The Symposium Chair is an internationally known innovative scientist, Dr. John D.G. Rather, who formerly served as a senior executive at NASA HQ and is now President of RCIG, Inc. The Co-Chair is an internationally recognized operations research analyst, Dr. Dean S. Hartley III, now Principal of Hartley Consulting. The Symposium will be divided into four themes.
Theme 1, led by John Mankins, member of the National Space Society Board of Directors, will set the stage by discussing limitations of current space states-of-the-art and opportunities for improvements. Confirmed Theme 1 speakers include Franklin Chang-Diaz, six-mission astronaut who spent 66 days in space and is now CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company; James Powell, retired physicist from Brookhaven National Laboratory and inventor of both the most advanced nuclear thermal propulsion rocket and also of superconducting MagLev now in advanced development in Japan; Joel Sercel, well-known physicist focused on development of space resources and founder of TransAstra Corp; and Robert Zubrin, zealous advocate for human Mars exploration.
Theme 2, led by Jason Derleth, NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program Executive, will introduce and discuss a set of breakthrough technologies, many already pioneered and significantly developed, that will enable the goals of rapid synergistic progress. Confirmed Theme 2 speakers include Robert Bagdigian, NASA-MSFC Deputy Chief Engineer for Human Exploration; Jonathan Cirtain, VP Advanced Technologies at BWXT Technologies, Inc; Phil Lubin, Professor, UC Santa Barbara & leader of Starshot Initiative laser development; Joseph Parrish, DARPA Program Manager for space robotics; and William Peter, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3D Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.
Theme 3 will be led by Matt Hollingsworth, a physicist and successful cutting-edge entrepreneur with experience at the University of Tennessee, Stanford University, and the Large Hadron Collider. Theme 3 will develop a Transformative Decadal Plan based upon the strategies discussed in Themes 1 & 2. Confirmed Theme 3 speakers include Michael Raftery, past Boeing Deputy Manager of the International Space Station and now President TerraTrace; and previously described participants Dean Hartley, John Mankins, and John Rather. The output from Theme 3 will be a coherent, well defended proposal for restructuring and accelerating the U.S. national space effort built around new breakthrough concepts that emulate the Manhattan Project and the Apollo moonshot, but with open-ended consequences for major industrial growth and human employment in space.
Finally, Theme 4 will be led by Catherine Asaro, a noted Science Fiction author, quantum physicist, and educational business owner. Her team will explore how future prospects for human roles in the universe can grow from our decadal transformative proposal. This creative discussion will include possible loopholes in current physical laws that may lead to faster than light interstellar travel, genetically modified humans, and the possibility of conscious Artificial Intelligence. Confirmed Theme 4 speakers currently include Arlan Andrews, an engineer and SF author; Ruth Kastner, quantum physicist at the University of Maryland; and Marc Millis, retired NASA propulsion physicist and founder of the Tau Zero Foundation.
The Symposium will promote collaboration of Government Labs with private industry because this is a proven key to success in creating jobs. This inspiring endeavor will help define a fantastic new future for world prosperity.