Famed Biologist Craig Venter to Speak at SSI Space Manufacturing Conference



SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Oct 18, 2010) – Famed biologist and entrepreneur Dr. Craig Venter will give a special talk on synthetic genomics during the Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14 conference in Mountain View, Calif. on Oct. 30.

Venter — best known for his pioneering work in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell with a synthetic genome earlier this year — will give a 90-minute talk and Q&A session on the role that synthetic genetics will play in the future settlement of space. Venter will speak about how this emerging technology can be utilized in closed-loop life support systems, mineral extraction and synthesis, and other processes.

“We’re glad to be having Craig join us for the conference,” said SSI Executive Vice President Lee Valentine. “Synthetic genomics is a fascinating area that we believe will be beneficial to human settlement of space. We expect some great interactions during the Q&A session.”

Dr. Venter is founder of Celera Genomics, The Institute for Genomic Research and the J. Craig Venter Institute. His self-named institute is focused on creating synthetic biological organisms and documenting genetic diversity in the world’s oceans.

His talk at the NASA Ames Conference Center will be a joint session with the Synthetic Biology Workshop, a separate invitation-only conference being held at the space center the same weekend.

“The timing is fortunate,” Valentine added. “We would like to thank NASA Ames Director Pete Worden and his team for arranging this joint session. There could be good synergy between the two conferences.”

The SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement conference is a revival of a series of biennial gatherings held in Princeton, N.J., through 2001. The late Princeton physics professor Gerard K. O’Neill, author of “The High Frontier,” a seminal book on space colonization, began the conference series to catalyze the settlement of space for the benefit of mankind.

During the Oct. 29-31 conference, space scientists and entrepreneurs will meet in Silicon Valley to plan humanity’s future on the high frontier. Speakers will discuss research topics including affordable space transportation, extraterrestrial prospecting, lunar and asteroidal manufacturing processes, robotics and tele-operations, closed environment life support systems, space solar power and energy supply to the Earth, and off-planet property rights.

“This conference is the only one solely concerned with the science and engineering of humanity’s expansion into the solar system,” Valentine said. “Its most important function is to bring together the engineers, entrepreneurs and researchers who do the real work.”

Dr. Venter’s talk is open to registered attendees of SSI’s Space Manufacturing Conference and NASA’s Synthetic Biology Workshop. To register for the SSI conference, please visit our website at http://ssi.org/2010-conference-space-manufacturing-14/2010-register/. The Synthetic Biology Workshop is invitation only.

Media representatives who wish to cover Venter’s talk should contact:

Douglas Messier

About the Space Studies Institute

Professor Gerard K. O’Neill founded the Space Studies Institute (SSI) in 1977 with the hope of opening the vast wealth of space to humanity. The Institute’s mission, continuing under the direction of President Freeman Dyson, is to open the energy and material resources of space for human benefit within our lifetime. SSI’s first commitment is to complete the missing technological links to make possible the productive use of the abundant resources in space.

Conference Information

To register, please visit the SSI website at http://ssi.org/2010-conference-space-manufacturing-14/2010-register/

The full agenda is published at http://ssi.org/2010-conference-space-manufacturing-14/sm14-agenda/


For additional information, please contact:
Space Studies Institute
Mojave, CA
Contact: Robin Snelson
(661) 750-2774

For media registrations, please contact:

Douglas Messier