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Burt Rutan & Craig E. Steidle to Headline ISDC 2005

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22,2005 -- The National Space Society today announced an impressive roster ofpublic and private spaceflight pioneers, including the leader of NASA's newexploration efforts as well as the designer of SpaceShipOne,as confirmed speakers for the 2005 International Space Development Conference(ISDC) to be held May 19-22 in Washington, DC.

"Weare honored to bring together so many of the trailblazers in space exploration,science, technology and commerce," said George Whitesides,NSS Executive Director. "Whether part of NASA's exploration initiatives orinnovative private space enterprises, these are the people writing the historyof our times. Their efforts benefit life on Earth while building the foundationfor a spacefaring civilization."

RearAdm. Craig E. Steidle, USN (Ret.), NASA's AssociateAdministrator for Exploration Systems, heads the list of ISDC speakers fromgovernment space efforts. Representing the leaders of missions to the Moon,Mars, Saturn, and beyond, these speakers will showcase the latest news from thefrontiers of exploration. Otherconfirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Steven Squyres, Principal Investigator, Mars Exploration Rovers
  • Dr. Robert Mitchell, Program Manager, Cassini
  • Dr. Paul Spudis, Senior Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory; President's Commission on the Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy

BurtRutan, president of Scaled Composites and designer ofthe Ansari X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne,will open the conference, leading the new breed of entrepreneurs and engineerswho are building the private world of space. Joining Rutanwill be the leaders of many of the most exciting new ventures in spacetoday. Confirmed speakers also include:

  • Will Whitehorn, President, Virgin Galactic
  • Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation; Chairman and CEO, Zero Gravity Corporation
  • David Gump, CEO, Transformational Space LLC
  • Armand Musey, President, Near Earth LLC
  • Stephen Attenborough, Vice President of Astronaut Relations, Virgin Galactic

Finally,the conference will bring together the visionaries of tomorrow whose ability tolook beyond the near term will show the way to the future of space. Theseconfirmed speakers include:

  • Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut; Chairman, B612 Foundation
  • James Zimmerman, President, International Astronautical Federation
  • Esther Dyson, Editor, Release 1.0; Former Chairman of the ICANN Board
  • Dr. Brad Edwards, President/Founder Carbon Designs, Inc; Developer of the Space Elevator
  • Rick Tumlinson, Co-founder, Space Frontier Foundation
  • Dr. Roger Launius, Chair, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum

The2005 ISDC events, driven by the theme "Your Ticket to Space," willexamine how advances in commercial and government space efforts are enablingcitizens to participate and engage in space in unprecedented ways. Theseadvances benefit life on Earth and lead the way toward a spacefaringcivilization. The conference will take place May 19-22, 2005, at the SheratonNational Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. More information aboutthe conference, including online registration, hotel information, and a callfor papers, is available on the conference Web site at

Formore information:


ISDCCommunications Manager



VicePresident, Public Affairs


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Jeff Foust
Jeff Foust

Jeff Foust is a Senior Staff Writer at SpaceNews, a space industry news magazine and website, where he writes about space policy, commercial spaceflight and other aerospace industry topics. Jeff has a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a bachelor's degree in geophysics and planetary science from the California Institute of Technology. You can see Jeff's latest projects by following him on Twitter (opens in new tab).