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Space Foundation reveals 2006 Space Technology Hall of Fame inductees

03/07/2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Mar. 8, 2006) -- The Space Foundation today announced that the iRobot PackBot Tactical Mobile Robot and Novariant AutoFarm RTK AutoSteer are the 2006 inductees into the prestigious Space Technology Hall of Fame. The innovative individuals and organizations who adapted these technologies will be recognized April 6 at a private induction ceremony and at the Space Technology Hall of Fame dinner. The dinner is the capstone event at the 22nd National Space Symposium, which takes place April 3-6, 2006, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Since 1988, the Space Technology Hall of Fame has honored 52 technologies and the innovators who transformed space technology into commercial products that improve life here on Earth. The Space Foundation, in cooperation with NASA, established the Space Technology Hall of Fame to increase public awareness of the benefits that result from space exploration programs and to encourage further innovation. The iRobot PackBot is a tactical mobile robot used in urban terrain operations. Technology originally developed for Martian rovers was incorporated into the PackBot, including lightweight, high-torque actuators used for control, a strong but lightweight frame structure, and a riveted sheet-metal chassis. Currently, more than 300 PackBot robots are in use in Afghanistan and Iraq to clear caves and bunkers, search buildings, safely disrupt Improvised Explosive Devices and landmines, and even relay video, audio, and sensor readings. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), iRobot Corporation, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be recognized as the innovating organizations of the PackBot technology. AutoFarm’s AutoSteer uses the improved Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Satellite Positioning (GPS) system to steer farm tractors automatically and ensure straight, repeatable rows. The technology originally was developed to track the orientation of NASA’s Gravity Probe B project, which is testing two unverified predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. AutoSteer can dramatically increase crop yields by maximizing agricultural outputs. The Gravity Probe B Lab and Novariant Corporation will be recognized as the innovating organizations of the AutoSteer technology. Honorees will participate at the 22nd National Space Symposium in a Private Induction ceremony, co-sponsored by Cisco Systems; the Space Technology Hall of Fame reception, co-sponsored by United Space Alliance; and the Space Technology Hall of Fame dinner, co-sponsored by The Boeing Company. A complete list of all Space Technology Hall of Fame inducted technologies and innovating organizations and individuals can be found online at www.SpaceTechHallofFame.org. More than 7,000 people are expected to participate at the 22nd National Space Symposium, which draws the most senior executives from civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors. Full details, including an updated program agenda, confirmed speaker list, exhibitor list, complete list of sponsors, and secure registration can be found online at www.NationalSpaceSymposium.org. Additional highlights of the symposium include a spectacular opening ceremony, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman; the opening night reception, co-sponsored by ITT; the opening night fireworks and dessert reception, co-sponsored by General Dynamics; the Corporate Partnership reception, co-sponsored by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; the Corporate Partnership dinner, co-sponsored by Raytheon; the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award luncheon, co-sponsored by the Colorado Space Coalition; and the largest ever Lockheed Martin Exhibit Center. Additional co-sponsors include Analytical Graphics, Inc., ASRC Federal, ATK, BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Cisco Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Florida Space Authority, Harris Corporation, Inmarsat, Integral Systems, MTC Technologies, Nortel Government Solutions, Space News, Space Systems/Loral, SpaceVest, Spherical Magic, Stellar Solutions, and Swales Aerospace. About the Space Foundation Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. In addition to the National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation annually conducts, along with its partnering organizations, Inside Aerospace, April 24-25, 2006; Strategic Space and Defense, 10-12 Oct. 2006, in Omaha, Neb.; and Florida Space, Dec. 5-7, 2006, in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit www.SpaceFoundation.org.

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