Category Archives: Events

June 30th is Asteroid Day – Events start today

Asteroid Day is

… a dynamic awareness and educational program to inspire  the world about asteroids – their role in the formation of our universe, how we can use their resources, how asteroids can pave the way for future exploration and finally how we can protect our planet from asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day events are held on 30 June each year to mark the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska impact. Asteroid Day events are largely independently organized around the world for people of all ages and are mostly free-of-charge. Asteroid Day is a program run by the Asteroid Foundation, a Luxembourg nonprofit organization.

Asteroid Day 2019

June 30th is Asteroid Day, but many events are being held globally today through Sunday: Asteroid Day To Celebrate Fifth Anniversary with Thousands of Events Planned Worldwide to Raise Awareness about Asteroids, 27-30 June 2019.

The Asteroid Today channel is now live streaming: ADLIVE from Luxembourg

Watch live video from AsteroidDay on

Here is a schedule for Asteroid Day events and panels:

Follow developments and updates at Asteroid Day ☄ (@AsteroidDay) | Twitter.

A new film about asteroid research with next-gen telescopes is making its debut during Asteroid Day:

New Era of Cosmic Discovery” is a short film scheduled to be broadcasted as a part of the Asteroid Day 2019 live program from Luxembourg, from June 26th till July 2nd, 2019. Program schedule: Free streaming available via

We are on the brink of an era of cosmic discovery. A new generation of telescopes and astronomical surveys are yielding a 1000-fold increase in the amount of available astronomical data. At the University of Washington and the DiRAC Institute, a team of scientists are writing the software to identify and track objects in the sky that change with time. They are working with LSST [Large Synoptic Survey Telescope] to build the largest census of our Solar System ever undertaken.

Asteroid Day was

… co-founded in 2014, by Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist of QUEEN, together with Danica Remy, President of B612 Foundation, Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 Astronaut, and filmmaker Grig Richters. In 2016, the United Nations officially designated Asteroid Day as the international day of awareness and education about asteroids. Together with the United Nations, space agencies, schools and universities Asteroid Day is organized by networks of supporters who host events worldwide on 30, June and any other day of the year that the independent groups determine.

To initially launch the Asteroid Day education programs in 2014, members of the asteroid community drafted and released a petition to gather public support for asteroid education and called on governments to accelerate the funding of asteroid discovery programs. Today, this petition, the 100X Asteroid Declaration, has been signed by hundreds of prominent individuals around the world, including leaders in science, technology, and business, and more than 125 astronauts.

Thanks to its partners and supporters, and particularly to the Government of Luxembourg, where the Foundation is headquartered, Asteroid Day has made significant strides educating the world about asteroids.  Through our work we share information and teach about the science, opportunities, and risks of asteroids. Since the first events in 2015, the movement has grown exponentially. Through Asteroid Day, we continue to inspire people and young minds to look up into the sky and to be excited about our Solar System.

Here is a video about the history of Asteroid Day narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Asteroid Day 2019 Poster
Official Asteroid Day 2019 poster art.



Update: Space Access 2019, April 18-21, Fremont, CA

Here is the latest update on the upcoming Space Access 2019 conference:

Less than two weeks till the Space Access 2019 conference, April 18-20 at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley in Fremont California.  Our near-final conference program is now available online.  Links to each day’s schedule:

Thursday 4/18/19 – The Entrepreneurial Revolution In Smallsat Launch
Friday 4/19/19 – Reusable Rocket Transport Networks in Earth-Moon Space
Saturday 4/20/19 – Getting There Faster: Advanced High Energy Propulsion

Overall conference info is at

Register for the conference now and avoid the At-Door Registration line.  (Online registration ends after April 12th.)

Discount Hotel Rooms Available Again at the Marriott

Our SA2019 $130 per night discount Marriott room rate has been extended and is available for bookings through Wednesday April 10th.  Rooms are for the moment available at our rates for all nights of the conference, including a very limited number for Wednesday night 4/17.  Call (510) 413-3700, hit “1” for Reservations, and mention “Space Access 2019” to get the $130 rate.

