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



Experts to Examine Potential Threats from Asteroids and Comets, Private Industry's New Race to Space and the Coming Breakthroughs in Space Exploration

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2005 -- The National Space Society (NSS) is pleased to announce several high-profile panel discussions slated for the 2005 International Space Development Conference (ISDC), featuring leading NASA scientists, private space entrepreneurs and spaceflight visionaries tackling some of the most critical issues facing space science and exploration today. ISDC is scheduled from May 19 to 22, in Washington, DC.

On Friday morning, May 20, the foremost experts on Near Earth Objects (NEOs) will discuss the promise and threat posed by asteroids and comets. Chaired by retired Air Force Brig. General Simon "Pete" Worden, the panel will discuss the possibility of destructive NEO impacts on Earth, technologies currently being developed to mitigate this risk, and how NEOs may one day provide key natural resources to further human space exploration and development. Panel members include:

  • Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut and Chairman of the B612 Foundation;
  • Brian Marsden, Director of the Minor Planets Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; and
  • Lindley Johnson; Program Manager of NASA's Near Earth Observation Program.

A morning panel on Saturday, May 21, will explore the future of personal spaceflight. Panelists will discuss the impact of SpaceShipOne's successful X Prize flights last year as well as efforts by space entrepreneurs to tap a potentially limitless market for suborbital - and eventually orbital - space tourism. Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine, with chair the panel, whose members will include:

  • Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic; and
  • Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation.

A third panel on Saturday afternoon will bring together key leaders of space science and planetary research, including the heads of the Mars Exploration Rover missions, the Cassini mission to Saturn, and the search for extrasolar planets. The group will feature Mars Exploration Rover principal investigator Dr. Steve Squyres, Cassini program manager Dr. Robert Mitchell, and extrasolar planet hunter Dr. Paul Butler.

Additional panels and keynote speakers are planned for the conference and will be announced in the days to come.

The 2005 ISDC, with the theme "Your Ticket to Space," will examine how advances in commercial and government space efforts will enable citizens to participate and engage in space in unprecedented ways. These advances benefit life on Earth and lead the way to 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


Jeremy Pyle
VP of Public Affairs, National Space Society
(415) 713-6272

Join NSS button
Renew NSS button
Give NSS button

Facebook logo Twitter logo LinkedIn logo YouTube logo

ISDC 2018
Register Now
Prices rise on Apr. 15

Ad Astra Magazine

National Space Society Blog

NSS Book Reviews

NSS Credit Card

To The Stars Newsletter

Enterprise in Space

Space Is Our Future video

Bookmark and Share

NSS Logo NSS Contact Information   NSS Privacy Policy
Copyright 1998-2018, National Space Society

Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 14:51:41
Web Services by
Powered By CyberTeams