9 July 1999
NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF CHARLES CONRAD
The National Space Society (NSS) mourns the passing of former Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr. who was killed in a motorcycle accident early this morning.
"Pete Conrad was a strong advocate for commercial space, and devoted his years since leaving NASA to helping the average citizen get into space," commented NSS Executive Director Pat Dasch. "Conrad's role in the DC-X Single Stage Rocket Technology Demonstrator program was little known outside the space community, but was of tremendous importance in helping advance the cause of affordable space transportation. Pete flew four times into space, and wanted to make it possible for the average citizen to go as well. All who will one day fly as space tourists will owe him a great debt," Dasch added.
Conrad was a McDonnell Douglas engineer and flight controller during the DC-X test flights in 1993, 1994, and 1995. The test craft was the first rocket that hovered inside earth's atmosphere and helped establish research data on new designs for reusable space launchers. Such launchers may one day routinely fly passengers and cargo into space. The NSS supported Conrad's rocket project and the continued development of experimental rocket technology craft. "He will be missed by all who believe in a spacefaring civilization," Dasch added.
The National Space Society, founded in 1974, is an independent non-profit space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 20,000 members worldwide actively promote a spacefaring civilization. Information on NSS and space exploration is available at http://www.nss.org/.