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Pulham Discusses Role of Risk in Private Spaceflight as Panelist on Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate

On March 19, Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham participated in a panel discussion at the American Museum of Natural History in New York for the 2014 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate.

The theme was "Selling Space," with panel moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium and former Space Foundation board member.

Other panelists included:

  • Wanda M. Austin, President and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, and member, Space Foundation Board of Directors
  • Michael Gold, Director of DC Operations and Business Growth, Bigelow Aerospace
  • John Logsdon, Professor Emeritus, Space Policy & International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Tom Shelley, President, Space Adventures, Ltd.
  • Robert Walker, Executive Chairman, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, former Chairman, Space Foundation Board of Directors

The panel discussed such subjects as private spaceflight, the cost of launches, Russian spacecraft, the risk of continued human spaceflight and the possibility of property rights in space.

Pulham also commented on diversity in commercial spaceflight.

"There's a shift from traditional white males," said Pulham, noting female heads of Space X and United Space Alliance. "I'm seeing much more diversity being valued and coming up through the ranks, and a screaming cry for talent. We're doing such a poor job in this country to inspire the next generation."

See coverage of the debate here.

See more about the debate on the Museum's website at

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