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USRA to Host 40th Anniversary Symposium, "Our Future in Space," on March 26 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) will host their 40th anniversary symposium, " Our Future in Space ," on Thursday, March 26, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. at the National Academy of Sciences, located at 2100 C St. N.W., Washington, D.C. A reception in the Great Hall will follow. To obtain a press credential, send inquiries to [email protected] by March 18.

Commemorating USRA's 40th anniversary, the symposium will explore the roles of research universities in civil, commercial, national security, and international space. At 1:00 p.m. , Frederick A. Tarantino, Ph.D., CEO and President of USRA will open the symposium. At 1:15 p.m. , W. David Cummings, former Executive Vice President of USRA, will introduce the topic of civil space and distinguished speaker, Harrison Schmitt , Apollo 17 NASA Astronaut, former U.S. Senator from New Mexico, and Recent Chair of the NASA Advisory Council. Senator Schmitt, the only "natural scientist" in the Senate since Thomas Jefferson was Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate, worked as a member of the Senate Commerce, Banking, Appropriations, Intelligence, and Ethics Committees. At 2:00 p.m. , Thomas Zurbuchen, Vice Chair of USRA Council of Institutions, will introduce Anousheh Ansari , Co-founder and Chairman of Prodea Systems and first female private space explorer and sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. Ms. Ansari will speak on the topic of commercial space travel. At 3:15 p.m. , Peter Banks, Chairman of the USRA Board of Trustees, will introduce the topic of national security along with the next speaker, Paul Kaminski , Chairman and CEO of Technovation, and former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. At 4:00 p.m. , Edward Groth, Chairman of the USRA Council of Institutions, will introduce Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain of the European Space Agency and Chancellor of the International Space University. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. , a reception in the Great Hall will follow.

The symposium will be attended by all four past USRA presidents: Dr. A.R. Kuhlthau (1970-1976); Dr. Alexander J. Dessler (1976-1981); Dr. Paul J. Coleman (1981-2000); Dr. David C. Black (2000-2006); and the current president, Dr. Frederick A. Tarantino (2006-present).

The two newest member universities pending a vote of the current members, will attend the symposium: Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong University.

The Universities Space Research Association, established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences, is a private, nonprofit consortium of 102 universities offering advanced degrees in space- and aeronautics-related disciplines. USRA's mission is to conduct leading-edge research, develop innovative technologies, promote education and policy across the breadth of space science, and operate premier science and technology facilities by involving universities, private industry and government.