News Special Edition: Space Access'12 Conference April 12-14, 2012, Phoenix, Arizona
Access '12, the latest of the annual meetings
of the Space
Access Society, took place this year during
April 12-14 in Phoenix, Arizona. This page provides
various resources related to the meeting including
links to the entries posted at Space
Transport News. Several other blogs are also
Henry Vanderbilt organized
the meeting and is doing a great job as always.
Henry discussed the Space Access Society, the annual
meeting, and progress in private space vehicle development
in an interview
on The Space Show on March 22nd.
Some highlights and themes of this year's meeting:
There was a sense at this year's meeting that New
Space companies were finally reaching the crunch stage
and rocket vehicles had either started flying or will
start flying soon. A number of "regulars"
at this conference series did not attend because they
were hard at work building vehicles or in preparing
for upcoming flights.
There was also an awareness that the upcoming SpaceX
Dragon/Falcon 9 flight will have a big impact on the
whole industry for good or bad depending on how it
Here is a sample of news and announcements:
Studies Institute unveiled its Great
Enterprise initiative, which involves the
G-Lab Project to develop an orbital module to
test effects of reduced gravity on biological
functions and the E-Lab ground-based program to
develop "a comprehensive life support solution
for space settlement".
Aerospace has started construction of the
Lynx Mark I and photos were shown of the hardware
on the shop floor at the meeting. The goal is
to fly at least a few feet above the runway by
the end of the year.
Space Systems is moving towards higher altitude
flights of their Xaero vehicle, which should reach
100k feet within a few months. They have begun
construction of a second Xaero due to high demand
Masten Space is also working on a demonstration
of a Centaur derived in-space vehicle that could
land and take off from the Moon and other celestial
bodies. Masten has obtained a surplus Centaur
and will carry out low altitude flights with it.
using Masten engines attached to the sides.
Aerospace hopes to fly the Stig-B tube rocket,
which is considerably larger than Stig and Stig-A,
by June. It will require a FAA launch license
since its performance exceeds that allowed within
the amateur rules. They also will fly payloads
for pay, including some from Europe, and so an
experimental permit is not sufficient.
It ws announced that rules for the Nano-satellite
Launch Challenge competition would soon be
released by Space Florida. A number of potential
entrants in the competition were at the meeting.