Wichita Space Initiative and WSU to host conference celebrating NASA and Apollo legacy


Wichita State University and the Wichita Space Initiative (WSI) will host the Celebrating the Scientific Legacy of NASA and Apollo conference.

The conference is free and open to the public, and will take place from 9 a.m. - 6:20 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the WSU Rhatigan Student Center room 233.

It will showcase the scientific, cultural and technological benefits of NASA and the Apollo moon missions. The conference will also focus on Kansas’ contributions and impacts on the program.

The program for the conference includes more than 10 expert talks. Topics range from women in aerospace to interstellar travel.

Speakers will come from across Kansas and the United States.

Roger Launius, former NASA chief historian, will deliver the keynote speech, “Why Go to the Moon? Apollo, the Space Race, and the Many Faces of Lunar Exploration.”

Other speakers include Chinyere Okafor of WSU, who will speak about women engineers and equal rights, and Ian Varga of Florida State University, speaking on NASA and the search for extraterrestrial life.

In addition to speeches, the winners of a recent college essay contest will read their papers during the program. Participants will also have the opportunity to view the finalists of a statewide middle and high school aerospace poster contest, among other tours and exhibits.

The Kansas Space Grant Consortium is funding the conference as a part of its goal to support NASA's vision, mission and strategic enterprises through national and state initiatives.

Lunch will not be provided, but participants will be given an hour during the day for a lunch break.

Although participants are not required to register in advance, they may visit the conference website for more information.

Learn more about the conference

The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wichitastate and Facebook at www.facebook.com/wichita.state.