Press Release

July 18 conference in Washington D.C. to examine impact of civilian space travel on U.S. culture, economy and global relations

By SpaceRef Editor
July 16, 2007
Filed under ,

With civilian space flight less than two years away, The First Annual Conference on the Overview Effect will bring together an impressive panel of scientists, astronauts and visionary leaders to examine the potentially dramatic impact of the new civilian space era on our world. Award-winning television news broadcaster and commentator, Lloyd Dobyns, will be on site to interview speakers and chronicle event. The event will be webcast live via

The telephone, personal computers, the Internet. Each of these technological innovations deeply altered our culture. Civilian space travel, which is less than two years away, has the potential to trigger even broader changes, and a leading group of scientists, experts in space flight, and visionary leaders will meet in Washington D.C. on July 18 at the First Annual Conference on the Overview Effect to discuss the impact this phenomenon will soon have on the way we think, live, work and interact, both here in the United States and globally.

The conference, which will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia, (adjacent to National Airport), has been organized by the World Space Center in collaboration with the Space Frontier Foundation to examine the potential psychological, social and economic impact of mass space travel. Of primary concern is the impact of the Overview Effect – a profoundly transformative phenomenon experienced by several of the astronauts during space flight. According to author Frank White, The Overview Effect, “is the experience of seeing the earth from a distance…and realizing the inherent unity and oneness of everything on the planet. The Effect represents a shift in perception…from identification with parts of the Earth to identification with the whole system.”

The conference will include White, a Rhodes Scholar and author of “The Overview Effect, Space Exploration and Human Evolution” and astronaut Edgar Mitchell, sixth man on the moon and founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences. (A full list of speakers and presenters can be found at the end of this press release.)

Legendary NBC news broadcaster, Lloyd Dobyns, who was described by The Washington Post as one of the best clarifiers, and best communicators, in broadcast journalism, will attend the conference to film a chronicle of interviews with the speakers. Dobyns won both the Dupont-Columbia and the Peabody awards and his writing earned a Humanitas Prize, two Christopher medals, and two Emmy nominations.

The event will be webcast live via

In addition to the speakers, the conference will feature a revolutionary dome projection system, which will run the Uni-view earth visualization system designed at the Hayden Planetarium. Carter Emmart, Director of Astro-visualization at the Hayden Planetarium, will coordinate this part of the conference.

The media and public are invited to attend this seminal event. Additional information, plus registration information, can be found at\Events\NewSpace2007 and

“We hope to engage the energies of people around the world in preserving our planet and exploring the universe by extending understanding of The Overview Effect,” said White. “We would like to see ‘overview thinking’ permeate every aspect of our society.”

The astronauts have often spoken of how profoundly they have been affected on emotional, intellectual, philosophical and spiritual levels while in space and White coined this experience as The Overview Effect in his book of the same name. Many astronauts have predicted powerful effects on every aspect of earth life when The Overview Effect begins reaching the masses through civilian space flight.

This is much closer in time than many people realize. Consumer space tourism is scheduled to begin in as little as 24 months. The first privately owned space station is being built in orbit at this time. Visionary business leaders, such as Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and Virgin Galactic Spacelines, have already begun building space fleets, and are engaged in the initial stages of building marketing organizations for commercial space flight.

The emerging commercial space industry predicts tens of thousands of people will travel in space in the next 10 to 20 years, with stays at orbiting hotels, or while working at such hotels. Other space travelers will be living and working on orbiting solar power arrays, moon and asteroid mines and other commercial space business-related stations.

Perhaps even more immediately influential will be the co-emergence of incredible new space simulations, immersive 3-D movies and “Matrix-like” virtual reality and immersive telepresence technologies that will bring the reality of space to earth with a yet undreamed of sense of presence.

The First Annual Conference on the Overview Effect and the organization it will create will focus on all of this, with an emphasis on the psycho/social impact of space travel, while bringing space leaders and astronauts together with a vast range of social leaders and visionaries who can begin planning for this new era in the history of our nation, and the world.

