The Marshall Institute will hold a discussion panel on April 17th in Washington D.C. on the topic of space settlement in large in-space habitats:  Human Settlement in Space: Bases in Near Space – Marshall Institute.

Mankind has long dreamed of settling on celestial bodies – the moon, other planets and space stations.  The Obama Administration’s goal of visiting an asteroid, plans by other nations to land on the Moon, and emergence of many private space travel initiatives, demonstrate the increased interest in creating a long-term human presence in space.

The complexities of establishing permanent space stations or space colonies resemble those for lunar or Martian colonies, but present additional challenges.  Building and life-support materials will be brought from planetary surfaces and space bodies, requiring new transportation and processing technologies; rights to and ownership of space resources will be debated; and new laws and political structures will be needed to suit this new environment.

(Usually “near space” refers to high altitudes reached by balloons and sounding rockets but here they are referring to space but near earth as opposed to the surface of the Moon or Mars.)

Date/Time: Date(s) - 4/17/20141:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council

The speakers are:

  • Rosanna Sattler, Partner, Posternak Blankstein & Lund, LLP
  • Cheryl L. B. Reed, Program Development Manager, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University
  • Martin Elvis, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Too bad they don’t also have a representative from one of the organizations that have long advocated in-space habitats such as the National Space Society, the Space Frontier Foundation, or the Space Studies Institute, which was founded by the late Gerard O’Neill, a pioneer in the design of in-space habitats.