The National Space Society vision is people living and working in space


17 June 1999

MEMBERS OF FIRST AND LAST APOLLO MISSIONS TO THE MOON TO PARTICIPATE IN LUNAR BASE SYMPOSIUM

(Los Angeles, CA) -- June 17 -- The National Space Society and the Space Frontier Foundation announced today that Apollo astronauts Dr. Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Dr. Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17), and John Young (Apollo 10) will join other space leaders, entrepreneurs and lunar advocates in Houston, Texas on July 15-16, 1999 to lay the groundwork for a permanent human return to the Moon. The "Lunar Base Development Symposium", the first of its kind, is designed to begin crafting the elements of a business plan leading to the construction of a commercially viable lunar base within the next ten years. Honorary Co-chairpersons will be House Space Subcommittee Chairman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Space Subcommittee member Dick Lampson (D-TX) and Lunar Prospector Principal Investigator Dr. Alan Binder.

"Imagine a Mars training base in a crater next to a Lunar Hilton Hotel", said Pat Dasch, Executive Director of the National Space Society, which is a co-organizer of the symposium. "Scientists operating the NASA facility would live side by side with astronomers operating far-side observatories and prospectors mining Helium-3. Roll in the space tourism and entertainment industries and we have a lunar community."

The Society's members have created the Center For Lunar Research to help return humans to the Moon in the 21st Century and build upon the historic legacy of the Apollo program. From being a place to train future planetary explorers to providing a stable platform for giant new telescope arrays, from its vast stores of nearly priceless Helium-3 to becoming an eventual tourist destination, the Moon represents a strong "next step" for humanity in space.

The event planners believe that it also represents a chance for a new synergy between government and the private sector.

"Some say the Moon was abandoned after Apollo, but we see that as an opportunity," stated Space Frontier Foundation president Rick Tumlinson. "The Moon is now a clean slate, and it's close enough to the Earth for private firms to play a big role there. We think we can create a critical mass to make a return to the Moon not only possible, but profitable."

The event, to be held in cooperation with the NASA Johnson Space Center, is being sponsored by the Foundation for the International Non-governmental Development of Space (FINDS). Other sponsors include Applied Space Resources, the Lunar Resources Company, the Lunar Reclamation Society, LunaCorp, the Lunar Research Institute, and the Space Studies Institute.

The National Space Society, founded in 1974, is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 20,000 members and 75 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization.

The Space Frontier Foundation is a grass-roots organization of people dedicated to opening the space frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible.

For more information on the Lunar Base Development Symposium, visit the Society's website, send email to nsshq@nss.org, or call 202-543-1900.


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