Senator Ted Cruz, NASA’s Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, Space and Mars Experts to Join The Atlantic’s Summit on the Future of American Space Exploration

“On the Launchpad: Return to Deep Space”: Tuesday, May 16; 1:30-4:30 PM EST in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. (May 2, 2017)– Space discovery has been an enduring source of national pride, since Project Mercury and the Vostok Program first competed to put men into orbit in the 1950s and ‘60s. In recent years, new players have taken prominent roles in ambitious missions, including space tourism and missions to Mars. At this junction in space exploration, The Atlantic will convene “On the Launchpad: Return to Deep Space,” a summit gathering policymakers, key players from NASA, and space industry experts to explore the future of extraterrestrial travel on Tuesday, May 16, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, will be interviewed at the event. Discussions will also include acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot on the future of NASA, and former NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan on what it would take for the U.S. to launch a mission to Mars. Chris Carberry, the CEO and co-founder of Explore Mars, Inc and Dr. Robert Zubrin, founder of Mars Society, will discuss the science of getting to the red planet.

Additional speakers and agenda details will be available soon. For more information and a live video feed of the program on May 16, visit the event website; and join the conversation with @AtlanticLIVE and #AtlanticSpace.

The Atlantic’s Ross Andersen, Science, Technology, and Health editor, and Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large, will moderate discussions throughout the day. For The Atlantic’s latest science coverage, visit

The program will run from 1:30-4:30 PM EST, with a networking reception to follow, on Tuesday, May 16, at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). Media should RSVP directly to this email or reach out to Sydney Simon (, 202-266-7338) for more information.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the underwriter of “On the Launchpad: Return to Deep Space.”