Broadcast 1521 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

02 Mar 2011 Dr. Dan Durda, Joshua Colwell
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Guests: Dr. Joshua Colwell, Dr. Dan Durda. Topics: 2011 Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, suborbital spaceflight. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. We welcomed our two guests, Dr. Joshua Colwell and Dr. Dan Durda as we began and third and final program in this series from the 2011 Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference on the campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. We started this first segment with each guest providing us with his overview perspective of the conference. Both guests said the conference was cross cutting and interdisciplinary, covering many different fields of space science and development. Our guests provided us with a comparison between the first conference of this kind held last year and this one, then with a look forward to expectations for the industry by the time of the third conference to be held around this time in 2012. I’m sure you will find the year by year comparisons to be impressive. During this segment, I asked our guests a question I have been getting many times over since this series started. The question focused on what can actually be done in 3-4 minutes of microgravity and is suborbital space even relevant given orbital space. You do not want to miss how both guests responded to this line of questioning. I believe they gave the best answer yet to this genre of questioning and concerns for suborbital research flights. As the first segment was drawing to a close, a listener asked about any noticeable difference between the international and the domestic suborbital research groups and the same for international as compared to domestic student programs. Both guests said they could not discern any differences based on location or nationality. As the segment was ending, I asked Dr. Durda to tell us about the actual experiment he was going to fly as a payload specialist. Dan described the three initial experiments, his training, and some characteristics of his proposed flight/mission/experiment. Starting off in the second segment, our lead question dealt with commercial markets for suborbital research as compared to government, academic, and student markets. Also in this segment, we talked about suboribtal and its impact on students as a motivating tool. Our guests had much to say about this so don’t miss this discussion. Dr. Lurio called in to inquire about CRuSR. Later, Laura Seward, a grad student in the program at UCF with Dr. Colwell called in to talk about the marketing session at the conference and to tell us the extent of interest in commercial markets, particularly material sciences by the Japanese. I took the opportunity to ask her some questions about her interest in pursuing space and science studies and the UCF program., as well as the impact on her studies of the suborbital program. We ended the program with our guests providing us with their takeaways from the conference and pearls of wisdom. Summed up, they said from last year to next year, it was concept to reality to flights, lessons learned, and information gained. Please post your comments or questions on the blog URL above. You can email either guest by going through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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