NASA’s future space transportation plans -- from next year’s experimental rocket planes to the starships of the next millennium -- will be the focus of Space Transportation Day ’99 October 27 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
During a one-day conference sponsored by NASA’s Lead Center for Space Transportation Systems Development, NASA officials will discuss the latest goals and programs aimed at opening space to greater commercialization and exploration. The briefing will be held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
"Experimental vehicles under development and poised for flight today are the testbeds for the materials, structures, technologies, manufacturing techniques and operational concepts of the future," said Dr.Row Rogacki, director of the Space Transportation Directorate at the Marshall Center. "These vehicles will pave the way to lowering launch costs from $10,000 per pound to $1,000 per pound and making operations safer and more reliable. And technologies under development are aimed at bringing down launch costs even further."
Concepts on the drawing board and in the laboratory are going to bring launch costs more in line with today’s commercial airliners and make interplanetary -- even interstellar -- exploration feasible, Rogacki said.The conference will give government, industry, academia and interest groups a chance to review the status of both current projects, as well as future plans, and offer feedback.
Badging will begin at 7:30 a.m. on October 27. Morning sessions will cover NASA’s overall future space transportation approach, roadmaps, goals and organization, as well as a detailed briefing on the X-33 rocket plane, scheduled to begin test flights in 2000. Afternoon sessions will cover specific programs, including X-34, X-37, future technology experiments, the Advanced Space Transportation Program, Space Shuttle upgrades, the International Space Station Propulsion Module, and Space Transportation Directorate.
The day will end with a 6 p.m. reception at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.On Thursday, October 28, individual NASA field center representatives will be on hand to discuss their centers’ roles in NASA’s space transportation programs, and there also will be an opportunity to tour facilities at the Marshall Center. The conference coincides with the Von Braun Memorial Dinner, sponsored by the National Space Club’s Huntsville Chapter, at 5:30 p.m.
The first briefing of its kind since early 1997, Space Transportation Day ‘99 is intended for industry and interest groups, government decision makers and staff, other government labs and agencies, and the media. All material will be non-export controlled and non-proprietary information. Registration is required by October 18. There is no registration fee.
For program information and on-line registration information, visit the conference’s Website at http://stday.msfc.nasa.gov
Note to Editors/News Directors: Interviews, photos and video supporting this release are available to media representatives by contacting June Malone of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release, digital images or more information, visit Marshall’s News Center on the Web at:http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news
The above story is based on materials provided by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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