Announcing An Upcoming Conference: 55th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium

55th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium

March 7-9, 2017

Greenbelt Marriott / Greenbelt, Maryland

American Astronautical Society

 “Future Space: Trends, Technologies and Missions”

– Final Program –

Tuesday, March 7

6:00   Evening Symposium Warm-up / Meet & Greet Mixer   Annapolis Room

sponsored by Northrop Grumman  


Wednesday, March 8

7:00   Registration Opens / Continental Breakfast   sponsored by Harris

7:15   AAS Corporate Members Breakfast   invitation only

8:30   Welcome and Announcements   Salons A-B-C

  •  Alan DeLuna, AAS Executive Vice President
  •  Harley Thronson, Chair, Symposium Planning Committee; Senior Scientist for Advanced Concepts in Astrophysics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

8:40   Opening Speaker – Why Science and Exploration are Partners: The Success of a “One NASA”

  • Matt Mountain, President, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)

9:10   Introduction of Keynote Speaker

  • Chris Scolese, Director, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and  Symposium Honorary Chair

9:20    Keynote

  • Robert Lightfoot, NASA Administrator (Acting)

10:00   Break   sponsored by Harris

10:15   NASA Leadership in the Future of Science and Technology

 Moderator:  Doug Terrier, Chief Technologist (Acting), NASA Headquarters


  • Steve Jurczyk, Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate
  • Gale Allen, Chief Scientist (Acting)
  • Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate

11:45    Pre-lunch Break / Meeting Space Reconfiguration

12:00    Honors and Awards Luncheon   Salons B-C-D   sponsored by Lockheed Martin

Guest Speaker:  Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member, Space, Science & Competiveness Subcommittee

2:15    International Exploration and Private Sector Development of Space

Moderator:  Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, NASA Headquarters


  • Gilles Leclerc, Director General, Space Exploration, Canadian Space Agency
  • Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
  • Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Director, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

3:45      Break   sponsored by Harris

4:00     The Political Environment

Moderator:  Marcia Smith, Founder and Editor,


  • Frank Morring, Senior Editor, Aviation Week & Space Technology
  • Chris Shank, Special Assistant, Department of Defense
  • Nick Cummings, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • Tom Hammond, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Space, House Committee on Science, Space & Technology

5:30      Closing Spotlight – Pipeline to the Future

Sophia Porter, 2015 National Space Club and Foundation Keynote Scholar

6:00      Industry, Government, and Student Networking Reception   Annapolis Room sponsored by SpaceX  


Thursday, March 9

7:30     Registration Opens / Continental Breakfast  sponsored by SGT, Inc.

8:30     Introduction of Opening Speaker  Salons A-B-C

Chris Scolese, Director, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Symposium Honorary Chair

8:35      Opening Speaker

Karen St. Germain, Director, Office of Systems Architecture and Advanced Planning, NOAA/NESDIS  “Planning NOAA’s Future Space Architecture”

9:05       Upcoming Missions with Big Science Payoffs

Moderator: Colleen Hartman, Director, Sciences and Exploration Directorate, NASA GSFC


  • WFIRST – Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope: David Spergel, Charles Young Professor of Astronomy, Princeton University
  • Mars 2020 Rover: Ken Farley, W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry; Chair, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech
  • PACE – Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem: Jeremy Werdell, PACE Project Scientist, NASA GSFC
  • Solar Probe Plus: Elsayed Talaat, Project Scientist, NASA Headquarters

10:35      Break  sponsored by SGT, Inc.  

10:50      Exploration Telepresence – Almost Like Being There

Moderator:  Gregory Chirikjian, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University


  • Dan Lester, Research Scientist, Exinetics
  • Mark Lupisella, Advanced Exploration Systems and Architecture Lead, Exploration Systems Projects, NASA GSFC
  • Kelsey Young, Exploration Scientist, UTEP/Jacobs at NASA JSC

12:15      Pre-lunch Break / Meeting Space Reconfiguration

12:30      Luncheon   Salons B-C-D    sponsored by Boeing

Guest Speaker: Roger Launius, Independent Historian

“The Value of Space Exploration in a Distracted Culture”

Future Space Leaders Foundation Update: Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

2:00       Spotlight – Space-based Environmental Intelligence  

In Memoriam: Video conversation recorded in 2016 with Piers Sellers and Leonardo DiCaprio with remarks by Sandra Smalley, Director, Joint Agency Satellite Division, NASA Headquarters

2:30       Spotlight – China’s Plans for Space

Brian Weeden, Technical Advisor, Secure World Foundation

3:00       Break   sponsored by SGT, Inc.   

3:15        Cislunar Space: The Next Frontier for Human Exploration

Moderator: Harley Thronson, Chair, Symposium Planning Committee; Senior Scientist for Advanced Concepts in Astrophysics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


  • Matt Duggan, Exploration Manager, The Boeing Company
  • Rob Chambers, Orion Production Strategy Lead, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
  • Steve Overton, Manager of Programs, Integrated Space Systems, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Michael Fuller, Senior Manager, NASA Space Systems, Orbital ATK
  • Michael Johnson, Chief Designer, NanoRacks

4:45        Closing Conversation with C. Jon Scolese, NASA GSFC Director;

John Grunsfeld, Astronaut and former NASA Associate Administrator for Science; and Jon Malay, Past President of AAS & AMS

5:15         Closing Reception   Annapolis Room

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