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Space Exploration – how and why?

Washington, D.C.

Opportunity self-portrait in shadow, sol 180

Not too long ago, the U.S. space program was the jewel of U.S. science and technology efforts. Highly visible, it had a “can do” mentality, performed extraordinary technical and scientific feats under intense deadlines and was a source of national pride. Today, the space program is at a major crossroads. We no longer send astronauts to the moon, the Space Shuttle program has been retired, and many of the most ambitious planetary space exploration efforts have been cutback or curtailed due to budget concerns and uncertainty. 
What do we see as we look ahead for the space program? Where does space exploration fit as a national priority? Should NASA continue in its lead role of U.S. space efforts? Should the private sector take over? Should space be commercialized? How can universities work with commercial companies to advance space exploration?  
A panel of leading experts will meet to discuss these topics and explore other options available in space exploration at this critical time for the U.S. and the world. 
Panelists include:
Lori Garver, former Deputy Administrator, NASA
Alex Saltman, Executive Director, Commercial Space Flight Federation
Steve Isakowitz, President, Virgin Galactic
Debra Facktor Lepore, Vice President and General Manager, Strategic Operations, Ball Aerospace
Laurie Leshin, Dean, School of Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Ariel Anbar, Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University
Jim Bell, President, the Planetary Society and Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University
Sponsored by Arizona State University.

Note: This event is not sponsored by The Planetary Society. The Society has no control over, or responsibility for, the content or operation of events sponsored by other organizations. All inquires should be directed to Skip Derra.


Space Exploration – how and why?
November 15, 2013, 9:00am - 10:30am EST
National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
13th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20045



Please direct all inquiries about this event to Skip Derra at For phone inquiries, call (480) 965-4823

A panel of leading experts will meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of space exploration at this critical time for the U.S. and the world. Moderated by Planetary Society President Jim Bell.
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