Rutan and Steidle to open conference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2005 – The National Space Society today announced an
impressive roster of public and private spaceflight pioneers, including the
leader of NASA’s new exploration 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.

“We are 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 or
innovative private space enterprises, these are the people writing the
history of our times. Their efforts benefit life on Earth while building
the foundation for a spacefaring civilization.”

Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle, USN (Ret.), NASA’s Associate Administrator for
Exploration Systems, heads the list of ISDC speakers from government space
efforts. Representing the leaders of missions to the Moon, Mars, Saturn,
and beyond, these speakers will showcase the latest news from the frontiers
of exploration. Other confirmed 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

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

  • Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation; Chairman and CEO, Zero Gravity Corporation
  • Will Whitehorn, President, Virgin Galactic
  • 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 to look beyond the near term will show the way to the future
of space. These confirmed 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

The 2005 ISDC events, driven by the theme “Your Ticket to Space,” will
examine how advances in commercial and government space efforts are
enabling citizens to participate and engage in space in unprecedented ways.
These advances benefit life on Earth and lead the way toward a spacefaring
civilization. The conference will take place May 19-22, 2005, at the
Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. More information about the
conference, including online registration, hotel information, and a call
for papers, is available on the conference Web site at

About NSS

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization
dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974,
NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space. NSS
counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and
around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an
award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in
space. For more information about NSS, how to join or donate, visit

For more information:

Jeff Foust
ISDC Communications Manager
(240) 277-6371

Jeremy Pyle
Vice President, Public Affairs
(415) 713-6272