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Media Information

Press Releases and Backgrounders:

For any reporter covering space, technology or the future, ISDC is an event not to be missed.  See below for getting your credentials, and click here for a list of potential stories:

Media Credentials:

ISDC 2006 will grant press passes to members of the working media who wish to cover the conference. Please fill out a credential request form and conference staff will contact you about the status of your request and address any questions you have.

Media Contact:

Jeremy Pyle
Vice President of Public Affairs, National Space Society
[email protected]
(415) 713-6272

Susan Lendroth
Manager of Events and Communications
The Planetary Society
(626) 793-5100 ext. 237

Conference Highlights

ISDC 2006 is the 25th annual conference of the National Space Society.  It is being held for the first time with The Planetary Society.  The Presenting Sponsor of the conference is NASA

The opening day of ISDC is Space Day, a national space education day. 

The National Space Society will announce a new global space education initiative on Space Day.  Embargoed media alert will be released on May 1.

The opening day of the conference, May 4, will be proclaimed 'Space Venturing Day' in Los Angeles, in an official proclamation read by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe honoring the Space Venturing Forum.

The ORBIT Awards Dinner will bring together the lea ders of suborbital and orbital space tourism for the first time in history.  Leaders and customers from all of the leading companies are confirmed for this historic event, including Dennis Tito, Greg Olsen, Burt Rutan, Buzz Aldrin, Will Whitehorn, Eric Anderson, Elon Musk, Peter Diamandis, George French and Rick Homans, among others.  Plus surprise Hollywood celebrities and a special video message from Sir Richard Branson.  The ORBIT Awards honor the 5th anniversary of Dennis Tito's historic first private spaceflight.

Confirmed speakers or special guests:

Apollo Astronauts:
Buzz Aldrin
Rusty Schweickart

Return to Flight Space Shuttle Pilot (just confirmed!)
James 'Vegas' Kelly

Senior astronaut , featured in IMAX movie, Space Station 3D:
Robert Curbeam

Space Tourists to the International Space Station:
Dennis Tito
Greg Olsen

SpaceShipOne Designer and X Prize winner:
Burt Rutan

Other space celebrities:
Bill Nye, the 'Science Guy'
Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of 'Origins' and Director, Hayden Planetarium
Peter Diamandis, Chairman, X Prize Foundation
Robert Zubrin, President, Mars Society

Leading Space Entrepreneurs and Billionaires
Elon Musk, CEO, SpaceX
Will Whitehorn, President, Virgin Galactic
Eric Anderson, CEO, Space Adventures
George French, CEO, Rocketplane Kist l er (just announced!)

Sci-Fi Authors:
Jerry Pournelle (just announced!)
Greg Benford

NASA Leaders
Shana Dale, Deputy Administrator
Charles Elachi, Director, JPL
Brian Chase, Assistant Administrator, Legislative Affairs
Angela Diaz, Assistant Administrator, Education

Top Scientists and Project Managers from these missions:
Venus Express
Mars Exploration Rovers
Deep Impact

More highlights:

The Space Venturing Forum will bring together venture capitalists with space entrepreneurs, and will include a special panel with Brian McClendon, Engineering Director for
Google Earth, Google Maps, and SketchUp.  He will discuss Google Earth's next steps after Google Moon and Google Mars.

The conference will host the Space Art Symposium in partnership with the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium and the Carnegie Mellon STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, with an unprecedented exhibit of space art and a four-day summit of the the world's leading space artists.

Shana Dale, the first woman to be appointed NASA's Deputy Administrator, will give a special keynote on lunar and mars exploration.

Conference will feature two Apollo astronauts -- Buzz Aldrin; Chairman of the Sharespace Foun dation and Rust y Schweickart, Chairman of the B612 Foundation who will discuss space tourism, Near Earth Objects, and what to do when we get back to the Moon.

Spec ial panel on African-Americans in Space, co-presented with the National Society of Black Engi neers, featuring Robert Curbeam, American's most senior African-American astronaut; Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of PBS' s 'Origins' series; and Patricia Grace Smith, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation of the FAA.

Special keynote presentations by the leaders of Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures, two companies which have recently announced multi-hundred-million dollar space tourism efforts.

Television personality Bill Nye, the Science Guy, will lead off Saturday morning's presentations on May 6.

Legendary broadcaster Hugh Downs, chairman of the NSS Board of Governo rs, will kic k off the open ing ceremonies on Thursday, May 4.

Don Yeomans, the head of NASA's Near Earth Object program office, will discuss the threat and promise of NEO's.

John Mankins, the head of the SUNSAT Energy Council, will discuss how solar power satellites could help solve Earth's coming energy crunch.

Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer, will discuss the latest results and instruments in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Rick Homans, Secretary of Economic Development for the State of New Mexico, and the architect of New Mexico's $110 million dollar private spaceflight initiative.

Special exhibits including a space elevator mock up from the Spaceward Foundation and possible full scale model spacecraft.

Centennial Challenge workshop:  A special presentation and discussion featuring the leaders of NASA's new competitions modelled on the X PRIZ E.

Pete r Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE, will discuss in a special dinner speech concepts for a near-term mission to Mars.

Kids space program on Saturday
Gaming and space panel, with Jerry Heneghan, Executive Producer of the wildly-successful America's Army video game.

Tours to Space Exploration Technologies, JPL and the Mojave Spaceport

International Lunar Exploration Symposium, with leaders from the Indian, European, C hinese, Canadian and American lunar programs.

John Connolly, Manager of NASA's Lunar Lander Pre-Project, will discuss NASA's plans for lunar exploration and outposts.

Dan Maas, graphic programmer of the popular NASA Mars rover animations and a key CG artist for the Roving Mars IMAX film, will discuss the connection between computer-generated imagery and space exploration.

Several of the contributing authors from the ATWG will be signing co pies of the book Beyond Earth.