Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference

The 2013 meeting of the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which concluded on Wednesday, showed signs that the conference is maturing.

This year’s meeting had fewer speakers presenting new research projects, but there was a lot more progress reported on existing projects. Most significantly, although suborbital vehicles have developed more slowly than participants believed at past conferences, there was increasing confidence that the delays are almost over.

Attendance was down, slightly, from last year’s conference. Most attendees and staffers attributed this to NASA travel restrictions. Although unfortunate for NASA researchers, this has some positive aspects as well. The relatively small number of NASA participants helps to remind companies that the industry must not become too dependent on any one customer.

The most significant sign of progress came from NASA in the form of a surprise announcement from Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. For the first time, it appears that NASA may be ready to accept human-tended experiments as a normal part of the suborbital research process.

Written by Astro1 on June 6th, 2013 , Citizen Science (General), Events

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