Famed Star Trek actor, celebrity, and private astronaut William Shatner will appear at the National Space Society’s 2024 International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in May. Mr. Shatner will be accepting the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award, which “honors those individuals who have made significant, lifetime contributions to the creation of a free spacefaring civilization” for his dramatic and wide-reaching influence on public perceptions of space exploration and development via his work on the original Star Trek series as well as a string of movies in the same franchise. Show creator Gene Roddenberry received the Heinlein Award in 1993. You can learn more about the ISDC at isdc.nss.org.

“We could not be more pleased to be hosting Mr. Shatner at our conference,” said Dale Skran, the COO of NSS. “His work on Star Trek has inspired many in their quest to explore and settle that final frontier while being guided by an inspirational vision of the highest and best values humanity has to offer.”

The ISDC will be held on May 23-26, 2024, in Los Angeles, California at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX. Presentations will include talks on space exploration and development, cislunar infrastructure, the influence of science fiction, biosciences, space policy, space settlement, space technology, space law, in situ resource utilization, space-related economics, space agriculture and food production, life support, space solar power, health and diet, newspace and commercialization, international collaboration, planetary defense, planetary protection, and more. Please see the ISDC 2024 website for more details.

“The ISDC is the only major space conference that is intended for everyone, from space professionals to students to the lay public. It is the largest and longest running space conference anywhere,” said Aggie Kobrin, the NSS Event Manager. “We’re thrilled to have Mr. Shatner join us to inspire our attendees, especially the hundreds of young people who attend each year.”

Shatner starred in the original Star Trek from 1966 through 1969. Notable moments from his tenure on the show included the first interracial kiss on television, among others. His actions in the series were guided by the highest principles as memorialized in the show’s Prime Directive of non-interference with alien cultures.

After the original series concluded, Shatner went on to star in myriad other hit TV shows, including TJ Hooker, The Andersonville Trial, The Barbary Coast, and famously in Boston Legal. He also voiced Star Trek: The Animated Series and starred in seven Star Trek feature films. He is the recipient of two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and three Saturn Awards.

Shatner is active in his support of numerous charities including the American Tinnitus Association and the horse charities Hollywood Charity Horse Show and Riding for Hope. He has also donated substantial sums to charities including Habitat for Humanity.

Other notables at this year’s ISDC include former NASA astronauts Susan Kilrain and Jose Hernandez, Dr. Alan Stern of NASA’s New Horizons mission, Dr. Pascal Lee of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames, Chief Engineer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Rob Manning, CEO of VAST Max Haot, Jordan Noone of Embedded Ventures, Janet’s Planet host and NSS Governor Janet Ivey, and Melissa Navia, star of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

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