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Space Leaders Challenge ISU Students for Bold Ideas
07.13.12
 
Lisa Colloredo, associate program manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Image above: Lisa Colloredo, associate program manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, addresses students of the International Space University's 25th annual Space Studies Program on July 3.
Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
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Space Florida's Mark Bontrager and Kennedy’s Tom Engler Image above: Mark Bontrager, vice president of Spaceport Operations at Space Florida, and Tom Engler, NASA’s deputy manager of Kennedy’s Planning and Development Office answer questions during a Commercial Space Initiatives panel for ISU students.
Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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As NASA continues to foster commercial capabilities to launch astronauts to low Earth orbit, students of the International Space University’s 25th annual Space Studies Program are being challenged to come up with new and innovative destinations, experiments and business models to keep the path to space sustainable for future generations.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center hosted a Commercial Space Initiatives panel July 3 for the international graduate students who are in Brevard County, Fla., for two months to sharpen their knowledge of space-related activities.

The first panel session included Lisa Colloredo, associate program manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), along with Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) partners Chuck Hardison with Boeing, Andy Aldrin with United Launch Alliance, Scott Henderson with SpaceX and Kent Rominger with ATK.

Each of the partner representatives talked about their company's plans to make their systems safe enough to launch NASA astronauts to the International Space Station around the middle of the decade. Once those systems are certified to fly, the companies will be able to go market their rockets and spacecraft to other customers to send people or experiments into the weightlessness of space.

"We really believe that once the capabilities to low Earth orbit are there, there will be the stimulation of other markets,” said Colloredo. “It's hard to predict what markets might flourish, but we're relying on people like you, entrepreneurs, for new businesses to materialize once spaceflight is more affordable."

The second panel included Mark Bontrager, vice president of Spaceport Operations at Space Florida, and Tom Engler, NASA's deputy manager of Kennedy's Planning and Development Office. Both talked about how the center and the state are preparing for these emerging markets and encouraged the students to keep expanding their goals for space.
 
 
Rebecca Regan,
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center