WASHINGTON, May 27, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Planning is well underway for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) SPACE 2004 Conference and Exposition set for Sept. 28-30, 2004, at the San Diego Convention Center. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is the corporate sponsor.

Wes Bush, president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector, will chair the event which has the theme of "Realizing the Potential of Space."

SPACE 2004, AIAA's premier annual space conference, serves as a venue for senior government and industry leaders to address critical space issues. More than 1,000 attendees are expected to participate in the three-day conference, which will feature leading industry executives and government officials who will participate as speakers and panelists providing a comprehensive set of perspectives that will set the stage for continuing discussion throughout the program.

This forum will address accomplishments and challenges facing the nation as it strives to realize the full potential of space. Topics will include:

  - New initiatives envisioned by the Department of Defense in
   support of the warfighter
 - NASA vision to explore space and expand our human presence
   in space
 - The role of space in homeland defense
 - Launch industry outlook and perspectives
 - Spacecraft industrial base and market demand
 - Technology advances and implications for Department of
   Defense and civil applications
 - Civil and Department of Defense communications considerations,
   limitations and solutions
 - Education and workforce development
 - Policy and regulatory issues driving international collaborations
 

The conference will include 11 technical tracks spanning science, technology and policy in two primary categories: Major Missions and Markets (military space missions, human space flight and exploration, space science and robotic missions, earth science and environmental space missions); and Key Enablers (space access and nuclear propulsion, orbital systems and operations, ground operations of space assets, enabling technologies, strategic planning and policy, education and workforce development and space economics).

Other key components include a major educational and community outreach called "Education Alley" with related activities and special events.

The AIAA organizes this annual conference. In addition to sponsorship by Northrop Grumman, program support is provided by NASA and the Department of Defense. "Space News" is also a supporting sponsor.

For a complete program or to register to attend, visit the AIAA Space 2004 Web site at www.aiaa.org/space2004/ .

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With 120,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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  CONTACT: 

AIAA Contact: 
 Jeff Magaha
 (703) 264-7621
 jeffreym@aiaa.org

Northrop Grumman Contact:
 Bob Bishop
 (310) 812-5227
 bob.j.bishop@ngc.com