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NASA Invites Media to 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), which will take place March 20-22, 2024, at the Brendan Iribe Center on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park. The symposium will also be streamed online.

Brendan Iribe Center, a multi-story building made up of mostly glass windows on a bright green lawn.
The 61st annual Goddard Space Science Symposium will take place March 20-22, 2024, at the Brendan Iribe Center on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park.
University of Maryland/John T. Consoli

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

The theme of this year’s event – “Space 2040: Pathways to the Future” – leverages NASA and Goddard’s plans for the coming decades and applies them to a broader discourse about exploration 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 all over the country come together to look at what is happening in space science now 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 rolled out last year, and this symposium is part of how we start to flesh 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 the NASA Science Mission Directorate, will deliver a keynote address to close out the first day.

Ellen Stofan, under secretary for science and research at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, will provide the opening luncheon keynote 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 planetary sample returns. David Grinspoon, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, will give a brief presentation. Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, will serve as the closing luncheon keynote speaker.

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

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

For more information on NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, visit

Media Contact:
Robert Garner
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Last Updated
Mar 15, 2024
Jamie Adkins
Goddard Space Flight Center