Press Release

Houston event to be held Dec. 4-6 will focus on implementing the Vision for Space Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
November 17, 2006
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Houston event to be held Dec. 4-6 will focus on implementing the Vision for Space Exploration

Top leaders from industry, academia, NASA and other government agencies will gather at the 2nd Space Exploration Conference, Dec. 4-6 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Sponsored by The Boeing Company, co-sponsored by NASA, and organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the event focuses on making the Vision for Space Exploration a long-term reality.

“The Vision for Space Exploration is a marathon, not a sprint. Now is the time to consider how we will sustain the resources and innovation to continue the journey. The conference brings together the people, technologies and ideas that will make the vision a long-term reality. It offers a special education focus to inspire the next generation of space explorers and engineers who will fulfill the goal of returning humans to the moon and exploring Mars and beyond,” said Robert S. Dickman, executive director of AIAA.

The event kicks-off with an opening reception hosted by executive partner and conference committee chair, United Space Alliance, at 6 p.m. CST Monday, Dec. 4 in the main exhibit hall. The reception will feature impressive NASA Rover displays from the Mobility and Robotic Systems Group. Brewster H. Shaw, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space Exploration, and general chair of the conference, will welcome attendees at the opening ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Shana Dale, deputy administrator of NASA, leads off the outstanding line-up of speakers. Dr. Scott Horowitz, associate administrator of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, will provide the conference overview and introduction. Expert panels will address lunar exploration strategy, robotic and human collaboration, launch systems and operations, science, opportunities for international participation, and other important topics. Panel moderators include:

  • Rex Geveden, associate administrator, NASA
  • William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate
  • Dr. John Logsdon, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
  • Dr. Paul Hertz, chief scientist, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
  • Dr. Paul Eckert, international and commercial strategist, Boeing Space Exploration
  • Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator, NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
  • Jeff Hanley, manager, Constellation Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Carl Walz, director, NASA’s ESMD Advanced Capability Division
  • Dr. Pete Worden, director, NASA’s Ames Research Center

The main exhibit hall will feature more than 100 organizations working in civil, military and commercial space that will demonstrate their capabilities in the space exploration arena. A special Small Business Forum and Exhibitor Roundtable have been developed by NASA and The Boeing Company to focus on opportunities for this key segment.

In addition, the conference will offer special educational activities. Teachers will be inspired with new tools to excite their students at the Out of This World Teacher Workshop on Dec. 2 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Student visions of the future are captured in artwork and a podcast competition associated with the conference. Exploration Alley, Dec. 5-6 at the convention center, will offer teachers and fourth through eighth grade students from the Houston area an interactive exhibit designed to demonstrate the possibilities of exploring planets beyond Earth. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet U.S. astronauts and learn while having fun.

Northrop Grumman, the educational outreach committee chair, along with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), and Booz Allen Hamilton will host the Future Exploration Leaders Reception on Tuesday evening, 5:30 p.m. CST on Dec. 5. This networking event is designed to introduce today’s leaders to tomorrow’s workforce who will be the implementers of the Vision for Space Exploration. Local students, young professionals, and motivating managers from the aerospace industry, along with NASA, will be invited to interact with contemporary vision architects and implementers attending the conference.

The 2nd Space Exploration Conference, Implementing the Vision, will be held Dec. 4-6 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The event is sponsored by The Boeing Company, co-sponsored by NASA, and organized by AIAA. Corporate sponsors include United Space Alliance, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX, Booz Allen Hamilton, Raytheon, ATK, and Cimarron Inc. The Space Exploration Conference is supported by the American Astronautical Society, California Space Authority, Coalition for Space Exploration, National Space Society, and Space Exploration Alliance. Space News is the official media sponsor. For more information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.