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SSI Space Manufacturing Conference to Plan Humanity’s Future on High Frontier

14th Space Studies Institute Conference on Space Manufacturing
and Space Settlement Set for Oct. 29-31 in Silicon Valley

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Oct 7, 2010) — Space scientists and entrepreneurs will meet in Silicon Valley from Oct. 29-31 to help plan humanity’s future on the high frontier at the Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement conference.

During the gathering at the NASA Ames Conference Center and the Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel, speakers will present a wide range of research topics, including affordable space transportation, extraterrestrial prospecting, lunar and asteroidal manufacturing processes, robotics and tele-operations, closed environment life support systems, space solar power and energy, and off-planet property rights. On Saturday, famed biologist and entrepreneur Craig Venter will give a special talk on synthetic genomics.

“This conference is the only one solely concerned with the science and engineering of humanity’s expansion into the solar system,” said SSI Executive Vice President Lee Valentine. “Its most important function is to bring together the engineers, entrepreneurs and researchers who do the real work.”
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Space Studies Institute urges the Congress to defeat H.R. 5781

We believe there is a great benefit to our Nation in the opening of the space frontier. Space is about more than science or exploration. Frontiers are about creating prosperity and realizing potential. The contribution of American space efforts to our national economy and to human welfare has barely begun. We face many challenges: ensuring a permanent supply of clean, low-cost energy, strategic metals and, providing robust protection against asteroid impact. Affordable space transportation is necessary to enable all of these benefits.

The present House bill will delay the time when space can make a greater contribution to our national welfare. The most useful thing this Congress can do to lower the cost of launch is to create a market for space transportation services. The Kelly Act of 1925, which contracted for private air mail delivery, is a successful example. A consequence of the Kelly Act was the development of the DC-3. As students of history note, the commercial DC-3 ( re-designated the C-47) was an important element in winning WWII.

American industry — rather than Russian — will soon be able to supply commercial transportation to the ISS and to commercial space stations. NASA purchase of commercial crew services would accelerate the maturation of this industry.
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Space Manufacturing 14 Call for Papers

Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement will be held at NASA Ames Conference Center in Mountain View, CA, October 30 and 31, 2010.

Thirty five years ago, NASA Ames Research Center was the site of the first large technical study of space settlement. We have made significant progress since then, but with the prospect of low cost space transportation in the near future, now is the time to reinvigorate research and collaboration on the critical path technologies needed for space industrialization and settlement. The 14th Space Studies Institute conference on Space Manufacturing continues in the spirit of the Princeton Conferences initiated by Prof. Gerard K O’Neill in 1974.

The Space Manufacturing and Space Settlement Conferences have always given SSI great value. This conference is the only one solely concerned with the science and engineering of humanity’s expansion into the solar system. Its most important function is to bring together the engineers, entrepreneurs and researchers who do the real work. New space companies and new institutions have formed from collaborations forged at earlier conferences. We hope that this and future annual SSI conferences will be as fruitful.

The specific purpose of Space Manufacturing 14 is to identify and recommend critical hardware research that can be conducted now by SSI, NASA and other organizations.

[Update Oct. 1, 2010: The agenda is now online.]
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