Category Archives: Conference

A Free PDF from SSI

SSI 10th Conference Remarks Document Cover

This is the 90th Birthday week of Space Studies Institute’s founder Gerard K. O’Neill and over on the Space Studies Institute Facebook Page we’ve been posting some snippets from Gerry’s Opening Remarks at the 10th SSI-Princeton Conference on Space Manufacturing.

It was O’Neill’s last time together with the whole SSI membership, scientists and engineers and this short conference opener was, as they say, “A Doozy.”  There is nothing unclear or fluffy in the Professor’s words.

Acquiring copies of the complete collection of SSI Conference Proceedings is an expensive task for individuals, mostly these books are part of private research libraries, so there’s a chance that many even in the SSI family haven’t yet seen all of the details of the real work that can make The High Frontier Concept a reality.  We’re working on ways to make the volumes more accessible, but for right now we’d like to share with you this one small but very important chapter… The full text of those Gerard K. O’Neill Opening Remarks.

If you’ve been reading the quotes on the Facebook page and want more in context, or if you just stopped by here and are open for a very good read, it’s all yours on a free PDF from SSI.  I’ve read it myself and it clocks in at less than 6 minutes… but it packs quite a punch.

90 times Earth has moved around the sun since Gerard O’Neill was born, 40 times since he and Tasha started SSI to work on making a better future for Human Beings.  How many more times does the planet have to run in circles before we take it upon ourselves to pitch in and help its people truly get somewhere?

Click here right now to download and read this free PDF

It’s high time to get people moving toward The High Frontier.

Quick hello from Space Access 2016

sa16_garypathways(left to right: Dave Salt of Telespazio-Vega GmbH, SSI Senior Associate Dr. Justin Karl, Industry legend and SSI Advisor Henry Spencer and SSI President Gary Hudson)


It’s dinner break on day two of the Space Access Society SA’16 in Phoenix and I just ran up to the room to get you some pictures of a couple of the day’s sessions.

The picture above shows SSI President Gary Hudson at the podium kicking off the morning panel “Paths to Reusability”, a fast paced and enlightening talk/Q&A on the widely varying approaches, market potentials and the Cons and Pros of RLV’s and ELV’s (Reusable and Expendable Launch Vehicles) .  Plus more than a bit of discussion on the effects of different soft-tech and HR policies of both long-established launch providers and companies new to the game.  If Mr. Bezos had a listener in the audience, I think he will be hearing happy words and also a bit of good advice to keep in mind from the many person-years of industry experience in the room this morning.


Later in the day Dr. Justin Karl gave a quick overview of the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Commercial Space Operations course then handed the microphone over to his UCF SpaceOps lab students Carl Christiansen, Bryan Malave, Edgardo Manzenara and Daniel Risler to present their undergrad G-Lab study plans (somewhat related to last year’s SSI G-Lab overview by Gary Hudson).


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There have been, as always, a lot of great presentations at this year’s Space Access —  While it’s mostly a rockets and propulsion gathering there was MUCH talk of the need for a real G-Lab, a “LEO, CisLunar and Beyond” panel with Dave Masten, Steve Hoeser, Mitchell Clapp and Jeff Greason that hit High Frontier topics and ULA brought out slides backing SSI Senior Advisor John Mankins’ SPS-ALPHA work.

Ok, it’s after 8 here.  Mitchell Burnside Clapp of DARPA is already into his talk on the DC-X and Pioneer Rocketplane so we have to get back down to the ballroom, there’s still more to come tonight and a full day tomorrow.

If you’re in the Phoenix area you should consider a day ticket tomorrow morning – Registration opens at 8am and I think that day rate is still $60 — well worth it. It’s right at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North, 10220 North Metro Parkway East, Phoenix Arizona.  For more information hit the Space Access Society page.

Gerard K. O’Neill on NASA

It is common at conferences and meetings to hear folks casually mention that, unlike other established entities, The Space Studies Institute is not a political organization.

That isn’t exactly the full truth.

A key difference between SSI and some of the other Space related organizations is that we are not a lobbying group, but as Robert Heinlein wrote in Podkayne of Mars: “Politics is just a name for the way we get things done… without fighting.”

Because The Space Studies Institute was founded to be an active participant in the getting of things done the workings of politics always have been acknowledged, occassionally have been acted upon quietly, and sometimes have been taken on openly as parts of the whole of our activities.

Back in 1991, Gerard K. O’Neill found it important to speak openly and very clearly about a governmental situation related to the Humanization of Space. That speech was printed in the proceedings of the 10th SSI/AIAA Space Manufacturing Conference at Princeton (Space Manufacturing volume 8, Energy and Materials from Space) and because its *Point* is just as relevant right at this moment in time as it was when it was written, we wanted to offer it to you.

Here’s the thing though, because of another current project we already had the equipment set up and so decided to present this in a form that you can take with you and “read” while accomplishing other things in your busy life. Please use the link below to download an mp3 audio file of this short O’Neill speech for playing on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

This is NOT the voice of Professor O’Neill. I truly wish that it was, but we don’t have a recording of his presentation so we did our best with a “reading.” It is our hope that the read does justice to the message and that those who knew Gerry personally take no offense to any parts where the voicing strays from his unique style. I plead guilty to being deeply affected by the message, and the way that I spoke it comes from the heart with sincere respect.

Click here for mp3 audio file (19mb).  To avoid your browser being helpful and playing the file directly, Windows users can right-click and Mac users can control-click this link to choose a “Save As…” download option.

From Citizen Space Exploration to Space Settlement

(Los Angeles, CA) – A new strategy for space development will be presented at the International Space Development Conference, which takes place at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel this week.

Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy and the Space Studies Institute, will present “The Great Enterprise: From Citizen Space Exploration to Space Settlement” in the Redondo California Ballroom at 3:00 on Saturday, May 17.

“The Great Enterprise is a theme developed by the Space Studies Institute over the past several years,” said Robin Snelson, executive director of SSI. “The end goal of the Great Enterprise is the permanent human settlement of space.

“Space settlement was envisioned by SSI founder Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, Princeton physics professor and author of the best-selling book ‘The High Frontier,’ nearly 40 years ago.

“O’Neill’s vision inspired the creation of space-advocacy groups like the National Space Society, the sponsor of the International Space Development Conference. Despite the widespread interest in O’Neill’s ideas, space settlement has remained an elusive goal.

“A new strategy is required. Dr. O’Neill showed that permanent human settlement of space is a realistic goal, but we need a practical path to reach that goal. The old belief that government will step in with large sums of money has led nowhere and failed to inspire the general public.”

“The burgeoning Do It Yourself movement provides a model for the new strategy,” said Edward Wright, founder of the United States Rocket Academy and program manager for Citizens in Space. “530,000 people attended Maker Faires last year. Citizen-science projects and hackerspaces are springing up all over the country. Space advocacy organizations must tap into that community to a create a Do It Yourself space movement.

“All progress starts at the low end. We will outline a path for incremental development, beginning with low-cost suborbital spacecraft that are already under construction, followed by practical, achievable steps, leading ultimately to space settlement.”

“Now is the time for a new type of space movement, based on individual initiative and enterprise,” said Robert Smith, evangelist with the Space Studies Institute. “It is time we moved beyond mere advocacy. We must roll up our sleeves and take the bull by the horns. As the saying goes, ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself.’”

Citizens In Space