Montage of our solar system
Montage of our solar system. Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA will host the first symposium to unveil the agency's future adventures in exploration to Hollywood's most influential filmmakers. On Sept. 24, 2002, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time, astronauts, scientists and aerospace engineers will present NASA's long-range plans to advance the frontiers of flight, space and knowledge.

Although Hollywood creative talent has long been fascinated by space exploration, this breakthrough event is designed to open a window to a wide array of NASA plans and activities.

"NASA is constantly reaching to cross the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding. The American people have always played a critical role in this adventure," said Glenn Mahone, NASA assistant administrator for public affairs. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to share that fundamental sense of human excitement and significance with some our nation's most gifted and successful story tellers."

Creative consultant for the symposium is Robert Shapiro, under contract to NASA. Shapiro has served as co-producer and senior creative consultant for nine Academy Awards to date and is credited for some of the Oscar's most memorable moments.

"It is an honor and privilege to work with an agency that plays such a crucial role in the vital and continued growth of the nation," Shapiro said. "Hollywood has the unique ability to stimulate young minds and arouse their interest in science, math and technology across numerous media. I am confident those called upon in the entertainment industry by NASA will be successful in re-igniting the American people's passion for the exploration of the unknown."

The entertainment industry first took notice of Shapiro following the success of over 15 movies and mini-series for ABC, CBS and NBC. Shapiro has also served as vice president of original content development for BoxTop/IXL, where he developed and produced applications for virtually every interactive television platform.

In 2000, Shapiro participated in the American Film Institute's Enhanced Television workshop, sponsored by Intel, where he produced a prototype for the first interactive Academy Awards show.

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