Solar System Exploration at 50 Years
October 25-26, 2012

Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center (GVC)
2121 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first successful planetary mission, Mariner 2 sent to Venus, the NASA History Program Office, the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum, the NASA Science Mission Directorate, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are hosting this two-day symposium on the history of planetary exploration.  Through the generous support of Lockheed Martin, the symposium is being held at the Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center in the Crystal City complex in Arlington, VA. 


Entitled “Solar System Exploration @ 50,” the purpose of this symposium is to consider, over the more than fifty year history of the space age, what we have learned about the other bodies of the solar system and the process whereby we have learned it. This symposium seeks to pursue broader questions relating to the history of planetary exploration.  Panelists speaking at the symposium include participants who were “there at the creation,” current scientists and researchers, historians and analysts from around the world.  A select collection of the papers presented at the symposium will be published as a book.


Advance registration is required, but the event is free and open to the public.  Registration will close on Friday, October 19.


Due to legal and policy restrictions, food and beverages must be paid for directly by participants. Coffee and other light refreshments will be available throughout the day on both days for a modest fee of $2 per day. We will have a keynote speaker at lunch time on Thursday, so we have made arrangements to have lunch brought in by Subway. You should indicate your preferences for daily refreshments and lunch (if you so choose) when you register. Payment can be made by credit card on the registration page. 

If you wish to cancel your registration and/or meal selection you must contact Robin Alford directly at by October 19, 2012, 3:00 p.m. EST.  After this date, no changes can be made and no refunds will be issued.


The symposium will be webcast live at and you can follow us on social media with the hashtag #Planets50.