Utah Gears Up for World's Astronauts and Cosmonauts

First Space Walker, First Journalist Among 60 Space Pioneers Converging in U.S. for the First Time in a Decade
By Trina Paskett, Space Dynamics Laboratory
Michael Sullivan, Communication Directo
Kelly M. Mooney, This Just In, Inc.
September 29, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For the first time in more than a decade, the world’s “Space Fliers” will meet in the United States. Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development are pleased to announce that the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) XIX Planetary Congress is convening in Utah, October 9 – 15.

The Association of Space Explorers is an organization of more than 250 astronauts and cosmonauts from 29 nations who have orbited the globe. This prestigious organization will meet to discuss the future of space flight, technical improvements, and space science’s impact on life today. The space flight time of representative confirmed to attend this event totals more than on forth of all human space flight.

Guided by this years’ theme “Our Destiny in Space: Worlds Without Borders,” ASE’s distinguished astronauts and cosmonauts will serve as ambassadors for space flight and engineering, making in-person visits to every school district in the state on October 12.

They also will meet with various members of Utah’s space industry and help launch the Governor’s “Economic Cluster” program, which emphasizes the State’s contributions to the aerospace industry. Their schedule includes a visit to ATK facilities in Promontory, Utah, the production home of the nation’s only human-rated solid rocket motors. These motors currently power the Space Shuttle fleet, and NASA recently announced that they will serve as the propulsion baseline for its next-generation space exploration initiative.

The Space Explorers will also be coming to the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan on October 13 from 2 - 5 p.m. to hold their technical session on Future Programs. The session will be held in SDL’s auditorium at 489 E. Research Park Way. A limited amount of seating will be available.

The Planetary Congress will honor the 30th anniversary of the Soyuz/Apollo Mission. Crew members from this mission include Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, and Donald K. Slayton (deceased), from the Apollo crew; and Valeriy Nikolayevich Kubasov, and Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov from the Soyuz crew. With the exception of Slayton and Kubasov, these mission fliers will be attending ASE’s 19th Planetary Congress in Utah

A public “meet the astronaut” event with Vance D. Brand will be held at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, October 12, from 7pm to 9pm. With 746 flight hours in Space, Brand has flown three shuttle missions in addition to his command of the Soyuz/Apollo Mission. Nearly 300 free tickets will be given away at the Planetarium beginning October 5th for a theatre talk by Astronaut Brand, followed by a question and answer session.

Former Utah Senator Jake Garn, an astronaut who served as payload specialist on 1985’s Discovery Flight 51-D, is the host for the meeting.