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WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 17, 2009

Space Community Gathers at National Space Society's ISDC 2009

The 2009 International Space Development Conference took place at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida May 27-31.  The National Space Society's flagship event joined NSS members with key players in the civil, commercial, and entrepreneurial space communities for five days of presentations, workshops, and networking.  Here are a few highlights from ISDC 2009:

  • Thursday.  FAA-AST Associate Administrator George Nield set the stage for an enlightening commercial space day that led off with Jeff Greason of XCOR Aerospace discussing the updates on his LYNX suborbital vehicle. Greason was followed by Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn, giving the audience an exclusive look at the most recent test firings of SpaceShipTwo's rocket motor as well as an updated schedule of where people can expect to see next demonstration flights of Eve and the first-ever flight of SpaceShipTwo by the end of 2009.  Elon Musk was the featured luncheon keynote and in addition to receiving the prestigious Werner Von Braun Award, discussed his future plans for SpaceX, including details surrounding the company's next launch, which will carry the RazakSAT satellite to orbit.
  • Friday.  Devoted to NASA programs and outreach, the day was kicked off by a special welcome message from the Lt. Governor of Florida Jeff Kottkamp, who reminded attendees that the State of Florida is and will always be a strong supporter and proud home to the space industry. Former NSS Executive Director George Whitesides, now a Senior Advisor at NASA was the first keynote speaker of the day and focused his talk on how NASA will take on a more progressive approach to outreach by engaging the general public and implementing 'new media' and social networking.  An eager audience attended Ares and Constellation panels to hear the latest status of these next generation space systems. NASA KSC Deputy Director Janet Petro's lunch keynote for Friday focused primarily on the transition Kennedy Space Center will make during the anticipated operations gap created by the retirement of the Space Shuttle occurring as early as September of 2010.  Friday closed with a Gala honoring Rusty Schweickart and the Apollo 9 accomplishments.

Other presentation highlights included a Saturday Lunch Keynote by famed Apollo 11 Moon walker and NSS Board of Governors Chairman Buzz Aldrin, a fantastic presentation on the Greening of Space by Orion Propulsion Founder and President Tim Pickens, Rusty Schweickart's always engaging presentation on near earth objects and John Mankins Saturday night dinner keynote on the benefits of Space Solar Power.

High-definition recordings of many sessions are available online at

DVDs of the sessions can be purchased by contacting Dennis Whipple.

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Updated Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:52:42
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