SEATTLE - Mayor Gregory J. Nickels has signed a proclamation recognizing NASA for its contribution to the space-related economy in the Seattle region, as well as its role in exploration, scientific discovery and research. The day of recognition coincides with a NASA Future Forum at the Museum of Flight in Seattle on Jan. 25, the first in a yearlong series of events across the country to mark the agency's 50th anniversary. NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale is the keynote speaker at the forum.
Other NASA speakers at the event include Jeff Hanley, manager of NASA's Constellation Program that is developing the next generation of vehicles for space travel, and astronaut Janet Kavandi. Kavandi, deputy chief of the astronaut office in Houston, earned her doctorate at the University of Washington. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen will deliver the luncheon address.
"The Museum of Flight is proud to support the Future Forum. Our mission is to be more than a bridge to the history of aerospace. We also strive to be a link to the aerospace and education communities of today," said astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, the president of the Museum of Flight. "The forum, with its associated student and educator activities, wonderfully fulfills this mission by bringing together today's leaders with today's learners."
Panels throughout the day will feature open discussions among NASA representatives and Washington state academic and commercial groups regarding the future of space exploration. Panelists include representatives from the University of Washington, Seattle; Western Washington University, Bellingham; The Boeing Company, Chicago; Google, Mountain View, Calif.; and Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif.
"Hosting this Future Forum event in Seattle is a real testament to the link between our state's technology industry and the work going on at NASA in space and terrestrial exploration," said Ken Myer, president and CEO of the WSA, Washington's technology trade organization. "Washington is home to a variety of companies which are in some way working with NASA on innovations and joint projects."
As part of the forum, the museum is featuring a limited engagement exhibition of a rare Mars meteorite. The meteorite, named Elephant Moraine 79001 after its landing site in Antarctica, is about the size of a thumb with a mass of only 34 grams.
The Seattle Future Forum is sponsored in part by the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Other sponsors include Google, Boeing, Raytheon Corp., Waltham, Mass. and WSA.
For more information about the Future Forum, media also may contact Norm Arkans with the University of Washington at 206-543-2560 or Autumn Monahan with the WSA at 206-505-8350.
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