Space Access ’12 Update With Preliminary Schedule

Space Access ’12 Conference – April 12-14 – Phoenix Arizona

SA ’12 will be the next round of Space Access Society’s long-running annual get-together for people seriously interested in the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation. This year’s conference sessions will run from Thursday morning April 12th through Saturday evening April 14th. (Our Space Access hospitality suite will be open Wednesday evening for early arrivers.)

Conference location is the Grace Inn, 10831 South 51st Street, Phoenix, AZ, about ten freeway miles from the Phoenix airport. For room reservations, call 800 843-6010 or 480 893-3000, and mention “space access” to get our discount $69/night single-or-double breakfast-included rate. (This rate is good for up to three days before or after the conference.)

Conference registration is $120 in advance, $140 at the door, student rate $40 either way.
There are two options for advance registration:

– You can mail us a check or money order. Include for each registrant the name and affiliation (if any) to be listed on the badge, plus their email address. Make the check out to Space Access ’12, and mail it to: Space Access ’12, PO Box 16034, Phoenix AZ 85011.

– You can go to to register online with your credit card or Paypal account.

Either way, advance registrations need to be in our hands by COB Friday April 6th, so our volunteer Registration crew has the weekend before the conference to produce your badges.

Two weeks till the conference begins! It’s time to book that flight to Phoenix; it’ll only cost more if you wait longer. And reserve your hotel room soon, as the hotel is filling up faster than usual this year.

Space Access ’12 Preliminary Program Schedule as of 3/27/12

(Speakers, if we’ve scheduled you before you’re arriving or after you’re leaving, or if there’s any other problem, let us know ASAP at

Thursday April 12
 9 am – Henry Vanderbilt, your SA’12 Conference Manager, with a brief welcome
 9:05 – Henry Spencer, “Beyond Chemical Rockets: Overview and Near-Term Options”
 9:55 – Keith Henson, “$100 a kg to GEO with Beamed Energy Propulsion”
 10:15 – Tethers Unlimited, Gerry Nordley
 10:25 – break
 11 am – Liftport
 11:20 – Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, Sara Meschberger
 11:30 – John Schilling, “Halfway to Anywhere, Part II: Groundwork For Going Beyond LEO”
 12 noon – Rick Maschek, Sugar Shot To Space
 12:25 – break for lunch
 2 pm – Bruce Pittman, NASA Ames, “Barriers And Opportunities For Reusable Launch Vehicles”
 2:20 – XCOR Aerospace, Mark Street
 3:10 – Tim Pickens, Rocket City Space Pioneers GLXP Project
 3:35 – break
 4:10 – Ventions, Adam London
 4:40 – Rick Tumlinson, on the EarthLight Institute
 4:50 – Altius Space Machines, Jon Goff
 5:20 – Matt Cannella, “HySoR Hybrid Sounding Rocket”
 5:35 – Stratofox Aerospace Tracking & Recovery Team, Ian Kluft
 5:55 – break for dinner
 8 pm – Scott Tibbitts, eSpace, “From the Hardware Store to Pluto: Adventures in Space Entrepreneurship”
 8:30 – Spaceworthy, Ed De Reyes, “Roadblocks To Licensing and Permitting: We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us”
 8:50 – Panel: Newspace Lessons Learned – Gary Hudson, Henry Spencer, Henry Vanderbilt
 9:30 – Mojave Air & Space Port
 9:50 – end of day’s schedule.  Begin celebrating Yuri’s Night!  (Don’t overdo it, there are two full days still ahead.)

Friday April 13th
 9 am – David Hoerr, “The Rocket Company, 10 Years After”
 9:20 – Rocketplane Global, Chuck Lauer
 9:40 – United Launch Alliance, Frank Zegler
 10:30 – break
 11:05 – Panel: World Space Programs & Prospects – Jeff Foust, Clark Lindsey, Doug Messier, Dave Salt
 11:55 – Max Vozoff, mv2space
 12:25 pm – break for lunch
 2 pm – NASA OCT, Dr. Laguduva Kubendran
 2:45 – Lasermotive, Jordin Kare
 3:05 – Jordin Kare on Recent Laser Propulsion Work
 3:35 – break
 4:10 – Orbital Outfitters, Jeff Feige
 4:40 – Masten Space, Dave Masten
 5:30 – Henry Spencer, “Lessons From Smallsats for Small Launchers”
 5:55 – break for dinner
 8 pm – Phil Chapman, “Reviving Human Spaceflight”
 8:20 – Dallas Bienhoff, “Payload Requirements For A Low Cost Reusable Launch Vehicle”
 8:50 – Garvey Space
 9:20 – JP Aerospace, John Powell
 9:50 pm – end of day’s schedule.  Don’t party too late – there’s still another whole day ahead!

Saturday April 14th
 9 am – FAA AST, Mike Kelly, Chief Engineer
 9:50 – Commercial Spaceflight Federation
 10:05 – Rand Simberg on a Space Property Rights initiative
 10:25 – break
 11 am – Frontier Astronautics, Timothy Bendel
 11:30 – Speedup, Robert Steinke
 11:45 – Osa Fitch, “The Rocket Test Company: 2012 Update”
 12 noon – Team Phoenicia, Will Baird
 12:30 – break for lunch
 2 pm – Michael Clive, “The Mojave Makers Hackerspace”
 2:15 – Unreasonable Rocket, Paul Breed
 2:45 – Tim Pickens with a few words on “DIY Space Access: Modern Communications, the ‘Maker’ network, and the Space Community” (Panel to Follow, Panelists TBA)
 3:30 – break
 4:05 – Jim Muncy, PoliSpace
 4:45 – Space Studies Institute, Gary Hudson, President (do not miss – we can say no more)
 5:15 – Space Frontier Foundation, Ryan McLinko
 5:30 – Panel: Policy Issues For The Coming Year – Phil Chapman, Jim Muncy, Rand Simberg, Henry Vanderbilt
 6:10 – end of Space Access session for another year.  See you in the bar!

For any remaining changes in the schedule (and for the version with embedded informational links) stay tuned to

Conference Background

Space Access ’12 will be the next round of our long-running annual get-together for anyone seriously interested in the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation. The conference is intensive and informal – long days, single program track, tightly scheduled sessions, no requirement for a prepared paper, speaking off-the-cuff is fine. The idea is to get a snapshot of where things are and where they’re headed next, not where they were six months ago. We have long on-your-own meal breaks (no rubber-chicken mass banquets) and we make sure there are convenient places nearby to go and talk with other attendees. We figure networking is a better use of your conference time than listening to canned dinner speeches.

Conference attendees range from students and amateur rocket enthusiasts, through cheap-access political activists and startup rocket companies, to government and established aerospace company people. Typical attendance is in the mid to high one hundreds.

We understand that many of you in our target audience aren’t rich – yet. We work hard to keep overall conference attendance costs low. Phoenix is a major air hub, we schedule the conference so you can travel at off-peak parts of the week despite it still being weekend winter-tourist season here, we negotiate great room rates at our pleasant and well-kept resort style conference hotel, and our registration fee speaks for itself. We’ve been called a far better conference than some that go for many times our price.

To a considerable extent, Space Access has been (by design) an incubator for the “newspace” entrepreneurial end of things. Bottom line, it has been a useful conference over the years – companies have been started, investments made, ideas spread, people hired – pretty much what we’ve aimed for.