News Heavy hitters at International Space Development Conference(ISDC) 2014.


Jan 27, 2010
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ISDC 2014 - May 14-18 - Register Now!


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Inside NSS - ISDC 2014 Preview
Get A New Outlook On Space At ISDC 2014

The International Space Development Conference (ISDC) is the annual conference of the National Space Society bringing together NSS leaders and members with leading managers, engineers, scientists, educators, and businessmen from civilian, military, commercial, entrepreneurial, and grassroots advocacy space sectors.

Among our special guests are Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Lori Garver, former Deputy Administrator of NASA, and astronaut Chris Ferguson. Tracks include: Living in Space, Mars, NASA/Exploration, Space-Based Solar Power, Space Engagement, Space Enterprise, Space Experience, Space Policy, Space & Media, Space Settlement, and Transhumanism. Other activities include: NASA Commercial Crew Program Panel, Space Tourism Panel, Science Panel, Space Arts, Students Movie Night - A Festival of Short Mars Films, Telescope Party, Student Space Settlement Design Contest Awards Ceremony, SpaceUp, and T Minus 5 talks.


Elon Musk
Elon Musk was born in South Africa in 1971 and emigrated first to Canada and then to the US. He has two B.A. degrees, one in physics and one in economics, from the University of Pennsylvania. He became a multimillionaire in his late twenties when he sold his start-up company, Zip2, to a division of Compaq Computers. He went on to more early successes, launching PayPal via a 2000 merger. He founded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in 2002, the same year that he became an American citizen and also the same year he earned the money to fund the new company from the sale of PayPal. The SpaceX Falcon 1 was the first privately funded liquid fueled rocket to put a payload into orbit. The larger Falcon 9 rocket has been flying since June 2010 and SpaceX is also developing a reusable version called Falcon 9R and a much larger rocket, Falcon Heavy. SpaceX has a 1.6-billion dollar contract with NASA to supply the space station via its recoverable Dragon spacecraft. They are also a competitor in NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Like NSS, Musk views space exploration as important for the preservation and expansion of humankind. Musk likes to say that we should become "multi-planetary" as a hedge against all threats to our survival. He said, "Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball-or go extinct." To help make that happen, Musk's goal is to reduce the cost of human spaceflight by a factor of 100.

Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin is best known as the second man to set foot on the Moon. His interest in space flight began at home. His parents, Marion Moon and Edwin Eugene Aldrin, were intimately connected with early space flight, as his father was a student of rocket pioneer Robert Goddard. Mr. Aldrin received his undergraduate education at West Point, graduating with honor in 1951. After receiving his wings, he flew Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea. He has also earned a doctorate in Astronautics from MIT in Manned Space Rendezvous, where his innovations in Manned Space Rendezvous techniques continue to be standard procedure to this day. In 1963, NASA chose Mr. Aldrin to become one its early astronauts. Mr. Aldrin is most famous, for his assignment as lunar module pilot on Apollo 11, the historic first lunar landing-mission in July 1969. His responsibilities included monitoring lunar module systems while commander Neil Armstrong concentrated on landing. After Mr. Aldrin joined Mr. Armstrong on the surface of the Moon, they set up science experiments and gathered rock samples.

Lori Garver
Lori Garver is the former Deputy Administrator of NASA. She was nominated on May 24, 2009, by President Barack Obama. She left the position in September 2013 to become General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association. She was the lead civil space policy advisor for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and led the agency review team for NASA during the post-election transition. She worked at NASA from 1996-2001, first as a special assistant to the NASA administrator and senior policy analyst for the Office of Policy and Plans, and then as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy and Plans. She served as the second Executive Director of the National Space Society from 1987 to 1996.

Chris Ferguson
Christopher. J. Ferguson (Captain, USN, Ret.; former NASA Astronaut) was named Director of Crew and Mission Operations in the Boeing Commercial Crew program, in December 2011. A veteran of three shuttle missions, he reports to John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Commercial Programs. In this essential role in Boeing's human spaceflight program, Ferguson has comprehensive oversight for crew Interface in the design of Boeing's Commercial Crew Transportation System. In this capacity, he works with NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, Johnson Space Center's Engineering, Flight Crew and Mission Operations organizations and Kennedy Space Center's Commercial Crew Program, to ensure Boeing's design supports NASA's Human Rating Requirements. He also plays a key leadership role in the development and testing of system concepts and key technologies for the Commercial Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft and integrated launch and ground systems.

