Status Report

NASA History Symposium — 1961/1981: Key Moments in Human Spaceflight

By SpaceRef Editor
February 26, 2011
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The NASA History Program Office and the National Air and Space Museum’s Division of Space History are pleased to announce a symposium marking four significant anniversaries in the history of human spaceflight in 1961 and 1981. This event will take place April 26-27, 2011, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The symposium is free and open to the public.

This Key Moments in Human Spaceflight symposium marks the 50th anniversaries of Yuri Gagarin’s first human spaceflight, Alan Shepard’s first U.S. human spaceflight, and President John F. Kennedy’s “urgent national needs” speech before Congress, all in the spring of 1961. The symposium also marks the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the space shuttle in spring 1981.

In addition to featuring a variety of engaging panels, the symposium will include a keynote speech by Dr. Michael Robinson from the University of Hartford on the theme of exploration in space. Dr. George Herring from the University of Kentucky will be the keynote speaker for the second day, addressing the Cold War context of the space race during the 1960s.

For more information about this opportunity and to register online, visit

Inquiries about this symposium should be directed to

SpaceRef staff editor.