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Space industry leaders to converge at NMSU-Alamogordo

ALAMOGORDO - August 2008 will mark the 15th anniversary of the first flight of the Delta Clipper Experimental on Aug. 18, 1993, at White Sands Missile Range. In the three years following, the DC-X team and the "grass-roots" support that made it happen achieved tremendous technical and management accomplishments.


To share this experience with the next generation of innovators, the DC-X team and advocates will come together to celebrate and share the accomplishments of the DC-X and the follow-on DC-XA Aug. 17-19 at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo.

"Planning for the DC-X/XA reunion and 21st Century Space Access Seminar and Workshop is just about finalized and the agenda for the three-day event has been released," said Cathy Harper, director of Marketing/Public Relations, New Mexico Museum of Space History at Alamogordo, and chair for the event. "The Event Team has pulled together an international 'cast' of speakers providing both historical and visionary content. NASA will be presenting their commercial sub-orbital services initiative on Day 3. Special space and rocketry activities for the children and young adults of attendees are in place and special tours for attendees are being offered, depending on interest level."

Some of the confirmed and invited speakers, panel leaders and participants include: Pete Worden, director, NASA Ames Research Center; Michael Griffin, NASA administrator; Steve Landeene, director, Spaceport America; Jeff Krukin, president, Space Frontier Foundation; John Krancz, NASA commercial suborbital services initiative, and Dr. Michael Simpson, president, International Space University.

Nino Polizzi, event coordinator noted, "Our goal is to share the DC-X/XA experience with the next generation of innovators, helping to create aircraft-like space access for the 21st Century. We view this event as an opportunity to share and leverage the visions and lessons-learned from DC-X/XA with today's space community and an opportunity to share our common vision of safe, routine, aircraft-like space transportation."

The DC-X/XA First Flight Reunion will take center stage on Sunday, Aug. 17. Ambassador Henry Cooper will give the opening address focusing on the program initiative. The remainder of the day will be dedicated to the DC-X/XA Team and the plan for the DC-X/XA restoration and exhibit at the museum. That evening, a reception and dinner is on the agenda, featuring an introduction of attending team members, presentation of memorabilia, and other activities. The reunion will take place at the New Mexico Museum of Space History's Rocket Restoration Center, where the DC-X is housed pending refurbishment.

It's "Back to the Future" on Aug. 18, as the day's activities begin with Master of Ceremonies Pete Worden giving the opening plenary "Inventing 21st Century Space Transportation." Keynote speaker for lunch will be Michael Griffin, speaking on "Space in Transition." Later that afternoon, Steve Landeene will host a panel on "Bridging the Market Gap." The evening's banquet will feature Michael Simpson, whose topic will be "New Space Is International Space." Several other speakers and discussion panels are planned throughout the day. The event will be held at the NMSU-A Tays Special Events Center.

Tuesday, Aug. 19, NASA begins the day discussing its new suborbital flight initiatives. Worden will give an overview of the initiatives and John Krancz will discuss commercial suborbital flights as a venue for scientific research. Workshops and informal meetings are planned for the rest of the day on topics such as scientific operations using aircraft-like commercial suborbital services, private sector views on commercial suborbital flight markets, and private sector preferred ways of doing business with NASA for commercial suborbital services. These activities will be held at the NMSU-A Tays Special Events Center.

Event supporters include the New Mexico Museum of Space History, International Space Hall of Fame Foundation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, Spaceport America, City of Alamogordo Promotion Board and the Space Frontier Foundation.

For more information or to register for the event, call Cathy Harper at (575) 437-2840 x 41153 or visit www.dcxproject.com.