Space Access Conference Updated Agenda

Space Access ’16 Conference Information

April 7th – 9th, 2016
at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North
Updated 02/27/16

Space Access ’16 is Space Access Society’s twenty-third annual conference on the business, technology, and politics of radically cheaper access to space, this year with a strong sub-focus on policy decisions and technology directions needed for Beyond Low Orbit: The Next Step Out.

Our upcoming conference will (as usual) feature a cross-section of the growing cheap access community, talking about what’s going on now and what we should be doing next, in a fast-paced intensive informal atmosphere.

SA’16 is less than six weeks away – start making those travel arrangements soon!

Conference Site Hotel
Conference Schedule
Supporting The Conference

Conference Agenda

updated 2/27/16 – Added: XCOR Aerospace, Exos, Spaceport America, Jon Goff, Embry-Riddle Commercial Space Operations, Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition

Confirmed speakers, panelists, and presentations:

Ken Biba, of the Carmack-Prize winning AEROPAC team, reports progress & plans on the ARLISS Extreme 2-stage 100,000-feet recoverable CANSAT-launcher project.

Paul Breed, of Unreasonable Rocket, on A Garage-Team Approach To Orbit

Alex Bruccoleri, of Izentis LLC, on the NASA Ames Millimeter-Wave Thermal Launch System Program

Mitchell Burnside Clapp, formerly of DARPA, Pioneer Rocketplane, and the DC-X Program
on A Novel Air-Launch Configuration

and on the Desirable Technologies (Commercial/Non-Profit) Panel

CubeCab is positioning themselves as a provider of launches to LEO for 1U and 3U CubeSats.

Exos Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc., John Quinn and Russ Blink, on their 100+ km SARGE Reusable Sounding Rocket Flight Plans

Jeff Foust is a long-time space journalist, tweeter, and blogger, and will be on Various Panels.

Frontier Astronautics, Timothy Bendel. Frontier provides affordable and reliable rocket engines and attitude control systems, as well as custom design and testing services for customer’s rocket engines or flight vehicles

John Gibson, CEO, XCOR Aerospace, on XCOR Plans and Progress

Ron Goedendorp, Nanoracks

Jon Goff, Masten Space co-founder, and Founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, on Various Panels

Jeff Greason, former CEO/CTO of XCOR Aerospace and current CEO of Agile Aero, on Agile’s Plans and Prospects

and on Various Panels

Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron on the Scientific Maker Session they’re running at the AAAS Pacific Division meeting in San Diego, June 16

Gary Hudson, President of Space Studies Institute on Various Panels

Jordin Kare

on Lasermotive progress and plans
on A Hybrid Chemical-Rocket/Laser Launch Concept
and on Various Panels

Justin Karl, Assistant Professor of Commercial Space Operations,

Department of Applied Aviation Sciences, ERAU, on ERAU CSO, and (with Students) on An Undergrad G-Lab Study

Tim Kyger

Clark Lindsey is one of the original essential space bloggers, a couple years ago went pro, and will appear on Various Panels.

Rick Maschek, on Sugar Shot To Space progress and plans

Dave Masten, on Masten Space Systems, a leading developer of VTVL suborbital payload-carrying systems and provider of planetary lander systems flight-testbed services, and is a contractor for the DARPA XS-1 highly-reusable high-performance rocket stage program
and on Various Panels

Doug Messier writes on space at Parabolic Arc

on Lessons Learned From The SS2 Investigation, with discussion of the NTSB’s findings and various released documents
and on The Year In Space Panel.

Eric Monda, United Launch Alliance, on ULA’s Cislunar 1000 long-term concept for a transportation/habitation/resource-extraction network supporting a thousand people living and working in cislunar space in thirty years

Jim Muncy, PoliSpace, on Washington Space Policy Issues
and on the LEO Regulation Panel

Gerry Nordley will report status and progress at Tethers Unlimited and will give a Brief Report from Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society, a longtime Bay Area amateur rocketry organization.

Misuzu Onuki, on The New Commercial Landscape for Space Policy and Companies in Japan

Aaron Prescott, Spaceport America, on the New Spaceport Master Development Plan, the New “First Flight Is Free” Program, and a General Update

Dave Salt is a longtime professional in the European space industry (currently Senior Consultant, Space Systems & Operations at Telespazio-Vega GmbH) and will give a talk on Optimizing An Orbital RLV For Commercial Finance, as well as appearing on Various Panels.

John Schilling on Deep Space Propulsion Practicalities, and on Mixed Monopropellants

Henry Spencer on The Road (Still) Not Taken: What Might a Proper Beyond-LEO Plan Look Like?

and on SCRAMBLE = Short-notice Characterization and Reconnaissance of Asteroids by Microsats Between Luna and Earth
and on Various Panels

Rand Simberg, a self-described recovering aerospace engineer, is a well-known space and current-events blogger, editorialist, and author of Safe Is Not An Option

on Kill Apollo To Mars
on LEO Infrastructure
and on Various Panels

David Summers, Universal Transport Systems, reports progress on their full-scale inflatable hybrid flight prototype.

