Los Angeles, CA, February 26, 2004 – The first and largest public Lunar settlement symposium since President George W. Bush’s announced goal of establishing an American Lunar Base will be held this July 16-18, 2004, at the Westin Casuarina Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fifth “Return to the Moon” (RTM V) conference and workshop, sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation, a non-profit space policy organization, will feature presentations and discussions on many of the controversial issues raised by the president’s speech in January.
“The Space Frontier Foundation has been in the forefront of the Return to the Moon movement for years,” declared Tony DeTora, Executive Director of the Space Frontier Foundation. “We support this new direction in space. At the same time, we believe that NASA and the government must reach out to those beyond the old space establishment for innovative ideas and solutions, or the effort will fail. This conference is a step in that direction.”
The conference will assemble a Who’s Who of Lunar exploration innovators and entrepreneurs. Presenters and speakers will address a spectrum of RTM issues, from innovative technical presentations and papers on Lunar base and spacecraft design, to Lunar business ideas, to no-nonsense debates on such questions as: Can a hoped-for American Moonbase avoid the dismal precedents of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station? How can it be made affordable and permanent? What is the private sector’s role? What is NASA’s role? What is the effect of politics on the goal?
“This conference will be the defining gathering point this year for the public discussion of President Bush’s call for a Moon base as a stepping stone to Mars and beyond,” said Manny Pimenta, the RTM V Conference Manager. “We hope to continue the dialogue between the people and the government started by the White House’s Return to the Moon Commission. We want to show an alternative set of concepts and approaches that brings in the private sector and creates a true partnership to accomplish our shared goals.”
Announced Chairs for this prestigious conference include Andrew Chaikin, noted author of A Man on the Moon: The Triumphant Story of the Apollo Space Program. His book was the main basis for Tom Hanks’ HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon, which won the 1998 Emmy for best miniseries. Also chairing will be Rick Tumlinson, long-time RTM advocate and activist, who has testified before both the House and Senate numerous times on space policy issues. He received a special invitation by the White House to attend President Bush’s space press briefing.
Tumlinson noted the current controversy over the President’s plan to return to the Moon. “This is the most important change in space policy since Kennedy started the Apollo program,” he stated. “If it can be implemented without much new spending, avoids becoming a political football, and if NASA can be changed enough to do it right, we will see the first human settlement on the Moon in our lifetime.”
The media and public are invited to attend and participate. Tentative agenda is forthcoming.
For More information on Return to the Moon V.