NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is inviting media to the 9th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium Oct. 25-27 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

This year’s event, with the theme “Exploring the Universe and Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space,” will focus on benefits, challenges and opportunities in advancing space activities, and highlight recent progress in science, engineering and technology. The event, hosted by the American Astronautical Society, will feature speakers and panelists from government, industry and academia.

At 11 a.m. CDT on Thursday, Oct. 27, retired NASA astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who flew on Apollo 17, and Marshall Center Director Todd May will be available to meet with media at UAH’s Student Services Building, 301 Sparkman Drive, to answer questions about NASA’s progress on and plans for its Journey to Mars. Media interested in participating in the media availability must contact Jennifer Stanfield at or 256-544-7199.

Key NASA moderators and speakers at the symposium include Dava Newman, NASA deputy administrator; Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator, Exploration Systems Development; Jason Crusan, director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division; Phil McAlister, director, Commercial Spaceflight Development; Jitendra Joshi, lead for Technology Integration, Advanced Exploration Systems Division; Barry Goldstein, manager, Europa Project; and astronauts Christina Hammock Koch and Don Pettit. Several Marshall leaders including Todd May, center director and Jody Singer, deputy director are also presenting.

The symposium’s Oct. 26-27 panel discussions and presentations will also be streamed live online.

To register for the symposium, contact Jim Kirkpatrick at or 703-866-0020. For more information about the symposium and the complete agenda, visit: