The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference was held in Colorado earlier this week. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks tweeted the sessions:
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust Rand Simberg @Rand_Simberg Colorado Space News @CO_Space_News Laura Seward Forczyk @LauraForczyk
Below are summaries of a number of talks based on their tweets. The talks included Erika Wagner of Blue Origin, Dylan Taylor of Space Angels, John Quinn of Exos Aerospace, Tim Lachenmeier of Near Space Corporation, Lewis Groswald of the University of Colorado Boulder, and Alain Berinstain of Moon Express.
NSRC-2017 will bring together hundreds of researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceport operators, government officials, in Broomfield, Colo., just outside Boulder, Dec. 18–20. The draft program is now posted, and we have an exciting line up in store! http://www.boulder.swri.edu/NSRC2017/Site4/Program.html
SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 23, 2017 (SwRI/CSF PR) — As a new generation of suborbital space vehicles prepares to come online for space research, education, and space tourism over the next two years, the 2017 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will bring together hundreds of researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceport operators, government officials, and others in late December. NSRC-2017 will be held in Broomfield, Colo., just outside Denver, Dec. 18–20, opened by a Dec. 17 reception featuring experienced NASA and commercial astronauts.
Also, a reminder that the Omni Interlocken Resort conference hotel discounted rate ($142/nt, $109 govt) expires this Sunday, May 1. So reserve your room soon! (Note that full refunds will be given to hotel cancellations made before noon on May 29.)
Some morning highlights of the first day of the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference 2013 here in Broomfield, Colo.:
Addressing the group via video, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said NASA is not excluding the possibility that the Flight Opportunities program would fund human researchers on suborbital fights. Previously, NASA had said it would purchase flights for payloads but not for researchers to fly.
Garver provided no details on precisely what safety standards the space agency would require prior to paying for researchers to fly.
NASA has spent $29.5 million on the Flight Opportunities program over the past three years, and it has requested an additional $15 million for FY2014. In 2010, Garver addressed the first NSRC and said NASA would seek $15 million per year over 5 years, but the agency has not received all the funding it requested.
The deputy administrator also announced plans for a joint solicitation for science and tech payloads to be issued by NASA’s Science and Space Tech directorates. The solicitation is expected to be pushed in late summer or early fall.
XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson said that while satellites have been removed from the U.S. Munitions List in draft regulations, crew spacecraft have been added to it. Calling the decision a major step backward, Nelson urged urged audience members to oppose this move during the on-going public comments period.
Virgin Galactic Vice President for Special Projects Will Pomerantz said the company has taken reservations for nearly 600 people worldwide for flights aboard the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicles.
Pomerantz added that NanoRacks has delivered the first payload racks for flying experiments aboard the space plane.
A few observations about the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Orlando last week:
The State of the Industry is Strong
It was impressive to see reps from all five flight providers â€“ Armadillo Aerospace, Blue Origin, Masten Space Systems, Virgin Galactic and XCOR â€“ together on one panel. This rare alignment of cosmic forces really brought home the diverse approaches being taken to suborbital space, and how the field will be dominated by America companies at the start. That’s a good sign for a country hoping to regain its standing in commercial spaceflight.
I’m back in Silicon Valley after a long, circuitous transcontinental journey across that saw me in Orlando, Charlotte, Houston and San Jose. From that 12-hour odyssey, I can confirm three things: America is as beautiful as ever; I need to cash in airline miles earlier; and never eat Tex-Mex at an airport.
The conference was fun. I had a great time, learned a lot, caught up with a lot of old friends, and i made a few new ones.Â And a few amusing things happened…
Best Line of the Conference
First Prize: Jeff Foust, talking about Virgin Galactic’s emphasis on safety (paraphrased):
“George Whitesides has said ‘safety is the North Star of our company’ so many times that they’re going to have to name one of their vehicles Polaris.”
Runnerup: Virgin CEO George Whitesides (paraphrased):
“Building a spaceship is easy, PowerPoint is hard.”