Von Braun Memorial Symposium and Memorial Dinner set Oct. 23-25

Dr. Wernher von Braun

Two coming events honor the memory of famed rocket scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun.

Smithsonian Institution

"Galvanizing U.S. Leadership in Space" is the theme of the American Astronautical Society’s 11th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium Oct. 23-25 in Charger Union Theater at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), an event being held in conjunction with UAH and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

"It is an honor for UAH to host the annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium," says UAH interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Robert Lindquist. "The symposium is a place to reflect on recent achievements of NASA and to gain insight into the future of space exploration. It is a unique opportunity for our students and faculty to engage with the scientists, engineers and administrators who define the future role of the U.S. in space."

A Space Commercialization Workshop will be sponsored by the UAH College of Business from 2-6 p.m. Oct. 23 in the UAH Charger Union Theatre.

The keynote speaker is Kevin O’Connell, director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Office of Space Commerce. Panels of space industry experts will discuss the History of NASA and Its Role in Space Commerce and Accelerating Space Commercialization.

On Oct. 25, the National Space Club will present an associated event, the 30th Annual Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Davidson Center for Space Exploration. Keynoting the dinner will be Dr. Michael Griffin, under secretary of defense for research and engineering.

Dr. Griffin is the Dept. of Defense chief technology officer, and is responsible for the research, development and prototyping activities across the department’s enterprise. He is mandated with ensuring technological superiority for the Dept. of Defense. He oversees the activities of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Missile Defense Agency, the Strategic Capabilities Office, Defense Innovation Unit, the Dept. of Defense Laboratory enterprise and the Under Secretariate staff focused on developing advanced technology and capability for the U.S. military.

Emcee for the dinner is Dr. Deborah Barnhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

For more information on the von Braun Symposium, visit astronautical.org. For more information on the Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner, visit spaceclubhsv.org.