Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Land in Bay Area

NASA, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the Southwest Research Institute will host the third annual Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, Calif., Feb. 27-29. The conference seeks to connect researchers and educators wanting to participate in, learn about and contribute to the new era of commercial, reusable suborbital spaceflight.

The conference will include more than 120 invited and contributed talks, as well as keynote addresses and discussion panels. Key speakers include Apollo Astronaut and X-15 Pilot Neil Armstrong, XCOR President Jeff Greason, Virgin Galactic Chief Test Pilot David Mackay, Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator George Nield, Challenger Center Founder June Scobee Rodgers, NASA's Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Director David McBride and Southwest Research Institute Associate Vice President and Suborbital Payload Specialist Alan Stern.

The meeting also will include a press conference, a poster session and a workshop with several presentations about NASA's Flight Opportunities Program.

The goal of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program is to develop and provide opportunities using commercially available platforms for space technologies to be demonstrated and validated in relevant environments. These technologies are expected to benefit NASA and other government agencies, U.S. commercial industries and the public.

WHAT: Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference

WHEN: Feb. 27-29, 2012

WHERE: Crowne Plaza Palo Alto hotel, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, Calif.

Credentialed journalists are invited to attend the conference. For media registration, visit:

Reporters should contact Cindy Conrad at for information about restrictions on audio and video recording during the conference. To coordinate interviews with NASA speakers, contact Leslie Williams at 661-810-4977.

For more information about the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, visit:

For more information about NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, visit:

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