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Washington Conference To Examine Impact Of Civilian Space Travel On Culture And Economy

Tito - The first space tourist.
by Staff Writers
Raleigh NC (SPX) Jul 17, 2007
The telephone, personal computers, the Internet. Each of these technological innovations deeply altered our culture. Civilian space travel, which is less than two years away, has the potential to trigger even broader changes, and a leading group of scientists, experts in space flight, and visionary leaders will meet in Washington D.C. on July 18 at the First Annual Conference on the Overview Effect to discuss the impact this phenomenon will soon have on the way we think, live, work and interact, both here in the United States and globally.

The conference, which will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia, (adjacent to National Airport), has been organized by the World Space Center in collaboration with the Space Frontier Foundation to examine the potential psychological, social and economic impact of mass space travel.

Of primary concern is the impact of the Overview Effect - a profoundly transformative phenomenon experienced by several of the astronauts during space flight.

According to author Frank White, The Overview Effect, "is the experience of seeing the earth from a distance...and realizing the inherent unity and oneness of everything on the planet. The Effect represents a shift in perception...from identification with parts of the Earth to identification with the whole system."

The conference will include White, a Rhodes Scholar and author of "The Overview Effect, Space Exploration and Human Evolution" and astronaut Edgar Mitchell, sixth man on the moon and founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences. (A full list of speakers and presenters can be found at the end of this press release.)

Legendary NBC news broadcaster, Lloyd Dobyns, who was described by The Washington Post as one of the best clarifiers, and best communicators, in broadcast journalism, will attend the conference to film a chronicle of interviews with the speakers. Dobyns won both the Dupont-Columbia and the Peabody awards and his writing earned a Humanitas Prize, two Christopher medals, and two Emmy nominations.

In addition to the speakers, the conference will feature a revolutionary dome projection system, which will run the Uni-view earth visualization system designed at the Hayden Planetarium. Carter Emmart, Director of Astro-visualization at the Hayden Planetarium, will coordinate this part of the conference.

The media and public are invited to attend this seminal event. Additional information, plus registration information, can be found here.

"We hope to engage the energies of people around the world in preserving our planet and exploring the universe by extending understanding of The Overview Effect," said White. "We would like to see 'overview thinking' permeate every aspect of our society."

The astronauts have often spoken of how profoundly they have been affected on emotional, intellectual, philosophical and spiritual levels while in space and White coined this experience as The Overview Effect in his book of the same name. Many astronauts have predicted powerful effects on every aspect of earth life when The Overview Effect begins reaching the masses through civilian space flight.

This is much closer in time than many people realize. Consumer space tourism is scheduled to begin in as little as 24 months. The first privately owned space station is being built in orbit at this time. Visionary business leaders, such as Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and Virgin Galactic Spacelines, have already begun building space fleets, and are engaged in the initial stages of building marketing organizations for commercial space flight.

The emerging commercial space industry predicts tens of thousands of people will travel in space in the next 10 to 20 years, with stays at orbiting hotels, or while working at such hotels. Other space travelers will be living and working on orbiting solar power arrays, moon and asteroid mines and other commercial space business-related stations.

Perhaps even more immediately influential will be the co-emergence of incredible new space simulations, immersive 3-D movies and "Matrix-like" virtual reality and immersive telepresence technologies that will bring the reality of space to earth with a yet undreamed of sense of presence.

The First Annual Conference on the Overview Effect and the organization it will create will focus on all of this, with an emphasis on the psycho/social impact of space travel, while bringing space leaders and astronauts together with a vast range of social leaders and visionaries who can begin planning for this new era in the history of our nation, and the world.

The public is invited to attend and help develop plans for the research, education, networking, and simulation necessary to prepare our world for this new civilian space era.

The event will be webcast live

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First Malaysian Astronaut To Take Off For Space Station October 10
Kuala Lumpur (XNA) Jul 05, 2007
The first Malaysian astronaut is expected to take off for the International Space Station (ISS) on Oct. 10, Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis said here Thursday. Under the contract, the preliminary launching date was Oct. 2, but Russia had set the new date which might also be changed again, according to the report by Malaysia's national news agency Bernama.

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