Houston (October 17, 2019) – Robert A. Heinlein’s continuing influence on space activities and education will be celebrated at 70th annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC) next week in Washington, D.C. Throughout the week, the HPT will host special guests including NASA astronauts, authors, subject matter experts, representatives from HPT partner programs and international officials.
The Heinlein Prize Trust (HPT), a non-profit organization that honors the memory of Heinlein and reflects his vision and spirit for expanding human space exploration, is a silver sponsor of the IAC. HPT’s participation includes an exhibit showcasing Heinlein’s works, memorabilia, education programs and partner projects from around the globe. Four-time shuttle astronaut Dr. Don Thomas will be in HPT’s booth #295 during the IAC demonstrating flown space suits and explaining the trust’s educational programs.
One of the most prolific, award-winning American writers, Heinlein’s works are available in 128 countries in more than 30 languages. The Virginia Edition, a 2,000-set limited edition of all of Heinlein’s works in a 46-volume leather-bound set, is one of the most important publishing events in modern U.S. history. The books will be on display at IAC and are available for a limited time only; click here for additional information.
IAC participants will be able to see, first-hand, Heinlein’s impact on space and the variety of programs and partnerships that encourage and reward progress in commercial space activities that advances Robert and his wife Virginia’s dream of humanity’s future in space. These include:
Heinlein Prize: the $250,000 award designed to recognize, encourage and reward accomplishments of individuals in commercial space activities that advance Heinlein and his wife Virginia’s dream of humanity's future in space. Recipients to date are Peter Diamandis, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.partnership with the Heinlein Society to provide science fiction books, including Heinlein novels, to active military personnel, their families and veterans. To date, more than 23,000 books have been donated.
Heinlein for Heroes: partnership with the Heinlein Society to provide science fiction books, including Heinlein novels, to active military personnel, their families and veterans. To date, more than 23,000 books have been donated.
Heinlein Professorship at Naval Academy: endowment of the Heinlein professorship in aerospace engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. Heinlein was a Navy Academy graduate and retired from the Navy as an officer in 1934.
Partnership with the International Space University for the Heinlein Pay It Forward scholarship fund: To date, 223 students from all over the world have received funds and have voluntarily reimbursed the fund to provide grants for future students. HPT is conducting a campaign to endow and expand this fund.
Have Space Suit-Will Travel: The program brings show real space suits to students that has reached more than 100,00 students in 15 countries. The program includes a space curriculum, visits from astronauts, hands on experiences with flown space suits, posters and more. Heinlein’s book Have Space Suit-Will Travel is now a graphic novel available in print and digital formats.
As part of Have Space Suit-Will Travel, HPT works with the Mexican Space Agency to show space suits to Mexican students in Mexico. The campaign includes educational programs for students including a variety of materials available in Spanish and a free science curriculum. The program serves as a major education opportunity for students in Mexico to learn about science and space. An official of the Mexican Space Agency, Mario M. Arreola Santander, will work with the trust at the IAC to explain the program.
New writing contest: HPT and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation are sponsoring a contest for 6th to 8thgrade students to write an essay, poem or create a piece of artwork inspired by Heinlein’s works and illustrating his relevance today. Submissions are due January 31, 2020. Winners will be recognized in conjunction with HPT’s first “Heinlein on the Hill” event in Spring 2020 that will bring together students, educators, policymakers, space industry leaders, contest winners and others for an event on Capitol Hill.
International Institute of Space Law (IISL): HPT is a sponsor of the IISL Awards dinner at the Library of Congress as part of a student legal competition next week where NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will be the keynote speaker.
On Sunday evening, one of HPT’s trustees, Art Dula, will be awarded the Social Sciences Award by the International Academy of Astronautics.
HPT and Phoenix Pick, an imprint of the Arc Manor publishing company, also announced a soon-to-be-published new novel by Heinlein, The new novel, The Pursuit of the Pankera, is based on a recently found Heinlein’s manuscript.
The Heinlein Prize® honors the memory of Robert A. Heinlein™, a renowned American author. The purpose of the Heinlein Prize® is to encourage and reward progress in commercial space activities that advances Robert and his wife Virginia’s dream of humanity’s future in space. More information is available on HPT’s website. Follow HPT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.