Space Access Conference 2013

Latest Info - 4/9/13

For what to pack and how to get here, see conference travel information here.

Our next annual Space Access Conference, April 11-13 at the InnPlace Hotel Phoenix North, 10220 North Metro Parkway East in Phoenix Arizona, is the place to be for the latest on the technology, business, politics, and opportunities of Radically Cheaper Access To Space. We feature a cross-section of the growing cheap access community, talking about what's going on now and what we should be doing next, in a fast-paced informal atmosphere. This conference is well-reported, but it is not broadcast on the Web - if you want to be in the middle of these intensive discussions in this exciting time, you need to be there!

Two days till the conference. Affordable airfares into Arizona for our sunny spring desert weekend are going away fast - book those flights now! And you can still get our $74-with-breakfast-and-internet discount hotel room rate, but only as long as they have rooms left. Book that room! Advance conference registration is now closed - you'll have to register when you get there. At-door registration is $140 full conference ($40 student rate), and day rates for Thursday/Friday/Saturday are $60/$60/$40 ($20/$20/$20 student rate).




Conference Background


Space Access Conference Detailed Schedule as of 4/9/13

This is pretty close to our final Space Access 2013 presentations schedule. Speakers, let us know ASAP when you'll be arriving onsite and when departing, if we've scheduled you outside that window! Today's update adds Michael Laine as the speaker for LiftPort. Any further changes will be announced at the conference and posted by Registration.

Our Space Access Hospitality suite in InnPlace Room 156 will be open 7 pm - 11 pm Wednesday evening for early arrivers, with early badge pickup available there if you're preregistered. Otherwise, our on-site Registration opens at 8 am Thursday in the InnPlace ballroom foyer.

Thursday April 11th

8 am - Hospitality Opens, coffee in the conference hall lobby

9 am - Henry Vanderbilt, Space Access - Welcome & Brief Introduction

9:05 - Henry Spencer - Asteroids: What (Little) We Know, How Much We Don't, And How To Fix That

9:55 - Alex Bruccoleri - Selected Physics Concepts for Rocketeers

10:25 - midmorning break, coffee in the conference hall lobby

10:55 - New Mexico Museum of Space History/Bill Gaubatz (McDonnell-Douglas DC-X Program Manager) - DC-X 20th Anniversary (DC-X Reunion And Spaceplane Conference, August 16-18, 2013) and The DC-X SpaceQuest

11:25 - AeroPac (Carmack Prize Winner) - Ken Biba

11:55 - NewSpace Watch, Space-For-All/Clark Lindsey - The Next Killer Space App: Some Candidates

12:15 pm - Doug Plata - Lunar COTS

12:30 - break for lunch

2 pm - John Schilling - Advanced (Non-Rocket) Propulsion Systems

2:30 - NASA Ames/Bruce Pittman - Commercial Space Scenarios: Effects On NASA And The National Economy Of Potential Developments Through 2025

3:10 - Rice University Space Studies Professional Graduate Program/Dagmar Beck

3:40 - midafternoon break

4:10 - John Burgener - Massive Earth Impacts: Some Anomalies In The Record

4:40 - Garvey Spacecraft - John Garvey

5:10 - Martin Elvis, Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics - Astronomy Challenges Of Identifying Ore-Bearing Near-Earth Asteroids

5:40 - Ben Brockert, Able Space - alumnus of Masten Space and Armadillo has a new company

6 pm - break for dinner

8 pm - Panel Discussion: Planetary Defense - We live in a cosmic shooting gallery. What can we do to detect and deflect inbound objects with what we've got now? How can we affordably improve those capabilities soon? George Herbert, John Schilling, Henry Spencer, Henry Vanderbilt

8:45 - Deep Space Industries - Rick Tumlinson

9:15 - Stratofox Aerospace Tracking Team - Ian Kluft - Stratofox Participation in the California Near Space Project's CNSP-18 Transcontinental/Transatlantic Stratospheric Balloon

9:35 - HySor Student Hybrid Rocket Team - Bryce Schaefer

9:55 pm - end of Thursday program

Space Access Hospitality in 156 open till midnight

Friday April 12th

We at Space Access Society have always viewed the Space Studies Institute's mission as complementary to ours. We work on affordable transportation to the new frontier, while they work on how we'll survive (and thrive) there. It gives us considerable pleasure that this year's Space Access Conference is hosting our colleagues for a half-day session:

9 am through lunch - Space Studies Institute Session:

Rebooting Space Settlement In The 21st Century

8 am - Hospitality Opens, Registration & coffee in the conference hall lobby

9:00 - Lee Valentine, Chairman SSI - Introduction

9:05 - Gary C Hudson, President SSI - SSI Introduction and Status Of Programs

9:20 - Al Globus, San Jose State University at NASA Ames - Paths To Space Settlement

Building a space settlement today is far too expensive a proposition.  The technology and infrastructure is not sufficient.  However, there are at least three potential paths to space settlement that could change this: space tourism, space solar power, and planetary defense.    If vigorously pursued, these paths would, together, develop most of the technology and infrastructure -- particularly launch -- necessary to build the first space settlement at reasonable cost.  Note that each of these activities makes sense in and of itself, the first two may generate substantial profits and the last is a primary function of government.

