The International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) is the industry's leading gathering for entrepreneurs and policy makers creating the emerging market of private access to space. With a theme of "Business at the Speed of Innovation," more than 500 attended the 7th annual ISPCS Oct. 19-20 at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum to learn about the industry's most recent developments. Prior to the conference, ISPCS hosted the Growing Community Partnership Luncheon for the general public. Attendees came from southern New Mexico and El Paso and included members of the space community from the early Apollo days to the present. Many local business people participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony conducted by the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. An opportunity to tour the nearly completed Spaceport America was given the day after the conference.
ISPCS is a showcase for the commercial spaceflight industry's innovations and technologies. This year's ISPCS featured a new indoor Commercial Space Exhibit Hall, allowing better displays of real space equipment and technology. NASA and Jacobs Technology personnel from both WSTF and the Engineering and Science Contract Group (ESCG) at Johnson Space Center (JSC) teamed up with a joint exhibit to demonstrate WSTF and JSC's capabilities to present and future customers. The exhibit featured photographs, video, and marketing brochures depicting WSTF's unique skills, along with actual test articles on display.
Speakers at the conference included NASA's Deputy Administrator Lori Garver; Allan Lockheed Jr., son of aviation pioneer Allan Lockheed; George Nield, Associate Administrator for FAA's Commercial Space Transportation office; Robert Bigelow, owner of Bigelow Aerospace, who intends to provide orbiting space environments for commercial use; and Wayne Hale, former Program Manager for NASA's Space Shuttle Program, who is now Director of Human Spaceflight for Special Aerospace Services, LLC. Speakers from other commercial companies and government agencies included Sierra Nevada Space Systems, ATK Aerospace Systems Group, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dynetics, Arianespace, Inc., The Spaceship Company, The Boeing Company, Desert Aerospace, SpaceX, Air Force Research Lab, Edwards Air Force Base, XCOR, MEI Technologies, Inc., the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Mojave Air and Spaceport, Space Florida, Spaceport Sweden, and many more.
The venue was an excellent opportunity to connect with the heart of the commercial space industry and solicit new business for WSTF. NASA and Jacobs personnel working the exhibit spoke with the other participating companies, discussing the possibility of business with WSTF. Much interest was generated and follow-up discussions with these companies are ongoing. WSTF looks forward to participating in the 2012 ISPCS.
Cheerie R. Patneaude
NASA JSC White Sands Test Facility