Status Report

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale’s Blog: Miami Future Forum

By SpaceRef Editor
April 28, 2008
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On Friday, April 18, I was in Miami, FL and gave the keynote speech at the fourth Future Forum which was held at the University of Miami. Go to for a copy of my “Remarks at the Miami Future Forum” speech.

The University of Miami was an excellent venue to speak to the mix of community and business leaders, educators and students. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the University of Miami for making this possible and to Mr. Sergio Gonzalez, Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs, University of Miami, who helped make this dynamic event happen.

The Honorable Donna E. Shalala, President of the University of Miami, spoke as well and she said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to connect space exploration, entrepreneurship and education, as one of the selected sites to host a NASA Future Forum in celebration of the agency’s 50th anniversary.”

It is great for the non-traditional communities we have been focusing on to hear what we are doing and where we are going. Carl Walz, Director, Advanced Capabilities Division for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, spoke on Constellation and STS-122 Commander Stephen Frick narrated a video from his February Shuttle mission and also participated on the Inspiration Panel.

All in all, this event is one more example of how we are trying to reach out to nontraditional audiences to talk about fifty years of achievement; excite them about future missions; explain how NASA inspires kids to go into STEM; discuss how innovations from America’s space program strengthens U.S. economic competitiveness and that this is all done with a funding level that is six-tenths of one percent of the federal budget.

Florida Governor Crist, announced a partnership between Space Florida and SPACEHAB of Webster, Texas. They plan to use the ISS and the Space Life Sciences Lab at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to carry out space-based biomedical and biotech research. This announcement exemplified why we’re holding Future Forums in cities such as Miami. It allows us to talk directly to the public about the diverse ways America’s long-term space exploration goals lead to economic growth, scientific discoveries and technological advancements for people here on Earth, and in their own communities.

Finally, it was an honor to have Barrington Irving, the first African-American and youngest person to fly solo around the world, gave a presentation at the Future Forum. His talk his flight and the incredible work he is doing now to inspire young people was outstanding.

The San Jose Future Forum on May 14 should be great too. We’re currently discussing how we can do the Future Forum as a mixed reality event. So, as I am doing the Future Forum in person, my avatar will hopefully be doing the same in Second Life. It should be interesting and I’m looking forward to it.

SpaceRef staff editor.