Space Foundation News

SGAC Reports on Fusion Forum Meeting

Written by: developer

"The bottom line result of the Fusion Forum is that today's space leaders can retire ... with confidence that you are leaving the space industry in good hands."

That was the assessment of Fusion Forum Manager Stephen Ringler when making his report on the outcome of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) Fusion Forum, which was held April 7-8 immediately preceding the 29th National Space Symposium. The Space Foundation co-sponsored the event.

SGAC Executive Director Andrea Jaime Albalat, who opened the presentation, explained SGAC's purpose and reported that the Fusion Forum attracted 50 delegates from 16 countries.

Pictured, left, Ringler, left, and Jaime.

According to Ringler, the Fusion Forum took a "unique approach to discussion: panels comprising rising young space leaders, moderated by established experts." The topics the panels addressed were:

  • Benefits and risks of regional space programs
  • Long-term sustainability of space
  • Innovative space exploration strategies
  • Operational data exchange and sharing of space assets

Ringler said that the panels were interactive and "sometimes quite contentious," involving the moderators, panelists and the general audience. He said that a "particularly interesting" discussion involved the general lack of medical knowledge related to space travel and, therefore, space exploration should be pursued "rationally, thoughtfully, pragmatically."

The final report on the Fusion Forum will be released this summer and available on the SGAC website. It will also be presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SPACE 2013 Conference & Exposition in September in San Diego, Calif.

Ringler urged the audience to:

  • Look for the final report
  • Talk with New Generation participants at Space Symposium
  • Enable a young professional to attend a high-level space meeting that he/she would not normally be able to attend

Ringler and Albalat also introduced the six recipients of the Fusion Forum global grant, which allowed them to attend the Fusion Forum and the Space Symposium and to participate in the Fusion Forum panels.

See video coverage here; see photos here.