Taber MacCallum
Mr. MacCallum is a co-founder of Paragon Space Development Corporation. As CEO and CTO, he is responsible for overseeing business development, proposals, marketing, branding, customer relations, strategic partnerships, technology development and IP. Mr. MacCallum is co-designer and patent holder for the Autonomous Biological System, a long duration plant and aquatic animal life support system. He was also the design lead for the Jet Propulsion Lab Mars Greenhouse Experiment Module (GEM) payload, and Mars GEM payload environmental control and plant life support system. He conceived and is presently involved in the design of a novel Mars space suit portable life support system technology funded by NASA, life support and thermal control systems for commercial manned orbital and suborbital spacecraft, as well as hazardous environment life support technology for U.S. Navy divers, in which he is the test diver. In 2008, Popular Science named Mr. MacCallum Inventor of the Year. Prior to Paragon, he was a founding member of the Biosphere 2 Design, Development, Test and Operations team, and a crew member in the first two-year mission. Mr. MacCallum was responsible for the design, implementation and operation of the atmosphere and water management systems as well as the self-contained paperless analytical laboratories for Biosphere 2 that tested air, water, soil and tissue. As a crew member he served as Safety Officer, Assistant Medical Officer and Analytical Chemist, responsible for operation of all the analytical systems and much of the medical analysis and health monitoring systems. Mr. MacCallum has worked at every level of command on a research vessel, sailing to over 40 ports and over 30,000 miles around the world. Training in Singapore, he became certified as a Commercial Dive Master and Advanced Diving Instructor. He served as Dive Master for a project to reintroduce two captive research dolphins to the wild, underwater ship salvage operations, and deep water specimen collecting expeditions in every ocean and most of the world's seas.

Dr. Ian O'Neill
Ian O'Neill combines his expertise in solar physics and manned space flight with his passion for investigating the inner workings of our universe to offer in-depth coverage of space science and exploration for Since completing his PhD in coronal loop dynamics with the Solar System Group (supervised by Dr. Xing Li) at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2006, he has moved into the field of science communication with a focus on providing his audience with mind-blowing space science, while debunking the growing tide of pseudo-science.

Elon Musk Wins National Space Society Robert A. Heinlein Award
The National Space Society takes great pleasure in announcing that its 2014 Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award has been won by acclaimed space entrepreneur Elon Musk, the Chief Designer and CTO of SpaceX. In the last decade, SpaceX, under the leadership of Elon Musk, has been moving directly toward accomplishing goals that many of us in NSS think are of utmost importance, such as forcing a drastic reduction in launch costs by doing the very hard task which no one else in the world has been willing and able to tackle: working to create a family of commercially successful and reusable rocket boosters and reusable spacecraft. The National Space Society's prestigious Robert A Heinlein Memorial Award will be presented to Elon Musk at the 2014 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).

The imaginations of our visionaries of the last 100 years will not be fulfilled until affordable, large scale and high mass operations can take place in Earth orbit and beyond. SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is reusable and SpaceX is making great progress towards a reusable rocket, the key development that would make such operations possible.

About the Robert A. Heinlein Award:

The Heinlein award is presented once every two years for lifetime achievement in promoting the goal of a free, spacefaring civilization. The winner is determined by a vote of the NSS membership. The award consists of a miniature signal cannon, on a mahogany base with a black granite inlay and a brass plaque as shown. The award concept came from Robert Heinlein's classic book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Previous winners include Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Dr. Carl Sagan.

ISDC Space Settlement Design Contest
This annual contest, co-sponsored by NASA Ames and the National Space Society (NSS), is for all students up to 12th grade (18 years old) from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six or more are judged separately. Entries are also grouped by age/grade of the oldest contestant for judging. The age groups are 7th and under, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. Students develop space settlement designs and related materials. These are sent to NASA Ames for judgement. Submissions must be received by March 1.

The best submission, regardless of category, wins the grand prize, consisting of the space colony submission being placed on the NASA Ames World Wide Web site. The National Space Society (NSS) invites all 2014 contest participants to attend the NSS annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Los Angeles, CA May 14-18, 2014. Every year, hundreds of contestants attend, along with their parents, teachers, siblings and friends. Special activities for contestants are planned, including:
  • The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award for $5,000. If a team wins, the sum will be evenly divided amongst them.
  • The highest ranking winners attending will be invited to give oral presentations as time is available.
  • To the extent space is available, all contestants who attend will be invited to display a poster of their work.
  • There will be a reception for contestants, teachers, parents, etc.

Stanford Torus by Nittin Arora and Ankur Bajoria

Preliminary ISDC 2014 Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday May 14

Tours: 1) Planes of Fame Museum 2) Griffith Observatory, 3) California Science Center, 4) JPL Opening Ceremonies

Thursday May 15

Space-Based Solar Power Track
Space Enterprise Track
Space Experience Track (Astronomy Sub-Track)
Living in Space Track
NASA/Exploration Track (Asteroid Sub-Track)
Mars Track
Space Policy Track
Space & Media Track
Space Engagement Track (Astronomy Sub-Track)
Telescope Party

Friday May 16

Space Tourism Panel
Space-Based Solar Power Track
Space Experience Track
Space Enterprise Track
Living in Space Track
NASA/Exploration Track (Emerging Science and Technology Sub-Track)
Mars Track
Space Policy Track
Space & Media Track
Space Engagement Track

Saturday May 17

Space Arts Transhumanism Track
Space Experience Track
Living in Space Track
NASA/Exploration Track (Lunar Sub-Track)
Mars Track Space & Media Track
Space Engagement Track
Students Movie Night. A Festival of Short Mars Films.

Sunday May 18

NASA Commercial Crew Program Panel
Student Space Settlement Design Contest Awards Ceremony
Space Settlement Track
Living in Space Track
NASA/Exploration Track (Space Exploration Sub-Track)
Mars Track
Space & Media Track
Space Engagement Track
SpaceUp and T-5 talks

Thank you and welcome to our sponsors!

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