Vera Hirschberg Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

(Phone: 202/453-2907) RELEASE: 90-114

August 22, 1990


NASA announced today that response has been strong to its request for ideas on how to return to the Moon permanently and begin human exploration of Mars. The ideas were solicited under NASA's Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) Outreach Program announced by NASA Administrator Richard H. Truly on May 31. The Outreach Program consists of three primary channels for ideas, which will be provided directly to a Synthesis Group, chaired by Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford, USAF (Ret.). Under the program, the RAND Corporation is analyzing ideas from industry, universities, associations and the public; the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) solicited ideas from its members; and Federal agencies were invited to provide direct input to the Synthesis Group. The Synthesis Group is responsible for synthesizing the inputs from all sources into several architectures for the SEI and for identifying early milestones and promising technologies, as well. The AIAA has received more than 400 ideas from its members. The ideas will be the focus of a conference on "Innovative Technologies for the Exploration of Space," co-sponsored by NASA and the AIAA on September 5 and 6 at the Ramada Renaissance Techworld, Washington, D.C.

General Stafford will be the keynote speaker at the conference on September 5. He will be followed by Arnold Aldrich, Associate Administrator of NASA's Office of Aeronautics, Exploration and Technology, who will speak on the SEI. The conference will focus on innovative concepts, systems and technologies submitted by AIAA members. The conference is organized into five sessions to cover Architecture and Systems; Transportation; Human Support Technologies and Systems; Planetary Surface Systems and Technologies; and Infrastructure Technologies. - more -2As of August 17, the RAND Corporation received more than 10,000 requests for response packets under the SEI Outreach Program and notices of intent to submit 3,302 ideas. Of the intended responses, 68.7 percent are from individuals, 16.3 percent are from aerospace companies and other for-profit enterprises, and 8.1 percent are from educational institutions. The remainder are in other categories. Space transportation is the focus of the largest category of intended responses to RAND with 16.7 percent. Other categories include mission concepts (16.5 percent), life support systems (10.3 percent), structures and materials (9.8 percent), space and surface power (7.4 percent), space processing and manufacturing (6.3 percent), system design and analysis (5.7 percent), automation and robotics (4.7 percent), communications (4.1 percent), ground support and simulation (3.4 percent), and information systems (2.3 percent). The remainder are in other categories. -end-

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