Colorado Springs, Colo. The Space Foundation today named veteran space journalist Jim Banke director of communications. Banke brings 20 years of award-winning space journalism experience and a vast knowledge of the space industry. He has covered scores of manned and unmanned launches from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kourou, French Guiana, as well as shuttle landings at Edwards Air Force Base, NASA mission operations in Houston and the 1989 Voyager 2 encounter of Neptune from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
"Jim's strong communications background, space expertise and familiarity with our NASA and Air Force customers brings new strength to our team," said Jim Jannette, Space Foundation Chief of Staff.
Banke assumes responsibility for all Space Foundation communications, including media relations and publications. An immediate priority will be management of all public outreach communications for the Coalition for Space Exploration - a Foundation-led coalition of aerospace companies and organizations working to support the new U.S. Space Exploration Policy.
For the past four years, Banke was SPACE.com's senior producer in the Cape Canaveral Bureau, where he produced authoritative reports for Space News and SPACE.com, and provided live launch coverage for WMMB-AM radio. Prior to joining SPACE.com, he covered space for Florida Today and helped create the Space Online Web service.
Banke and his SPACE.com colleagues were awarded the 2003 Online News Association's Breaking News Award for his coverage of the Columbia disaster, and he has been recognized with a variety of honors for his writing and online work. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation and Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
About the Space Foundation The Space Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission "to vigorously advance civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence." The Foundation conducts events and symposia for industry, has trained more than 30,000 teachers, administers the Space Technology Hall of Fame and Space Product Certification programs, is actively engaged in space policy issues on a national and international level, and offers unique master's degree programs for educators.
Its flagship event, the National Space Symposium, this year marks its 20th anniversary on March 29-April 1. The Space Foundation is headquartered in Colorado Springs and has additional operations in Washington, D.C. and Cape Canaveral, Fla. For more information on Space Foundation services, programs or events, visit www.spacefoundation.org.