9:45 - Joe Carroll, Tether Applications - Are We Preparing To "Live Beyond Earth, Sustainably And Indefinitely"?

The National Space Policy statement of June 2010 quotes the president as saying that: "Our goal is the capacity for people to work and learn and operate and live safely beyond the Earth for extended periods of time, ultimately in ways that are more sustainable and even indefinite."  This talk will discuss some implications of that goal.

10:10 - Lee Valentine, Chairman SSI - Systems Considerations For A Robust Closed Environment Life Support System

A robust closed environment life support system is a prerequisite for human settlement off the Earth. Previous attempts to develop such a system have, at best, been minimally successful. As in all engineered systems, an appropriate high level design is critical to commercial success. High level requirements are listed and an engineering road map is described to decide between alternative solutions to satisfy the

10:30 - midmorning break, coffee in the conference hall lobby

11:00 - James Bennett, co-founder AMROC - The Quest For Unobtainium: New Perspectives On The Economics Of Colonization, And Their Implications For Space Settlement Strategies

Thinking among American space settlement advocates has always been heavily influenced by assumptions derived by analogy from the experience of colonization and settlement of the US. Certain assumptions have been accepted as settled conclusions.  Among these are the assumption that successful colonization requires the identification of unique high-value export products that can be produced in the colonization target and exported profitably to the mother country at the earliest possible opportunity, and that the process of colonization is controlled by the capital interests (either private or public) seeking to acquire such products.  Recent research in the historical economics of colonization, including studies of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa (Belich, Hansen, Hugill, Mein Smith)  in the period 1850-1930, suggests that these assumptions are far less typical than previously assumed, and that settlement particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was, rather, driven largely by individual and family initiative, and largely self-financed by the settlers themselves, using saved and borrowed capital.  Agricultural and manufactured production was typically not exported back to the metropolis, but initially consumed in the colony itself, and later exported primarily further out to the frontier from regions just behind the current frontier of settlement.  Significant export to the metropolis usually did not begin until fifty years or more from initial settlement.  Although some aspects of off-planet colonization will likely differ due to the extreme differences in environment, it is likely that some, and perhaps the larger part, of significant space settlement will follow these patterns.  This in turn suggests that in-situ resource utilization, including manufacture, will be relatively more important than obtaining resources for export back to Earth, and that individual consumer preference, including non-economic factors may be a larger determinant of initial settlement destinations than export value of resources.  Although the bulk of space settlement discussions have tended to accept the standard assumptions, the conclusions supported by recent research are consistent with the speculations offered by Dyson (1988). 

11:20 - David Valentine, University of Minnesota - Stories As Technologies 

What is significant about the stories we tell about the future of space settlement?  NewSpace advocates tell many stories about space, exploration, human nature, and the future . but so do many other people, whose stories might be quite different.  Taking an anthropological perspective, Valentine will argue that such stories.told both by NewSpace advocates and by others.are technologies that are as important to attend to as rocket or life support technologies if space settlement is to be achieved.

11:40 - Concluding Panel Discussion & Questions

            12:30 - break for lunch

2 pm - Resume Space Access Sessions

2:00 - Frontier Astronautics - Tim Bendel

2:30 - SpeedUp/Luna City Enterprises - Bob Steinke, Osa Fitch - Impulse Turbine Generator For Rocket Applications

2:50 - XLSpace - Michael Carden

3:05 - STAR Systems/Hermes Spacecraft - Mark Longanbach

3:30 - NSS, ISDC - Veronica Zabala

3:40 - midafternoon break

4:10 - Orbital Outfitters - Jeff Feige

4:45 - Sugar Shot To Space - Rick Maschek

5:05 - LiftPort - Michael Laine

5:30 - Infinity Aerospace - Brian Rieger - ArduLab: Open Sourcing Space

5:50 - Tethers Unlimited - Gerry Nordley

6:05 - break for dinner

8 pm - Doug Messier of Parabolic Arc - America's Rocket Renaissance: Opportunities, Possibilities, and Threats

8:30 - Unreasonable Rocket - Paul Breed

9:05 - Misuzu Onuki - Newspace Dynamics in Japan

9:30 - Arizona State University School of Earth & Space Exploration - Dr David Williams - NASA Solar System Exploration Update (sponsored by Yuri's Night)

10:15 - end of Friday program

Space Access Hospitality in 156 open till midnight. There will also be a Yuri's Night Party Friday night, co-sponsored by a number of groups including the Phoenix chapters of AIAA, NSS, and Moon Society.

