Economy is no downer for space symposium

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The economy is not putting a damper on the U.S. Space Foundation’s plans for the 2003 National Space Symposium, its 19th.

The Colorado Springs-based space foundation said while the economy is sluggish, space industry revenues were expected to blast past the $145 billion mark this year, and NASA is outlining a bold new vision for future space exploration.

The Broadmoor Hotel will host the symposium April 7 through 10, and more than 4,000 space professionals from around the world are expected to attend. Space-based systems for surveillance, communication, and navigation will play ever more critical roles following last year’s terrorist attacks, foundation officials believe.

Colorado Springs, claimed by many to be the military space capital of the world – and home to NORAD, Northern Command, and Air Force Space Command – continues to assume more responsibility in protecting the nation.

As the premier annual gathering of the U.S. space industry, the National Space Symposium is the only event to fully integrate all sectors of the industry – civil, commercial and national security – to ensure relevance and value for all participants, said Elliott G. Pulham, president and chief executive officer of the Space Foundation.

“Despite weakness in the economy and serious concerns about overcapacity in the satellite manufacturing and commercial launch sectors, there is great forward momentum in the space industry right now,” said Pulham. “We are seeing earlier commitments and more forward planning for this event than ever before.”

Among the speakers already expected for the April event are the Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable James Roche; Commander-in-Chief of NORAD, and commander of Northern Command, Gen. Ralph “Ed” Eberhart; NASA Administrator, the Honorable Sean O’Keefe; commander of Air Force Space Command, Gen. Lance Lord; Department of Defense Director of Research & Engineering, the Honorable Ronald Sega, and others.

Among the topics for discussion at the symposium are:

– Space & the War on Terrorism: Operators Share the Lessons Learned

– The National Aerospace Initiative (NAI) – Revealing the New Technologies and Next Steps

n Transforming the Space Industrial Base

– The Role of Space in Homeland Defense and Homeland Security

– The View from Washington

– Space Systems and Technologies for First Responders – Systems, Solution, Products and Markets

– Views from the Top – a CEO Roundtable

For a current exhibitor list, to register online or get more information on the agenda, speakers and sponsors, visit www.spacesymposium.org, or call the Space Foundation at 719/576-8000.