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Guests: Henry Vanderbilt and Michael Wallis; Topics: The upcoming new Space Access Conference scheduled for April 18-21, 2019 in Freemont, CA.
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We welcomed Henry Vanderbilt back to the program with first time guest Michael Wallis to discuss the new upcoming Space Access Conference set for April 18-21, 2019 at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley Hotel in Freemont, CA. Check out the conference website for more information, registrations, and continued news and updates: https://sa2019.erps.org. Hotel reservations are available now and the conference reservations will be available online in a few days.
We started our one segment 68 minute discussion with an introduction to Space Access by the founder, Henry Vanderbilt. Henry then introduced us to Michael Wallis by providing us with Michael's background and involvement in rocketry and space, including Space Access over the years, up to and including his taking on the role of putting on the new Space Access conference. Henry described what Michael was doing, then Michael took over and spoke about the new conference and how it would unfold. Lots of emails questions came in wanting to know if the new revised Space Access Conference would be following the same format and traditions as the original Space Access Conference. The quick answer was yes but listen to the discussion and the email questions to hear about the specifics and what is being planned for the new event. Note that there will still be one track with a similar selection of speakers on all topics and perspectives as was the case with the original conference. The goal is to have a free and open discussion on all perspectives, ideas and information.
Dr. Doug sent in the first email wanting to know if there would be new approaches to the new conference and just how the success of SpaceX regarding reusability and the BFR might influence the conference. Henry had much to say in response to Doug's email so don miss it. That said, there have been lots of commercial space influences on the industry, not just those form SpaceX. Henry address the industry, influences, pressures, timelines, and directions things seem to be going.
Henry and Michael were specifically asked about space policy discussions and presentations and presentations supporting somewhat unpopular projects such as SLS, Orion, the Lunar Gateway and more. Henry talked about doing a joint presentation with Henry Spencer, plus he said the Gateway and the National Space Council plus other policy matters would certainly be discussed. Randy sent in a note asking about networking and partying, all of which Space Access was known for with the previous conferences. As part of the same discussion, we learned about the plans for the exhibit hall area and booths plus the potential of live streaming the conference over the intent.
Another logistical topic discussed in addition to the socializing was focused on the possibility of having a conference dinner at the end of the event on Saturday evening. Henry and Michael said there were no plans for a dinner. Listen to their explanation and let us know what you think. Rick sent in a few emails asking for more specifics about the exhibit booth area. Also, more came up about live streaming. The sessions will be streamed to the hospitality room and other areas in the hotel but not over the internet.
Michael was asked to tell us about ERPS which he did. That said, while ERPS is putting on the conference and working it, it will not be a big part of the conference. Our guests were then asked if they would make available a contact list of those attending. The short answer was no due to privacy concerns but listen to all of their remarks on the subject. They talked about the possibility of an "opt in" list. Let us know your opinion on this by posting it on our blog for this show.
A few more logistical questions were received including one on a possible dress policy for the conference. A listener asked about conference sponsorships, then our guest discussed registration rates, student rates and they responded to a question about there being a retired persons rate. We then moved to the outreach topic and learned from Michael that they were reaching out to various government agencies and groups to attend and present at the conference. When I asked if there was an overall conference theme, Henry suggested that the conferences seem to develop their own theme as the events unfolded but since they were focused on lowering the space access cost, including transportation BLEO, that might very well be the theme. Before we ended our program, we talked about Space Access flexibility to address timely and cutting edge events and topics at the conference.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Henry and Michael through the conference website above or me.