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What’s next in space: Insights from National Space Symposium

The 32nd annual National Space Symposium (NSS) was held recently under the Colorado Springs, Colorado sunshine. NSS is the single most important and well-attended space conference of the year.

This year, a global presence was felt by attendees from 16 different countries. Industry leaders from across a wide variety of agencies celebrated the remarkable year we’ve just had in human space history. Together, leaders are hopeful for what’s ahead of us and are eager to work with one another to build consensus.

The focus of this conference revolved around the following:

  • International Collaboration – maintenance/utilization of ISS, management of space traffic, policy, and technology
  • Science and Exploration – human journey to Mars, space entrepreneurship, advancement of innovation, earth observation, and inspirational science research
  • Space at the Heart of Public Services – crisis management, climate change mitigation, and educating the next generation of space leaders.
BRPH aerospace leadership met with a number of industy partners during the 32nd annual National Space Symposium.

This event is an annual focus for BRPH’s aerospace team, which educated guests in the conference’s main pavilion about the importance of launch pad design in support of space missions.

One space advocate that continues to be a fixture in the national space spotlight is Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos. Bezos shared his take on what’s coming soon for the space industry.

Bezos envisions Blue Origin being an important part of this era’s space race.When asked about the competitions among private space companies, specifically between Blue Origin and SpaceX, he shared his idea that a great industry such as this can have many winners. Mr. Bezos believes the competition that exists in the industry right now can help accelerate space infrastructure building which future space innovators and entrepreneurs will need to rely on in order to progress and to succeed.

Blue Origin and Amazon.com founder address the crowd at NSS. (Photo credit: Denver Post)

Blue Origin has been focused on reducing the cost of space in promoting reusability. Still within the beginning stage of its business plan for space tourism, Blue Origin is currently gaining experience and establishing a stable foundation for space best practices. Bezos briefly elaborated on the vertical landing method chosen for being the most scalable configuration. Rockets, especially the landing components, have the tendency to increase in size. And as they get bigger, he expects that we will face increasing challenges with respect to the construction of the manufacturing facilities to support these rockets. Mr. Bezos ended the discussion by sharing his vision of the ‘great inversion’. He believes in the near future there will be bulk of material and elements produced in space and delivered back to Earth.

As visionaries continue to plan ahead for the next realm of space and space access, designers of launch infrastructure will need to stay ahead of these changes so that the next generation of space pioneers can focus on what’s important. As we tell our clients, you focus on the stars; we’ve got you covered here on Earth.

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Diana Cheung has extensive experience in facility electrical systems design and construction administration for various types of aerospace and government projects.

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