Robert Watzlavick will report on his ongoing amateur development of a recoverable liquid bipropellant rocket stage.

Rick Wills, IREC Judge, on the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition

Frank Zegler, ULA, on Cislunar 1000 Enabling Technologies: IVF, CRYOTE, ACES, and XEUS

SA’16 Panel Discussions, with confirmed panelists:

– Desirable Technologies For LEO, Cislunar & Beyond – What Should Government Be Investing In? The low-cost revolution to Earth orbit is well underway, but affordable capabilities beyond that are still very speculative. One of the proper roles of government is supporting development of technologies whose benefit is significant, yet too diffuse or long-term to motivate private investment – Jordin Kare, John Schilling, Dave Salt, Henry Spencer

– Desirable Technologies For LEO, Cislunar & Beyond – What Might Be Done Commercially and/or Non-Profit? Government funding is never unlimited, and further is often directed, ahem, less than optimally. What useful technologies might be cheap enough and/or have quick enough potential revenue to get developed even absent government support? – Jeff Greason, Jon Goff, Dave Masten, Mitchell Burnside Clapp

– LEO Regulation – There’s currently a push on to give the task of regulating space traffic in and around LEO to the FAA. What’s Actually Needed, How Soon, And What Does This Imply About The Proper Nature Of The Eventual Regulator? – Rand Simberg, Jeff Foust, Jeff Greason, Jim Muncy

– Paths To Reusability. Blue Origin and SpaceX have both successfully recovered rocket booster stages now (and Blue Origin reflown theirs.) Others are also working on a variety of reusable rocket vehicles, with widely varying approaches (and degrees of readiness.) Our panelists take a look at the technologies, tradeoffs, costs, and benefits of reusing rocket vehicles Gary Hudson, Dave Salt, Henry Spencer, TBA

– Potential New Markets for Low-Cost Launch to LEO, Cislunar, & Beyond. Investing in lower cost space transportation only makes sense if there will be enough customers for it. But those lower costs (and some new capabilities) will very likely open up new market possibilities, as well as expand existing ones. Our panelists take a look at what some of these might be – Clark Lindsey, Paul Breed, Jon Goff, Rand Simberg

Whither NASA? NASA is in transition, but to what is still far from clear, with major forces pulling it in a variety of directions. What might be the agency’s ideal end state, in terms of both missions & organization? – Jeff Foust, Jeff Greason, Jordin Kare, Dave Masten

– The Year In Space, A Review, With Thoughts On The Year To Come – Jeff Foust, Clark Lindsey, Doug Messier, TBA

This list represents about ninety percent of the final SA’16 three-day program. Stay tuned to this page for a last few interesting additions as the conference gets closer. (Initial detailed conference timeline should be up by mid-March.)

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Conference Site Hotel

We’ll once again be at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North, 10220 N Metro Parkway E in Phoenix Arizona, with Space Access conference room rates of $97 a night plus tax, single/double, rate includes the hotel full-breakfast buffet.

This is the same recently-renovated resort-style pool-and-courtyard location as last year, fifteen freeway miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX), with a wide variety of restaurants and shopping a short walk away.

Click on this link to reserve your room at our rate, or call the Radisson at 602 997-5900 and ask for the “Space Access Conference” rate. (Our rate is available for up to three days before and after our dates. Historical average Phoenix temperatures on our dates: 86F afternoon high, 58F overnight low.)

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Conference Schedule

We’ll be opening Registration and Hospitality at noon on Thursday April 7th, commencing programming sometime after 1 pm Thursday, running (with breaks) till ~10 pm, Friday 9 am till ~10 pm, then Saturday 9 am till ~6 pm, with Saturday evening hanging out, talking and partying to follow till late. Our overall schedule will include roughly twenty-two hours of programming on the latest and most interesting developments in this fast-moving field.

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Conference Registration

SA’16 registration is $120 in advance, $140 at the door, student rate $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Day rates Thu/Fri/Sat will be $60/$60/$60 and $20/$20/$20 student, and will be available at the door only. You can register online via Paypal or your credit card, or mail a check, along with your name, email, and desired organization name (if any) for your badge, to Space Access ’16, PO Box 16034, Phoenix AZ 85011.

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Supporting The Conference

Our sustainability goal is once again to raise ten thousand dollars in SA’16 donations. Current progress: $1650. Last year, you all gifted $9605, which is what allowed us to spend the summer fighting for our policy goals and then get ready for this year’s conference.


If you believe that Space Access conferences are useful to this community, and that keeping conference prices as low as possible for all of us who are still students, hungry amateurs, or tight-budget startup pros is still the way to go, help, please. Mail a donation of whatever size – fifty, a hundred, a thousand, it all helps – via check to: Space Access Society, PO Box 16034, Phoenix AZ 85011. (There will also be an online donation button Real Soon Now, but meanwhile sending checks would be hugely helpful.)

(Note that this is NOT tax-deductible, as we are not a 501c-anything. It is however entirely confidential, as we have never and will never share or disclose in any way our supporters’ names. Our ongoing gratitude goes out to all who’ve supported us over the years and who continue to help.)

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