For nine weeks this summer, the city of Montreal will play host to the International Space University summer classes, with visitors expected to attend from more than two dozen countries from around the globe. ISU was originally founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 to further interest in space study. Its summer session planned for Montreal will feature 80 experts on a variety of topics related to space exploration and seminars ranging from robots to female astronauts.
More than a dozen Canadian students have already signed up for the unique out of this world University, which runs from June 9 through August 8 this year. According to David Kendall, who is directing ISU activities this summer, the goal of the special sessions is to help broaden students’ knowledge about all aspects of the global space community. Because participants get to meet and hear lectures and discussions conducted by astronauts, scientists, researchers and other people involved in companies whose business is international space, they leave the summer program with a better understanding of how each aspect of the international space program interconnects with the other.
China is expected to send 26 students to Montreal for this summer’s ISU program. Cost for each student to participate is around $20,000, although some attendees qualify to receive scholarships to defray that expense. That fee includes room and board and all materials relating to the nine-week course. Says one of the University’s co-founders, Bob Richards, the ultimate goal of ISU is to promote peace through having a variety of cultures work together on projects related to space exploration and research. He reports that many students who meet at the summer session become friends for life and many have been inspired after attending to pursue a career in space research and exploration.