LIVE Coverage of the 21st National Space Symposium Begins at 1 p.m. EDT

Two live television broadcasts to be aired on the NASA Select TV channel are among the highlights of the 21st National Space Symposium that begins with an opening ceremony Monday night at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs Colorado.

SPACE.com will provide daily coverage of the event beginning Tuesday.

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The first session to be broadcast live at 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time will be "Return to Flight - All Systems Go," a look at the preparations NASA is wrapping up to get the first space shuttle since Columbia launched and safely returned to Earth.

The one-hour panel discussion will feature retired Maj. Gen. Michael Kostelnik (U.S. Air Force retired), NASA's deputy associate administrator for the International Space Station and space shuttle programs; Capt. Michael J. McCully (U.S. Navy retired), President & Chief Executive Officer of United Space Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture that operates the space shuttle; Capt. William Readdy (U.S. Navy retired), NASA Associate Administrator for the Space Operations Mission Directorate; and NASA Administrator Adm. Richard H. Truly (U.S. Navy retired), a Space Foundation Board member and Director of the National Renewable Energy Lab). Adm. Truly also was one of the key NASA leaders who helped return the shuttle fleet to flight status in the 1980s after the Challenger Accident, which, like Columbia, resulted in the deaths of the seven astronauts aboard.

The second broadcast - featuring Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson moderating a panel discussion on "The Vision for Space Exploration - From Here to There" - will occur at 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time Wednesday April 6. Panelists include Dr. James B. Garvin, Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters; Maureen P. Heath, Vice President, Civil Space, Northrop Grumman Space Technology; Dr. John Karas, Vice President, Space Exploration, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and Rear Adm. Craig Steidle, NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems.

The program will begin Tuesday morning with a keynote speech by Rep. Ken Calvert, the new Chairman of the House Science Committee's Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee. Other featured speakers throughout the week include U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas B. Goslin, Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command; Edward "Pete" Aldridge, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Dr. Ronald M. Sega, the Pentagon's Director of Defense Research & Engineering; U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brian A. Arnold, Commander Space & Missile Systems Center; acting NASA Administrator Col. Frederick D. Gregory, USAF (retired) and U.S. Air Force Gen. Lance W. Lord, Commander Air Force Space Command; U.S. Army LTG Larry J. Dodgen, Commander, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command; and John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

The four-day event will feature panel discussions of a number of hot topics in the space business including the future of private spaceflight and the role entrepreneurs will play in that development, the latest in satellite technology, new requirements, new concepts, and new directions for the launch industry, the implications of the bush Administration's plans for reform of the intelligence community, remotes sensing, Earth observation and geo intelligence uses of space data; corporate issues, and launch activity in the Pacific Ocean region.

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