Rachel Prucey
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Luisa Fernanda Zambrano
International Space University

Denise Vardakas
Singularity University, Moffett Field, Calif.
June 30, 2009
Festive Ceremony Inaugurates University Programs at NASA Ames
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – The first International Space University (ISU) Opening Ceremony held at a NASA center drew more than 500 guests for a multimedia celebration of exploration at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, June 29, 2009.

The celebration welcomed more than 170 students, along with dozens of faculty and guest lecturers from more than 40 countries to ISU's 22nd annual Space Studies Program and the inaugural Graduate Studies Program of the newly-launched Singularity University. The International Space University hosted the event with the Singularity University.

"NASA is proud to serve as the International Space University's connection to California's vibrant Silicon Valley, where groundbreaking innovation takes place every day,” said Ames Director S. Pete Worden. “We look forward to the many opportunities we'll have to share ideas with our guests from ISU and Singularity University this summer.”

Speakers included Charles Scales, NASA's associate deputy administrator; S. Pete Worden, Ames Center Director; Tony Spitaleri, mayor of Sunnyvale, Calif.; Margaret Abe-Koga, mayor Mountain View, Calif.; Peter Diamandis, space entrepreneur and co-founder of ISU and SU; and Michael Simpson, president of ISU. Guests also received a special video welcome from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and NASA Astronaut Mike Barratt onboard the International Space Station.

"Over the next nine weeks the past, present, and future of the space program will come together," said Michael Simpson, president of ISU. "Many of the students gathered here to learn from the very best minds in the business will be the senior leaders of the future, as human beings venture out to extend our knowledge of the solar system and beyond while growing the global economy through the vibrant enterprises and entrepreneurship of the aerospace field."

Through this and other college and university programs, NASA will identify and develop the critical skills and capabilities needed to strengthen the future workforce of NASA and the nation and to explore our planet, the moon and beyond.

Support from the local, governmental, and scientific communities leading up to the Opening Ceremony has been impressive,” said Peter H. Diamandis, co-founder of Singularity University, Moffett Field, Calif, and co-founder of ISU. “Our inaugural class is composed of extraordinary students from around the globe. Fellow SU co-founder Ray Kurzweil and I look forward to seeing what this stellar combination of students and faculty will produce throughout the course of the program. With SU and ISU at NASA Ames together this summer, the next nine weeks will be exciting to watch.”

The International Space University was founded in 1987, with a vision of a peaceful and prosperous future through the study, exploration and development of space for the benefit of humanity. The space studies program is a nine-week course for postgraduate students and young professionals from all over the world. The curriculum covers technical and non-technical, space-related fields and ranges from engineering and satellite applications to policy and the humanities. An international cadre of distinguished professors will teach the classes, which will be held June 29, 2009 to Aug. 28, 2009.

Singularity University is a new academic institution, with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address “humanity’s grand challenges.” The Graduate Summer Program is a nine-week graduate-level interdisciplinary curriculum designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration, and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating.

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