Author: Steve Durst
Background: An Interstellar University (IU) in Kansas is now advancing as 21st Century aspiration, having been proposed at the 6th Interstellar Symposium 2019 November 10-14, Wichita, in the State with official motto “Ad Astra Per Aspera”– To the Stars Through Difficulties. IU progress made in 2020, pandemic difficulties notwithstanding, was mostly online, with 9 or 10 confirmations of interest from Symposium 6 distinguished associates for IU meetings at Galaxy Forum Kansas at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson set for August 8, then postponed and held virtually October 24. Dr. Gerald Jackson and Steve Durst presented on Interstellar matters. The Interstellar Research Group in 2020-2021 is remarkable and dynamic with IRG transforming from TVIW and highly productive with Database Update, Proceedings from 6th IS, Annual Scholarships, and preparing, organizing for 7th Interstellar Symposium in Tucson AZ, September 25-27.
Objective: In the 21st Century, the rise of an Interstellar University to advance astronautical, astrophysical, and interstellar research, knowledge, and development of unlimited dimensions is an enterprise that would benefit all Humanity, America, and of course Kansas – Mid-way USA, the breadbasket and heartland, and Ad Astra State. Methods– 2021 Preparations for IU realization include networking and organizing April 21-24 in Wichita, the Cosmosphere, and State Capitol Topeka on Ad Astra Kansas Day; Galaxy Forum Kansas 2021 in August with IU collaborative in-person and online meetings; continued outreach and interaction with Kansas universities such as Wichita State, Washburn, KU, KSU, Emporia State.
Results: Growing interstellar awareness and activity, stimulated in part by appropriate Proclamation from the Kansas State Governor and other statewide public advocacy, should be demonstrable; IU academic class formation and instructor identification may proceed with reference to the almost 40 “Interstellar R&D” features on Observation, Communication, and Transportation published bi-annually since 2001 in Ad Astra Kansas News. Official launch of the Interstellar University on January 29, 2022, would be timely.
Conclusions: The 2020s, with Ad Astra Kansas networking, IRG Interstellar Symposiums, JWST, international Mars activities and the cislunar superhighway, should witness initiating and sustained development of an Interstellar University in Kansas and likely other Interstellar / Interglobal education citadels.