On Sunday the 8th October 2017 the Initiative for Interstellar Studies officially opened the ‘interstellar space’ of its new HQ. The event was attended by 77 people, which included 18 children. Also in attendance was the President of the British Interplanetary Society Mark Hempsell, The Executive Secretary of the British Interplanetary Society Gill Norman and other members of the BIS council including Rod Woodcock, David Shayler and Richard Osborne (also an i4is Director). Also in attendance was David Ashford of Bristol Spaceplanes, a leader in space tourism. The event was hosted by Kelvin Long who acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the day.
The VIP Guest of Honour for the opening was Apollo 15 Astronaut Colonel Al Worden, who flew to the Moon in 1971 and spent over a week in lunar orbit. Al signed autographs, posed for photographs and gave a riveting lecture on his Apollo experiences and his views for humankind future in space. See the future issues of Principium for an account of what Al Worden said during his inspirational lecture.
After the lecture, Al Worden joined Kelvin Long in the official opening. Andreas Hein, the newly elected Executive Director of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies, then said a few words and invited Al to cut the wonderfully baked cake celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies since its founding in September 2012.
The day was a great success and one that the members of the i4is, there were 15 in attendance, will not forget. We also hope and expect that our guests, especially the youngest, will treasure a memory of participating in a historic event in the presence of one of the 18 surviving visitors to our Moon. It was also wonderful that we were able to celebrate the achievements of our Project Apollo space hero's and their courageous journeys, whilst also thinking about the future of human kind in space. Al Worden expressed the view that it was a part of the future of human kind, to travel to other planets and other stars eventually.