Space Symposium

10 Interesting Space Symposium Facts

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

34th Space Symposium Opening Ceremony Less Than 10 Weeks Out!


With the Space Foundation’s annual Space Symposium less than 10 weeks away, here are 10 interesting facts you may not know about this premier space conference.

  1. Now in its 34th year, the Space Symposium has come a very long way. The inaugural event saw some 250 space enthusiasts gathered in a single meeting room at The Broadmoor. This year will see the largest number of exhibitors in its 34-year history, with nearly 200 exhibits in the Ball Aerospace Exhibit Hall and expanded Pavilion.


  1. The 34th Space Symposium kicks off on Monday, April 16, 2018, in the International Center of The Broadmoor with the Opening Ceremonies. Several prestigious Space Foundation awards will be presented to individuals and organizations to mark their phenomenal space-related achievements. Following the awards, the Opening Ceremony will conclude with a performance by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. The Colorado-based rock band performed their single “Blue Sky” live from Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center at 3:23 a.m. EST on March 8, 2011, to wake Discovery’s STS-133 astronauts on their 13th mission day.


  1. In 2008, the Space Foundation founded the New Generation Initiatives. The program fosters meaningful, long-term peer relationships by providing access to top space leaders at Space Symposium and throughout the year. New Gen participants will find specialized programs at the Symposium aimed at developing their careers for future success. See the agenda here.


  1. In 2014, the Space Symposium added a new program track to the agenda, Tech Track. Tech Track provides the opportunity for candidates from all backgrounds to present technical papers about space launch, spacecraft technologies, architectures, processes, strategies, and updates, in short 20-minute presentations. Tech Track takes place on Monday, April 16. Registration can be purchased separately from Space Symposium registration.


  1. When the Space Symposium first began, it was known at the National Space Symposium, however due to continuous growth and reach into the international space community, it was appropriately renamed in 2014 to Space Symposium, reflecting the event’s truly global profile.


  1. The Space Symposium is well known as an event where business is done in both the public and private sector. Those with U.S. citizenship and TS/SCI security clearance may register for two different classified sessions, Space Classified and Cyber 1.8 Classified. Seating is extremely limited to these sessions due to high demand. The Space Foundation offers a similar event in February each year in the Washington, D.C., area, the Faga Forum on Space Intelligence.


  1. The Space Foundation is a relatively small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a team of just over 50 full time employees. Each year, the team is joined by a dedicated group of volunteers, typically exceeding 300 space enthusiasts. Volunteers assist with everything from set-up and stuffing attendee welcome bags to entry control support. The support provided by volunteers is critical to the success of the event. Anyone interested in volunteering should consider attending the Volunteer Recruitment Open House on March 8, 2018, at the Discovery Center.


  1. One of the three pillars that the Space Foundation is based on is Space Awareness. Through the Space Technology Hall of Fame®, the Space Foundation increases public awareness of the benefits of space exploration and encourages further innovation by recognizing individuals, organizations and companies that effectively adapt and market technologies originally developed for space to improve the quality of life for all humanity. The final event of the Space Symposium is the Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner, where various individuals and/or organizations are honored for improving life on Earth, utilizing technologies designed for space.


  1. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin made history as the first human to venture into space. Twenty years later, the Space Shuttle celebrated its inaugural launch on April 12, 1981. Today, April 12 is celebrated annually around the world in an evening known as “Yuri’s Night.” Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present and future in space. The Space Foundation celebrates Yuri’s Night on the eve of the Space Symposium. On April 15, 2018, the community is invited to the celebration taking place at its Discovery Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The event not only celebrates space exploration, but also provides the community a sneak-peek behind the Space Symposium, which is not open to the general public. See more about Yuri’s Night here.


  1. Throughout the Space Symposium, outstanding individuals and organizations are honored with awards granted by the Space Foundation. The highest honor bestowed by the Space Foundation, is the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. For 2018, the Space Foundation Board of Directors has chosen to honor Christopher Columbus “Chris” Kraft, Jr., the first U.S. human space mission flight director, credited with establishing NASA’s Mission Control operations.


Find complete information about the 34th Space Symposium here.