Suborbital Space Research and Education Conference Scheduled for June 2013


Washington D.C. - Since its debut in 2010, the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference has rapidly become the largest gathering of suborbital researchers and educators in the world, providing an invaluable forum for information in the community. NSRC-2013 will continue the community wide discussion, focusing on the research, education and public outreach capabilities of new reusable suborbital vehicles that will begin operations soon.

NSRC-2013 will bring together vehicle providers, researchers and educators from academia, government and industry to engage in presentations, workshops and networking opportunities. Keynote speakers will include NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, FAA Associate Administrator George Nield, and former Space Shuttle and ISS astronaut and Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria.

Representatives from the suborbital vehicle companies will be available to discuss contracting procedures, training requirements and payload integration. In addition, NASA officials will talk about how researchers can propose suborbital flights in NASA grant applications. Sponsored by Southwest Research Institute and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, NSRC-2013 will be held June 3-5, 2013, at the Omni Interlocken Hotel and Resort in Broomfield, Colo.

"It's getting more and more exciting as we approach the soon-to-begin era of routine, low-cost space access that will revolutionize space research and education," says SwRI Associate Vice President Dr. Alan Stern, NSRC-2013 program chair and organizer. "With these capabilities in place, there will be more opportunities for organizations to fly, greatly increasing the prospects of new space-based research in this community."

"The progress the vehicle providers have made in the last year is compelling. As these companies get closer to flight, it is important for the research and education community to be ready to take advantage of the science and education capabilities that these new platforms will provide," stated Commercial Spaceflight Federation President, Michael Lopez-Alegria. "I am very excited by what I've seen from this community already and I look forward to much more this year."

The 2013 conference will promote opportunities that this new wave of reusable, commercial suborbital vehicles offer for research and education missions; facilitate questions, feedback and ideas from researchers and educators about mission applications and user requirements; and generate interest among U.S. and international researchers and educators for potential next-gen suborbital funding by entities such as NASA, U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation and private industry.

Abstracts will be accepted until March 7, 2013. For more information about abstracts or to register for NSRC 2013, visit http://nsrc.swri.org or contact Cindy Conrad, (720) 240-0126 or cindy@boulder.swri.edu.

About the Southwest Research Institute

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), which has committed funding to fly researcher-astronauts and their payloads onboard commercial suborbital spacecraft, is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of nearly 3,000 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. The Institute occupies more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio, Texas, with laboratories, test facilities, workshops and offices, and satellite offices in locations such as Boulder, Colo. SwRI staff also lead the CSF's Suborbital Applications Researchers Group.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation's member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director Alex Saltman at saltman@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.349.1121.

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