The public is invited to attend and help develop plans for the research, education, networking, and simulation necessary to prepare our world for this new civilian space era. To register, go to or\Events\NewSpace2007.

MEDIA NOTES: To set up interviews, and arrange media press passes, contact Glenna Musante at (919) 604-7213 or (919) 783-1865.

Conference Speakers include:

Frank White (Keynote) – Author of “The Overview Effect,” Houghton Mifflin, 1987, AIAA, 1998.

Edgar Mitchell – Sixth man on the Moon and founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Barbara Marx Hubbard – Associate of Buckminster Fuller, founder of the Harvest Moon Project and 1984 Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States.

Andrew Newberg – Director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of The Mind and Spirituality. Author of “Why We Believe What We Believe.”

Douglas Trumbull – Oscar winning photographic effects supervisor (2001, Close Encounters, Blade Runner) and director (Silent Running, Brainstorm). Created the original entertainment flight simulators and BACK TO THE FUTURE-THE RIDE. Invented the Showscan film process. Has 20 patents. Was Vice President of IMAX.

Keith Ferrell – Editor of Omni Magazine. Internationally known author of dozens of books and hundreds of articles on the psycho-social effects of technology.

Dave Brody – Executive Producer/Director of Media, Imaginova Corp (

Rick Tumlinson -Founder, Space Frontier Foundation, Led team that took over Mir Space Station. Founding Trustee, X-Prize. Signed Denis Tito as first private space traveler. President, Orbital Outfitters and Project Space Diver.

Carter Emmart – Director of Astro-visualization at the Hayden Planetarium. Headed development of the Uni-view Earth and Space visualization software.

Steven Zuckerman – Grammy Award winning music producer, founder Global Entertainment and Media Summit.

George Whitesides – President of the National Space Society. He and his wife, Loretta, will be the first newlyweds to take their honeymoon in space on Virgin Galactic Spacelines.

Loretta Whitesides – Head of the Space Generation Foundation, which organizes Yuri’s Night.

Alex Howerton – Author of Free Space! Real Alternatives for Reaching Outer Space and Project Avalon. Business Development Manager of NASTAR Center, National Aerospace Training and Research Center.

Gordon Smith – Founder of Exploris Museum, interactive museum about the world in Raleigh. Served in India in Peace Corp. Since 1985 has been financial Advisor and VP of Smith Barney (Global Stock investing).

Special Video Addresses and Interviews with:

Rusty Schweickart – The Apollo 9 astronaut, co-founder of the Association of Space Explorers, chairman and founder of the B612 Foundation, an international leader in the effort to develop systems to protect the Earth from asteroid impacts.

Doc Searls – Senior editor of Linux Journal, co-author of the “Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual.” One of the world’s most quoted bloggers and a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for the Internet and Society.

Dan Curry – Seven time Emmy Award winning visual effects Producer/Supervisor for the Star Trek Television shows and movies.

The World Space Center

Through informative and innovative projects, the World Space Center is dedicated to connecting the public with the emerging citizen space movement, as well as supporting and promoting individuals and organizations that are developing this new space age. In particular, the World Space Center will emphasize the cognitive, media and learning principles needed to overcome the inherent perceptual barriers to fully comprehending the value of space to Earth-bound civilization. The accompanying shift in perspective (named “The Overview Effect” by author Frank White) generated by this new citizen-centered space age will create powerful changes in our Earth-based culture and psychology. For more on the World Space Center go to

The Space Frontier Foundation

The Space Frontier Foundation is composed of space activists, scientists and engineers, media and political professionals, entrepreneurs, and citizens from all backgrounds and all nations dedicated to transforming space from a government-owned bureaucratic program into a dynamic and inclusive frontier open to all people. Our central goal is the large-scale permanent settlement of space and we believe everyone will benefit from opening the space frontier. We also believe that free markets and free enterprise will become an unstoppable force in the irreversible settlement of this new frontier, and that our world is on the verge of a truly historic breakthrough – access to space for all. For more on the Space Frontier Foundation, go to


For World Space Center Glenna B. Musante, 919-604-7213


David Beaver, 919-271-6605\Events\NewSpace2007

SpaceRef staff editor.