Burke Fort

Burk Fort is the Executive Director of the 8th Continent Project at the Colorado School of Mines. Burke Fort is a university research administrator and licensed attorney with over 30 years of experience in aerospace research, technology development, public policy, STEM education and aerospace outreach. The 8th Continent Project is a comprehensive effort to integrate space technology and resources into the global economy. It includes a chamber of commerce, business incubator, funding network and research center – all in support of organizing “Space 2.0,” the emerging generation of entrepreneurial space-related business ventures. Mr. Fort is also the Executive Director of The Foundation for Space Exploration (FSX) – a tax-exempt, non-profit philanthropic foundation dedicated to "weaving space into the fabric of everyday life on Earth." FSX programs include philanthropic support for professorships, student travel to professional conferences, and the formation of clubs comprised of alumni of various NASA-funded student programs. Previously, he has served as Program Manager for Planning and Development in the Center for Space Research at The University of Texas at Austin. In this capacity, he designed, directed, and supervised education and outreach activities for the Center’s space science research programs. Mr. Fort also managed a Center laboratory to study processes of "customer engagement" for human space exploration programs. In addition, Mr. Fort has served as Manager of Special Projects for the Texas Space Grant Consortium, where he directed education programs in microgravity research, Mars mission planning and design, NASA customer engagement, remote sensing, and space policy. NASA and other organizations have recognized Mr. Fort’s accomplishments. In 2000, he was awarded the NASA Public Service Medal for creating and directing the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Campaigns. His contributions to this program were also acknowledged in the Rotary Stellar National Award for Space Achievement (Team Award) given in 2000 to the Johnson Space Center. The American Astronautical Society recognized his work when it presented its Outstanding Achievements Award in 1996 to the Texas Space Grant Consortium for the Texas SURF (Students Understanding Reduced-g Flight) Program. In 1996, Mr. Fort was designated National Space Grant Fellow in the NASA Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Mr. Fort is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. His professional service also includes membership on the Protectors Task Force of the Space Policy Summit 2002/World Space Congress, held at The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. He was a special invitee to the 4e Symposium International Vols paraboliques, which was held in conjunction with the 1999 Paris Air Show. Mr. Fort also served as Chair of the Space Colonization Governmental, Political and Legal Issues Session, and Co-Chair of the Space Tourism Session, of the First Symposium on Space Colonization, which was held at the 2003 Space Technology and Applications International Forum. Prior to joining the space program, Mr. Fort was an environmental litigation attorney in the Austin, Texas, office of the Fulbright & Jaworski law firm. He holds the Juris Doctor degree, the Master of Arts (Sociology) and the Bachelor of Arts (Urban Studies), all from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He is Vice President of the Association for Neurologically Impaired Children, a professional services non-profit organization benefiting children with Tourette’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, bi-polar disorder, and some forms of autism.

Broadcast 890 (Special Edition)

Guest: Burke Fort. Burke Fort was the guest for this Space Show program to discuss the 8th Continent Project (www.8cproject.com). Mr. Fort explained how the 8th Continent Project integrates technology with space business concepts and projects and incorporates them into the global economy. When asked what type of technology or space related activity was the easiest or smoothest to integrate, he said those activities which use data in the form of a data stream are probably the easiest type of business or product to work with.

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