Press Release

American Astronautical Society’s National Conference and 54th Annual Meeting

By SpaceRef Editor
October 6, 2007
Filed under , ,

November 12-14, 2007

“Celebrating Fifty Years – But, What’s Next?”


South Shore Harbour Resort
2500 South Shore Boulevard
League City, Texas (Near NASA JSC)
Reservations: 800-442-5005
Mention AAS to get special $125 room rate

Corporate Sponsors: Check with the AAS Business Office for remaining sponsorship opportunities.

– Preliminary Program –


6:00 – 8:00 Networking Reception for all Registrants and NextGen Invitees


7:00 Sponsors’ Breakfast with JSC Center Director Michael Coats

7:30 General Registration / Networking / Continental Breakfast

9:00 Welcome and Introduction

Mark Craig, VP/Manager, Space and Ocean Systems Solutions, SAIC AAS President

9:10 Opening Remarks and Introduction of Keynote Speaker Michael Coats, Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

9:15 Carl Sagan Memorial Lecture and Award Presentation

Maria T. Zuber, E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and Head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

10:00 Break

10:15 Session 1: Celebrating NASA’s Heritage – Fifty Years of Discovery & Achievement

In recognition of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the founding of NASA, the opening panel will look back over those five decades. They will discuss the “wake-up call” of the Sputnik launch and how the US space program and our US competitiveness in the space race emerged, and then focus on the missions accomplished and lessons learned since 1958. Panelists will discuss “Fifty Years of Discovery and Achievement” in the areas of human spaceflight, astronomy and planetary science. The panelists will also discuss the significant impact of these achievements have on the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Moderator: Joe Alexander, National Academy of Sciences


  • Matt Bille, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Pat Reiff, Rice University (invited)
  • Gene Levy, Provost, Rice University (invited)
  • J. Craig Wheeler, University of Texas at Austin

12:00 Luncheon

Guest Speaker: Winston Scott (Former Astronaut), Vice President – Jacobs,

Deputy General Manager-Engineering and Science Contract Group (ESCG)

1:30 Session 2: The Next Fifty Years – Goals and Challenges

This panel will view the future through a rapidly changing, technology driven lens; address the responsibility to provide the environment and tools to motivate NextGen, and look at the role of the Federal Government, Academia and Private Sector. What stories will NextGen have for their Grandchildren in 2058?

Moderator: Lon Rains, VP, Editorial, Space News


  • Doug Cooke, Deputy AA, NASA/ESMD
  • Paul Spudis, Lunar Scientist & Member President’s Commission on VSE, APL
  • Bretton Alexander, Executive Director, X-Prize Foundation

3:00 Session 3: Downloading the Stars: The Future of Space Exploration

This session will investigate new insights for the future of space exploration through the eyes of young, upcoming and visionary leaders in the space industry. The session will include two short presentations and a discussion on how innovative products and technologies that are transforming our world today can be integrated into NASA mission tomorrow. Featured panelists with experience in space advocacy, public collaboration, art and design, prize competitions, and space tourism, will specifically address how web2.0 technologies, prizes, virtual worlds, communities, and innovative technologies can be used in space exploration and future NASA missions. Panelists will include Young Professionals who are involved in technology, understand space, and are leaders in their respective industries.

Moderator: Chris Nelson, Oceaneering


  • George Whitesides, NSS Director on “Public Participation in Space Exploration” (invited)
  • William Pomerantz, Director of Space Projects, X PRIZE Foundation
  • Robbie Schingler, NASA Ames CoLab Manager on “Participatory Exploration”
  • Karen Lau, Space Artist
  • Tim Bailey, Zero Gravity Corporation and 2008 World Space Expo Coordinator

4:45 Adjourn

7:00 Pre-Banquet Reception

7:30 Awards Banquet

Guest Speaker: Wayne Hale, Manager, Space Shuttle Program Office (invited)

Honored Guest: Rep. Nick Lampson, D-TX (invited)


8:00 Registration / Networking / Continental Breakfast

9:00 Opening Keynote

Neil Milburn, VP, Federal Liaison & Program Manager, Armadillo Aerospace

9:30 Session 4: ISS: Critical Applications Beyond 2010

In depth discussion of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

Moderator: TBD

Panelists: TBD

11:30 Luncheon Guest Speaker: Lori Garver, President, Capital Space

1:15 Session 5: International Cooperation on Human Space Activities This panel will examine international cooperation in human space activities, including its benefits and lessons for the future, and how space-faring nations are preparing for collaboration in future space exploration. The panel will also examine the potential for cooperation in exploration.

Moderator: Lyn Wigbels, Aerospace Consultant and Visiting Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies


  • Frederic Nordlund, Head, ESA Washington Office
  • Gib Kirkham, Director, Exploration Systems and Aeronautics Research Division, Office of External Relations, NASA Headquarters
  • Ian Pryke, Senior Fellow, Center for Aerospace Policy Research, School of Public Policy, George Mason University
  • Graham Gibbs, Counsellor, Space Affairs/Canadian Space Agency

3:00 Break

3:15 Session 6: Exploring the Policy and Political Landscape on the Space Frontier

Moderator: Bill Adkins, President, Adkins Strategies, LLC

Panelists: TBD

4:30 Closing Remarks Mark Craig

5:00 Adjourn / Closing Reception

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FULL REGISTRATION: includes all sessions, continental breakfasts, break refreshments, two luncheons and receptions.

  • AAS Member – $375
  • Non-member / Renewing Member – $460
  • U.S. Government / Academia – $300
  • One-Day Registration – $230

SPECIAL REGISTRATION: includes all sessions, continental breakfasts, break refreshments and reception.

  • Student (full-time) / Teacher (K-12) – $30
  • Retired (over 65 & not employed full-time) – $80
  • Press (with credentials) – No Charge


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HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS: For conference attendees, the South Shore Harbour resort will offer a special room rate (single or double) of $125.00 + 12% tax until October 22nd. Please mention “AAS Conference” when making reservations to get this special rate.

TRANSPORTATION: The hotel is located near the NASA Johnson Space Center and is 25 minutes from the William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Shuttle service from the airport is offered by Clear Lake Shuttle Bus everyday except Wednesday at $20.00 per person as long as the pick-up is during the following times: 7:50 am; 9:30 am; 12:00 pm; 4:00 pm. Pick-up at other times (including Wednesday) will cost $30.00 per person ($10 each additional person). Pick-up location is at Curb Zone # 12 outside the baggage claim area. Advance reservations are recommended – call 281-334-3873 at least 48 hours before your flight is scheduled to arrive to ensure a shuttle will be waiting for you.

Taxi fare to the hotel from Hobby is approximately $40.00. For other ground transportation options see

Advancing All Space

American Astronautical Society
6352 Rolling Mill Court, Suite 102
Burke, VA 22015
Tel: 703-866-0020 Fax: 703-866-3526
[email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.