Howdy everyone! Regular visitors to the Lunar Library know that yours truly is one of the co-chairs for the International Space Development Conference coming up over the Memorial Day weekend here in Dallas. This is the largest citizen space conference in the world, and gathers together leaders in industry, academia, research, activism and the general public to learn all of the latest goings on in the space field.
This is a conference for the people, and that’s why NSS of North Texas is proud to host it here in the D/FW metroplex. The conference is run by the National Space Society, and moves from city to city each year. Last year it was in Los Angeles; next year will be in Washington, D.C. This gives each conference a unique flavor, and this year’s theme is “From Old Frontiers to New” to reflect the role that Texas has played in so many frontiers – cultural, medical, media, technological, and of course, historical.
We have three main tracks that reflect the priorities of the Vision for Space Exploration: Frontier Transport, Moon & Cislunar Space Development, and The Martian Frontier.
Frontier Transport ranges from suborbital to experimental technologies. Friday is Transport Day, and we have a number of speakers lined up to fill everyone in on the latest doings. Rockets and tethers and Sky Docks – oh my!
Moon & Cislunar Space Development follows the philosophy espoused by Marburger of the President’s Office of Science Technology Policy – incorporating the Moon into our economy. We’ll explore Cislunar Space, where billions of dollars of commercial and governmental assets already exist, and spend the weekend looking at setting up shop on the Moon. Saturday is Moon Day, as well as the Gala dinner
The Martian Frontier explores how we can accelerate the setting up of a branch office of humanity on Mars, which is celebrated on Sunday. This looks to be an exciting track, and our Sunday dinner speaker is Harrison Schmitt, who I’m sure would love to do some fieldwork on Mars.
These are supported by a large number of tracks covering a broad array of space activities. My co-chair, Carol Johnson, nurtured the ISS Science track which NASA Johnson is supporting with a number of speakers. We’ve got space business and law and astrosociology and education and outreach and settlement and more! A Symposium on Space Venture Finance. The Aerospace Technology Working Group is having an open (registered) work session in the week before the conference, and will be sharing their results with the ISDC.
There are also special events like movies and games, book signings, and we’ll have exhibits from a number of folks, including our affiliates. Local support has been provided particularly by the Dallas Mars Society, Dallas Area Rocket Society, and the Dallas Personal Robotics Group. The young man above has been comped into the Kids Program. His photo is used with the permission of his family (and no, you may not copy it and use it, I don’t have permission for that).
The National Space Society has a goal of people living and working in space. It’s general interest, so we have a lot of cross-memberships with other space-related organizations and no particular favored destination, just…out there [points skyward]. Ours can be a space-faring, not just space-visiting civilization. Be there as we work to make it happen at the ISDC.
We’ve just gotten the schedule for the Book Signing area. Many of our speakers are also authors and have made time to autograph copies of their works. Please be advised that Buzz Aldrin is on an exceedingly tight schedule and likely will not be able to sign.
The NSS Space Books Committee reviews quality nonfiction, science fiction, and children’s books about the human exploration, development and future settlement of space. Come by the NSS Reading Space booth for your free NSS book marks, to view copies of books we have reviewed at www.nss.org/resources/books, and to purchase copies of books by authors attending the ISDC. All sales benefit the ISDC.
Friday 2-5 PM: NSS Space Books committee chairman Marianne Dyson will sign Home on the Moon and Space Station Science; Space Books reviewer Brian Enke will sign Shadows of Medusa; NSS Governor Ben Bova will sign The Green Trap, Titan, The Sam Gunn Omnibus, Venus, Jupiter, The Precipice, and Powersat.
Saturday 2-5 PM: Marianne Dyson will sign Home on the Moon and Space Station Science; Brian Enke will sign Shadows of Medusa; HJ (Hilary) Ralles will sign Darok 9 and Darok 10; Paul Spudis will sign Moonwake and The Clementine Atlas of the Moon.
Sunday 2-5 PM: NSS Governor Harrison Schmitt will sign Return to the Moon.
-Any remaining copies of books signed by authors on previous days will be for sale.
-Copies of books by other ISDC speakers will be available for sale including Steve Squyres‘ new book, Roving Mars, NSS Governor Buzz Aldrin’s children’s book, Reaching for the Moon, and Donna Shirley‘s Managing Martians.
-Book signing times for these authors will be posted at the booth.