Saturday April 13th

8 am - Hospitality Opens, coffee in the conference hall lobby

9 am - Panel Discussion: World Space Programs & Projects. The US is far from the only player. What's going on in the rest of the world? Clark Lindsey, Doug Messier

9:40 - FAA AST/Michelle Murray

10:20 - midmorning break, coffee in the conference hall lobby

10:50 - XeneCore - Joe Latrell - Solid Filled Composite Technology

11:05 - XCOR Aerospace - Jeff Greason

11:55 - United States Rocket Academy - Ed Wright - Lynx Cub Payloads

12:10 - John Griffith, Bennet Cowdin - Harder Than It Looks: Trial & Error In A Stratospheric Balloon Project

12:25 - break for lunch

2 pm - Golden Spike - Doug Griffith - On The Shoulders Of Apollo: How Golden Spike Plans To Lead The Next Wave Of Human Lunar Exporation

2:30 - Firestar Technologies - Greg Mungas

3 pm - Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings - Safe is Not An Option

3:25 - Space Frontier Foundation - Sara Meschberger

3:35 - midafternoon break

4:05 - Jim Muncy of PoliSpace - What's What In Washington

4:45 - Panel Discussion: Crowdfunding Your Venture - Approaches, Pluses, And Pitfalls. Doug Griffith, Greg Mungas, Joe Pistritto, Rand Simberg

5:30 - Panel Discussion: Post-LEO Policy - We know what to do for vastly improved access to Low Earth Orbit. What policies should support the move outward from there? Phil Chapman, Jeff Foust, Jim Muncy, Henry Vanderbilt

6:10 - end of Saturday program - break for dinner and talk-fest partying! Space Access Hospitality in 156 open till late. (We hear there may also be a volunteer effort afoot for a return of the traditional Saturday Night Rocket Margharitas!)

And after that's all over - see you next year!

Stay tuned to Space Access Conference Info for the latest updates on our conference agenda.

Space Access '13 Conference Registration

SA'13 conference registration is $120 until midnight west coast time Wednesday April 3rd (after which preregistration closes), $140 at the door after that, Student Rate $40 either way. (Day rates will be available at the door.) Click on this link for SA'13 advance registration with credit card or Paypal. You can also mail in your registration with a check or money order - include your name, the affiliation (if any) you want listed on your badge, and your email address, make the check out to "Space Access '13", and mail it to Space Access '13, PO Box 16034, Phoenix AZ 85011. (Mail-in preregistrations must also be received by Wednesday April 3rd.)

Conference Hotel & Reservations

SA'13 will take place at the InnPlace Hotel Phoenix North, 10220 North Metro Parkway East, Phoenix AZ 85051, by the Metrocenter Mall in north central Phoenix, fourteen freeway miles from the Phoenix airport. Our SA'13 conference room rates are $74 a night single or double, third or fourth person $10 additional each, $104 a night for suites, full American breakfast buffet and in-room wireless internet included in room rates.

Click on this link for InnPlace reservations at our conference rate, or call the InnPlace at (602) 997-5900 and mention "SA13". (Our rates are good for up to three days before and after the conference, if you're thinking of soaking up a little extra springtime Arizona sunshine.) The InnPlace is a modern comfortable resort-style hotel with a fine restaurant and bar, a half-dozen other dining options less than a block away, and a wide variety of shopping within a few minutes walk. We're very pleased to be at the InnPlace this year, helping continue Space Access's long tradition of being both the best, and the best value in, new-space transportation conferences.

Conference Background

SA'13 is the next round of Space Access Society's yearly event for people seriously interested in the business, technology, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation. The conference is intensive and informal - single program track, tightly scheduled sessions, no requirement for a prepared paper, speaking off-the-cuff is fine. The idea is to get a snapshot of where things are and where they're headed next, not where they were six months ago.

We think that networking is a better use of your conference time than canned dinner speeches. We skip the traditional rubber-chicken banquets, schedule comfortable on-your-own meal breaks, and make sure there are multiple good places nearby to grab a bite and talk with other attendees. We also run an open Hospitality Suite (InnPlace room 156 this year) for the duration of the conference as a place to get together, grab a snack, and talk.

Conference attendees range from students and amateur rocket enthusiasts, through cheap-access political activists and startup rocket companies, to government and established aerospace company people. To a considerable extent over the years, our conference has been (by design) an incubator for the "newspace" entrepreneurial end of things.

We understand that much of our target audience isn't rich - yet. We work hard to keep overall conference attendance costs low. Phoenix is a major air hub, we schedule the conference so you can travel at off-peak parts of the week despite it still being warm-weather winter-tourist season here, and we negotiate hard to get good room rates at a pleasant and well-kept conference hotel.

Bottom line, it's been a useful conference over the twenty years we've been doing it - companies have been started, investments made, policies evolved, ideas spread, people hired. Pretty much what we've aimed for.

Space Access Contact Info

Keep an eye on for Space Access Society Updates and more conference info as it develops, and email any questions to

See you there!