Dr. John W. Townsend Jr., director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, will open Utah State University's second annual Small Satellite Conference Sept. 18-21, officials say.

Townsend also will participate in a panel discussion Sept. 19, Frank Redd, research director of USU's Center for Space Engineering, said Friday, and will speak to the 400 participants Sept. 20."The panel, representing NASA, the Air Force, Navy, Army and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, will address rapidly expanding opportunities for small satellites in the international space arena," said Redd.

The USU conference is co-sponsored by the national organization of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.