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STS-107 Columbia Crew Honored at 22nd International Space Development Conference

SAN JOSE, California (May 30, 2003) -- In tribute for their achievements and sacrifice in building a road map to the stars for all of mankind, the crew of the space shuttle Columbia were honored as recipients of the National Space Society's Space Pioneer Award at the 22nd annual International Space Development Conference, held at the Hyatt San Jose over the Memorial Day weekend.

Accepting the six-inch diameter pewter globe of the Moon on behalf of the crew from NSS president Kirby Ikin was Barry McCool, father of Columbia shuttle pilot William "Willy" McCool. A former Navy commander and instructor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Mr. McCool, along with his wife Audrey are also long-time members of the National Space Society.

While thousands of Americans fought traffic lines, airline ticket counters and barbeque grills signaling the start of summer vacation, the Silicon Valley in sunny Northern California was the gathering place for a group of uniquely visionary people with creative ideas for solving some of mankind's most pressing problems -- a group that sees the surprising answers not here on Earth, but in space.

The 22nd annual ISDC played host to some of the world's leading scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, astronauts and experts on space development. Visiting conference experts and attendees showcased innovative "space-based" solutions to pressing energy, environmental, economic, transportation and technology concerns facing humanity everywhere. The annual gathering of space advocates was open to the public and sponsored by the National Space Society. This year's conference highlights, among others, included:

  • Dr. Pascal Lee (NASA) discussed the NASA Haughton Mars Project.
  • Dr. Jill Tarter (SETI Institute) providing an update on the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence
  • Dr. David Criswell (Texas Space Grant Consortium) explored the potential of Lunar Solar Power to meet terrestrial energy needs.
  • Dr. Peter Diamandis (X Prize Foundation) briefed ISDC attendees on contenders for the "X Prize" contest for launching private citizens into space.
  • Dr. Robert Zubrin (Mars Society) summarized learning experiences on how to explore Mars on Earth in Arctic and Desert conditions
  • Loretta Hidalgo (Yuri's Night, Space Generation) encouraged audience members on new ways of getting people interested in space
  • Marianne Dyson (former Mission Control shuttle flight controller, children's book author and current NSS Director) discussed "Why Space Exploration is Important for Our Kids" and February's Columbia space shuttle tragedy, as well as held a book signing for her latest release, "Home on the Moon," published by the National Geographic Society.
  • Larry Evans (Space Camp California) will unveil plans to revive the dormant U.S. Space Camp California, now being relocated from San Jose to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and slated to reopen later this year.

In addition to the Space Pioneer Award presented at the annual NSS Awards Banquet, the Orange County Space Society, led by chapter president Larry Evans, received the NSS "Chapter of the Year" award from NSS Vice President Jim Plaxco for their outstanding public outreach and educational efforts with the general public.

Marianne Dyson accepted the "Explorer" and "Service to the Society" awards on behalf of the Clear Lake Area Chapter of NSS. The DC-L5 Chapter received the "Publicity & Media" award for their nine-part cable access program, while the NSS Chapter of North Texas snared the "Education" award. Norman Wille accepted a "Service to the Society" award on behalf of the NYC Chapter of NSS, while Randall Severy accepted an award for the Lunar Reclamation Society of Milwaukee, WI.

The National Space Society (NSS) is the world’s largest and oldest pro-space grassroots advocacy organization. With more than 20,000 members and dozens of chapters around the globe, NSS is committed to bringing about a truly spacefaring civilization. Founded in the 1970s by a group of visionaries who felt that space policy was too important to be left to the normal political process, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent grassroots voice on space issues. NSS advocates an ambitious agenda promoting the exploration, development, and eventual settlement of space.

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Updated Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 02:42:27
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