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Thu, Jun 11, 2009

Commercial Space Flight Focus Of June Meeting

Low Earth Orbit For Humans As Well As Cargo Is The Goal

Industry and government leaders will meet on June 18 to explore the promising future of commercial space transportation -- of humans as well as cargo -- in meeting government and private sector needs in low Earth orbit. The special half-day event, "Innovations in Orbit: An Exploration of Commercial Crew and Cargo Transportation," will feature panelists and speakers from NASA, the FAA, and the private sector, discussing a broad array of innovative commercial space transportation concepts. Organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the discussion is free and open to the public, and takes place on Thursday, June 18, in Washington, DC

The event will feature an industry panel moderated by aerospace consultant Patti Grace Smith, a former FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation. Featured panelists include: Mike Gold, director of the Washington, D.C. area office of Bigelow Aerospace; George Sowers, vice president for business development and advanced programs at the United Launch Alliance; Max Vozoff, director of civil business development for Space Exploration Technologies; and Frank L. Culbertson, senior vice president for human space programs at Orbital Sciences Corporation.

A government panel will follow, moderated by Michael Beavin, senior program analyst at the Department of Commerce Office of Space Commercialization. Featured panelists include: Valin Thorn, deputy program manager of NASA's Commercial Crew & Cargo Program; Ken Davidian, the "Encourage, Facilitate, and Promote" program lead at the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Chan Lieu, senior professional staff member at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and Jeff Bingham, senior advisor on space and aeronautics for the minority, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

AIAA President David Thompson stated, "This gathering provides an important opportunity to discuss the future of commercial and government interaction in space. As commercial firms and government agencies increase their use of space, it is critical that we examine the needs of both enterprises, and the designs for commercial crew sustainment and cargo transportation systems to meet those needs. This gathering will give attendees a comprehensive look at those needs and the systems which will meet them."

FMI: www.aiaa.org

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