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Rutan and Steidle to open conference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2005 - The National Space Society today announced an impressive roster of public and private spaceflight pioneers, including the leader of NASA's new exploration efforts as well as the designer of SpaceShipOne, as confirmed speakers for the 2005 International Space Development Conference (ISDC) to be held May 19-22 in Washington, DC.

"We are honored to bring together so many of the trailblazers in space exploration, science, technology and commerce," said George Whitesides, NSS Executive Director. "Whether part of NASA's exploration initiatives or innovative private space enterprises, these are the people writing the history of our times. Their efforts benefit life on Earth while building the foundation for a spacefaring civilization."

Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle, USN (Ret.), NASA's Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems, heads the list of ISDC speakers from government space efforts. Representing the leaders of missions to the Moon, Mars, Saturn, and beyond, these speakers will showcase the latest news from the frontiers of exploration. Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Steven Squyres, Principal Investigator, Mars Exploration Rovers
  • Dr. Robert Mitchell, Program Manager, Cassini
  • Dr. Paul Spudis, Senior Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory; President's Commission on the Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy

Burt Rutan, president of Scaled Composites and designer of the Ansari X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne, will open the conference, leading the new breed of entrepreneurs and engineers who are building the private world of space. Joining Rutan will be the leaders of many of the most exciting new ventures in space today. Confirmed speakers also include:

  • Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation; Chairman and CEO, Zero Gravity Corporation
  • Will Whitehorn, President, Virgin Galactic
  • David Gump, CEO, Transformational Space LLC
  • Armand Musey, President, Near Earth LLC
  • Stephen Attenborough, Vice President of Astronaut Relations, Virgin Galactic

Finally, the conference will bring together the visionaries of tomorrow whose ability to look beyond the near term will show the way to the future of space. These confirmed speakers include:

  • Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut; Chairman, B612 Foundation
  • James Zimmerman, President, International Astronautical Federation
  • Esther Dyson, Editor, Release 1.0; Former Chairman of the ICANN Board
  • Dr. Brad Edwards, President/Founder Carbon Designs, Inc; Developer of the Space Elevator
  • Rick Tumlinson, Co-founder, Space Frontier Foundation
  • Dr. Roger Launius, Chair, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum

The 2005 ISDC events, driven by the theme "Your Ticket to Space," will examine how advances in commercial and government space efforts are enabling citizens to participate and engage in space in unprecedented ways. These advances benefit life on Earth and lead the way toward a spacefaring civilization. The conference will take place May 19-22, 2005, at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. More information about the conference, including online registration, hotel information, and a call for papers, is available on the conference Web site at


About NSS
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, how to join or donate, visit

For more information:

Jeff Foust
ISDC Communications Manager
(240) 277-6371

Jeremy Pyle
Vice President, Public Affairs
(415) 713-6272

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Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 14:51:29
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