard University. He has written 8 books and over 800 papers and will speak on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, SETI, Oumuamua, and the future of the Universe.
  • Homer Hickam is the best-selling author of many books, including “Rocket Boys.” Raised in West Virginia, he is a Vietnam veteran, a scuba instructor, a retired NASA engineer, and the awards banquet speaker. His latest book “Don’t Blow Yourself Up” will have its worldwide premiere and be available at the Symposia.
  • Mark Shelhamer is NASA’s former chief scientist for human research at the Johnson Space Center. Starting at MIT, he worked on the study of astronaut adaptation to space flight. He’ll speak about human adaptation to long term spaceflight at the symposia.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the use of face coverings is required in all indoor spaces. 

Registration is open to the public and can be completed online at:

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