International Space Development Conference Set for Late May
Theme: “The new pace of space”
by G B Leatherwood
Since 1981, the National Space Society (NSS) has sponsored the International Space Development Conference, attracting speakers ranging from Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second human to walk on the moon to Dr. Robert Zubrin, the man who wants us to walk on Mars. In between this A and Z have been some of the most prominent names in the development of technology, astronomy, electronics, law, space tourism, space solar power, and commercial possibilities on the next frontier.
2008 promises to be no different. From Thursday, May 29, to Sunday, June 1, the Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. will be filled with space enthusiasts. and speakers like Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium; Burt Rutan, designer and builder of SpaceShipOne and Two; space adventurers Anousheh Ansari and Greg Olsen; entrepreneurs Eric Anderson, CEO of Space Adventures, (http://www.spaceadventures.com) and Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic; (http://www.virgingalactic.com), and former Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The list goes on.
The theme this year is “the new pace of space.” According to sponsor NSS, “With NASA fully engaged in building the next generation of space exploration vehicles, and the commercial space sector beginning to test fly their new personal spaceships, we have entered the next space age.”
In line with this theme, speakers, panel discussions and workshops will cover topics as diverse as space law, weather, medicine, and settlement, and of course, tourism and solar power.
Of special interest to entrepreneurs will be the Space Investment Seminar-4 to promote and support innovation in space commerce worldwide. SIS-4 will focus on leading seed and early stage investors, space entrepreneurs and space commerce professionals. It will also provide a unique opportunity to expand networks, join peer-to-peer discussions and assess pre-screened business plans from companies with high growth potential.
The hardest choices to be made by attendees will be which of the wide variety of topics to follow because it is simply not possible to take in everything the conference has to offer. The opportunity to meet and talk with the people who are making news in space exploration far exceeds the price of attendance and may, as it did in the case of this writer, lead to years of close personal interaction and continuing friendships not otherwise possible.
For full details on the programs, speakers, workshops, registration and fees, and lodging in the hotel and surroundings, go to www.isdc2008.org.