Released: Friday, October 22, 2004

CAMBRIDGE, MA, – The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) announces the revival of its national conference, to be held at MIT on November 11-14. This year’s event – SpaceVision2004 – focuses on forging bonds between student and professional space pioneers. The conference will host a number of presentations and workshops on both public and private opportunities emerging in space exploration. Each year, SEDS-USA will hold its national conference at a different university across the country. Proposals to host the 2005 event will be accepted immediately following SpaceVision2004.

SEDS was founded in 1980 by Peter Diamandis (also founder of the X-Prize Foundation) with the mandate of creating a national student based organization to ensure the brightest possible future in space exploration. Throughout its history, SEDS has continually pushed to create new opportunities for students to get involved in space exploration, advocacy, and education. Many of today’s top officials in the space industry were first leaders in SEDS. Today the student run organization is partnering with a number of professional advocacy groups to help develop these opportunities. Further information about SEDS-USA can be found at www.seds.org .

“SEDS is leading the way towards involving a new generation in space exploration and development,” said George Whitesides, Executive Director of the National Space Society. “Through joint scholarships, periodicals, and special events, NSS is proud to support SEDS in this critical work.”

It has been widely recognized that NASA and commercial space companies are facing a huge problem with the aging of their workforce. At conferences and conventions, the vast majority of attendees are either retired or considering it within a few years. SEDS and SpaceVision2004 are answering the call of the space industry to bring a new youthful membership into the ranks of the active space professional.

“The SEDS-USA conference is unique in its focus and scope,” said planetary science student Joshua Neubert, the current Chairman of SEDS-USA. “It is the only national event that focuses on gathering the younger generation of rising leaders in space exploration. We have secured an all-star cast of speakers and workshops that are already generating a lot of excitement from students and professionals alike.”

The Combined efforts of students from the MIT chapter of SEDS and the MIT Mars Society have made SpaceVision2004 possible. The four-day conference begins on Thursday with a series of discussion forums including “The Proposition Value of Human Space Flight” and a “Space Advocacy Group Session.” The conference continues on Friday focusing on the vision of space exploration with speakers including Mars Society president Robert Zubrin and Space Frontier Foundation founder Rick Tumlinson. Saturday’s presentations relate to the commercial aspects of space and include speeches from X-prize founder Peter Diamandis and International Space University co-founder Bob Richards. Sunday is devoted to governmental space programs including presentations by NASA Associate Administrator of Exploration Systems Adm. Craig Steidle, NASA Architect Gary Martin, and Brigadier General Simon “Pete” Worden, the Air Force Space Command’s Director of Development and Transformation.

Throughout the conference there will also be a number of activities along side the speaker series to nurture a strong community of student space activists. These activities include: a space elevator concept demonstration, political action workshop, space career fair, student project presentations, social events, dinner banquet, and other student development workshops. Online registration for SpaceVision2004 is open and can be found at, http://web.mit.edu/mars/spacevision2004/ .

Students and professional of all ages are welcome to attend this unique opportunity to meet the current and future generations of space leaders. SEDS is determined to develop a strong network of student space activists to push the boundaries of space exploration. This conference is just the beginning of a new phase in the development of this network. Planning for next year’s SEDS-USA national conference will begin immediately after the closing of SpaceVision2004. To become involved in SEDS or future activities visit, http://www.seds.org .

For further information contact:

Joshua Neubert
neubert@higp.hawaii.edu
617-970-665)

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