NASA invites media to the 61st annual Goddard Space Science Symposium

Media are invited to attend the 61st Annual Goddard Space Science Symposium (formerly the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium), to be held March 20-22, 2024, at the Brendan Iribe Center on the University of Maryland, College Park campus. The symposium will also be webcast.

Organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) in collaboration with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the symposium brings together leaders from across government, industry, politics and academia to discuss the current landscape of space exploration and collectively chart a path forward amid the challenges that lie ahead. forward.

The theme of this year's event – ​​​​”Space 2040: Pathways to the Future” – uses NASA and Goddard's plans for the coming decades and applies them to a broader discourse on research and discovery, technology, the workforce and other elements of the space business.

“The Goddard Space Science Symposium is an annual dose of inspiration and motivation. Experts from across the country are coming together to see what's happening now in space science and what's coming in the future,” said Goddard's Michelle Thaller, co-chair of the symposium's planning committee. “Goddard's new strategic plan was unveiled last year, and this symposium is part of how we're starting to work that out.”

AAS President Ron Birk and Goddard Center Director Makenzie Lystrup will deliver opening remarks on Wednesday, March 20, followed by panels on cislunar space, workforce opportunities and space weather. Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, will deliver the keynote address to end the first day.

Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, will deliver the keynote address at a luncheon on Thursday, March 21. Panels on the second day will focus on Earth and climate science, digital technologies and lunar surface science.

The third and final day of the symposium on Friday, March 22, will include discussions on habitable worlds, interplanetary missions, and the return of planetary samples. David Grinspoon, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, will give a short presentation. Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, will be the keynote speaker at the closing luncheon.

Media interested in arranging interviews with NASA speakers should contact Robert Garner, Goddard news chief.

For more information about the Goddard Space Science Symposium and updated program, or to register as a media representative, visit

For more information about NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, visit

Media contact:
Robert Garner
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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