27th National Space Symposium Biggest Ever

Written by: developer

27th National Space Symposium Biggest Ever The 27th National Space Symposium and the companion Cyber 1.1 event, held April 11-14 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., was the biggest ever put on by the Space Foundation.

The event was so large and information-packed, that coverage of the events and program will appear in both this issue and next month's issue of Space Watch.

Well over 9,000 people were involved, including speakers, attendees, exhibitors, staff, 100+ co-sponsors and 350+ volunteers. We had representation from 39 countries, including China, the Ukraine, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria and even Japan, despite the devastation of last month's earthquake and tsunami. And, the agenda was off the charts with senior leaders from every segment of the industry.

More than anything, the National Space Symposium is a place where business gets done. Although the full economic impact of the conversations that go on at the event can't be measured, attendees reported many productive meetings and several transactions were consummated onsite.

One of the most obvious signs of growth was that the Symposium's Boeing Exhibit Center had FOUR exhibit center areas - up from two in recent history. This included three indoor halls, an outdoor display of the Boeing Approach and Landing Test Vehicle (ALTV) vehicle and a Showroom featuring:

  • The Boeing Company's Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) spacecraft
  • The Lockheed Martin Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle
  • The Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus Spacecraft
  • The SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft that was successfully launched and returned to Earth last December

There was a decidedly youthful flair, with programs for "new generation" attendees and many young faces on the agenda. The Space Foundation hosted 91 teachers from all over the nation and about 1,800 Front Range students who participated in sessions with astronauts, tours, a program for local students studying Mandarin featuring a Chinese space program speaker (coverage of these events will be in the June issue of Space Watch), and the Space Foundation Student Art Contest.

Looking at the agenda, awards, exhibits and special programs, several themes emerged: globalization, the bittersweet end of the Space Shuttle program, the shift to more commercialization, the broad applications of space technology in our everyday lives, an emerging new generation of space professionals and the educational challenges we face in developing tomorrow's scientists and technologists.

Pictured: A stunning laser show creates excitement at the spectacular opening ceremony

This article is part of Space Watch: May 2011 (Volume: 10, Issue: 5).