WASHINGTON, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier and other NASA officials are scheduled to speak April 6 and 7 at the International Space Station and Mars Conference. Gerstenmaier is scheduled to speak during a dinner that begins at 7 p.m. on April 6.
The conference will explore the links between research, operations and technology development aboard the space station, human spaceflight and exploration beyond low Earth orbit, with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars.
Explore Mars is hosting the conference April 6-7 at the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington. Explore Mars is a non-profit group that promotes science and technology innovation and education related to Mars exploration.
"The International Space Station offers the only in-space platform to expand our knowledge of human health and survival in space and reduce the development and operational risk of the systems needed for future missions," said Sam Scimemi, deputy for the International Space Station Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington and a conference speaker.
The program's objective is for a wide variety of experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges of using the station to advance human and robotic exploration and the science of Mars.
"The space station will be a central part of our human spaceflight program for at least the next decade," said Chris Carberry, executive director of Explore Mars. "We hope we can show that by setting long-term goals for the space station and the space program, we will be able to magnify the short-term benefits here on Earth."
Other agency speakers include James Garvin, chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; Dr. Richard S. Williams, chief health and medical officer at NASA Headquarters; and Bret Drake, architect for the Exploration Missions and Systems Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. John Grunsfeld, former NASA astronaut and current deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore also will make remarks.
For registration and conference information, visit: