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Hugh Downs to Host 30th Anniversary Gala for National Space Society

Award-winning journalist and chairman of NSS Board of Governors to lead "star-studded" celebration

Washington, DC, March 17, 2005 - The National Space Society (NSS) announced today that it will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary at a special event this May in Washington, D.C., during the organization's annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC).

Hosted by acclaimed TV journalist and author Hugh Downs, the gala will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST, on Saturday, May 21, 2005. The gala will be attended by members of the NSS Board of Governors, current and former astronauts and the leading individuals advancing public and private spaceflight today. Mr. Downs is the chairman of the Board of Governors.

"This celebration honors three decades of successful space advocacy by NSS," said Downs. "Spacecraft and the technological breakthroughs of Apollo owe much to the genius and vision of the founder of this organization, Werner von Braun, but also to the collective passion and perseverance of thousands of NSS members, past and present."

With keynote speeches by Rear Admiral Craig E. Steidle, USN (Ret.), NASA's Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems, and Burt Rutan, president of Scaled Composites and designer of the X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne, ISDC 2005 brings together the leading individuals from government space programs and private space ventures to develop the ideas and strategies needed to build a spacefaring society. More than 30 high-profile speakers have confirmed to date, with the latest additions including:

  • Dr. James Garvin, Chief Scientist, NASA
  • Jim Maser, President and General Manager of Sea Launch Company
  • The Hon. Robert S. Walker, Chairman, Wexler & Walker Associates
  • Mark Jannot, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science Magazine
  • Brig. Gen. Simon "Pete" Worden (USAF, Ret.), Former Director of Transformation at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base
  • Dr. Brian Marsden, Director, Minor Planets Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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 the National Space Society
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, or the annual International Space Development Conference, visit:

National Space Society
George Whitesides
Executive Director
Telephone: (202) 429-1600

Jeremy Pyle
Vice President of Public Affairs
Telephone: (415) 713-6272

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Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 14:51:36
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