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Space Transport News Special Edition:
Space Access'12 Conference
April 12-14, 2012, Phoenix, Arizona

Space 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 linked.

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.

Latest update: April 16, 2012



Previous Space Access Conference Reviews

Review of SA'12

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 goes.

  • Here is a sample of news and announcements:

    • The Space 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".

    • XCOR 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.

    • Masten 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 for flights.

    • 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.

    • Armadillo 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.


April 12, 2012 - Thursday


Thursday Morning Session 1

Thursday Morning Session 2


Thursday Afternoon - Session 1

Thursday Afternoon - Session 2

  • SA'12: Thursday Afternoon, pt. 2 - Apr.12.12
    • Dallas Bienhoff, "Payload Requirements For A Low Cost Reusable Launch Vehicle"
    • Rick Maschek, Sugar Shot To Space
    • Spaceworthy, Ed De Reyes, "Roadblocks To Licensing and Permitting: We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us"
    • Paul Damphousse, Executive Director, National Space Society
    • Ian Kluft, Stratofox Aerospace Tracking & Recovery Team


Thursday Evening

  • SA'12: Thursday Evening - Apr.13.12
    • Scott Tibbitts, eSpace, "From the Hardware Store to Pluto: Adventures in Space Entrepreneurship"
    • Jon Goff, Altius Space Machines
    • John Garvey - Garvey Space
    • Chuck Lauer, Rocketplane Global
    • Matt Cannella, "HySoR Hybrid Sounding Rocket"

April 13, 2012 - Friday

Friday Morning - Session 1

Friday Morning - Session2


Friday Afternoon - Session 1

Friday Afternoon - Session 2


Friday Session 3 - Evening

  • SA'12: Friday Evening - Apr.13.1
    • Phil Chapman, "Reviving Human Spaceflight"
    • Panel: Newspace Lessons Learned - Gary Hudson, Henry Spencer, Henry Vanderbilt
    • Ben Brockert, Armadillo Aerospace
    • John Powell, JP Aerospace

April 14, 2012 - Saturday

Saturday Morning - Session 1

Saturday Morning - Session 2


Saturday Afternoon - Session 1

Saturday Afternoon - Session 2




The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG


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