(If they are again out of discount Wednesday rooms when you call, you may find an affordable Wednesday 4/17/19 rate nearby at this link.)

And, our Hospitality Space needs your help!  We’ve run into local budget problems with putting on our traditional Hospitality spread – Learn How You Can Help!

Hope to see you there!

Conference announcement – “SSI 50: The Space Settlement Enterprise”

Here is an announcement from the Space Studies Institute on their conference this summer (see also the recent announcement for the Space Access Society‘s upcoming meeting):

SSI 50: The Space Settlement Enterprise

(Seattle, WA) The Space Studies Institute (SSI) is pleased to announce the date and location for its 2019 conference. Make your plans now to attend SSI 50: The Space Settlement Enterprise July 15 and 16 at the renowned Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Tickets are on sale now at, Super Early Bird tickets are already sold out, but a limited number of discount Early Bird tickets are still available.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Professor Gerard O’Neill’s High Frontier concept and the start of a new era for the Space Studies Institute,” said SSI senior researcher and conference chairman Edward Wright. “We’re about to embark on a multi-year effort to update the High Frontier vision, incorporating new technology, new knowledge of the solar system, and new commercial space ventures.”

The conference dates were chosen to coincide with another historic anniversary. The Apollo 11 lunar mission launched from Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969, Conference attendees will be able to view museum exhibits including the Apollo 11 command module and other historic artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.

“The Space Settlement Enterprise is not about the past, however,” Wright said. “This will be a working conference where some of the space industry’s top thinkers put their minds together to help identify the technological and economic obstacles to space settlement”

Panel discussions will cover six major areas:

Habitat Design: What do we want to build?
Construction: How do we build it?
Resources: Where and how do we get the materials?
Transport: How do we get there?
Life in Space: How do we survive there?
Economics: How do we pay for it?

The conference is structured to allow plenty of time for questions and audience interaction,

“The questions developed at this conference will inform SSI’s research programs over the next several years,” Wright said.

“We’ve also planned two gourmet luncheons catered by McCormick and Schmick’s. These luncheons will provide a great opportunity for networking and informal discussion of the day’s topics. Luncheon tickets are limited, however, due to the size of the dining room. We strongly recommend that conference attendees take advantage of the luncheon option, but the museum has two excellent cafes that are available if luncheon tickets sell out.”

About SSI: In 1969, while Apollo was preparing to land on the Moon, Professor Gerard O’Neill was teaching a physics seminar at Princeton University. As a class project, O’Neill asked his students to examine a question: “Is the surface of a planet the best place for an expanding technological civilization?”

A Bernal Sphere design for an in-space habitat.

Over the course of the semester, Professor O’Neill and his students came to a remarkable conclusion: It was possible to build large space habitats, each one housing millions of people, using materials readily available from the Moon or asteroids. A fleet of such habitats could house more people than are currently living on the surface of the Earth.

As a first step, O’Neill conceived a smaller habitat, called Island One, capable of housing 10,000 people. The residents of the Island One habitat could build solar power stations that would supply clean electrical power to the surface of the Earth.

Professor O’Neill authored a best-selling book, The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space, which was published in 1977. To promote and develop his High Frontier vision, O’Neill created the Space Studies Institute (SSI).

SSI continues in its dedication to the High Frontier Vision. As we approach the 50th anniversary of this vision, the Space Studies Institute is preparing for a dramatic reboot of Professor O’Neill’s research program. Everyone interested in space settlement is invited to support our research by becoming a Supporting Member or Senior Associate. For more information, visit

Space Access 2019 Conference

My favorite conference series is back in action after a pause of a couple of years:

Space Access 2019 Conference
The Technology, Business, and Politics of
Radically Cheaper Space Transportation
at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley, April 18-21

Space Access 2019 will be the next round of Space Access Society‘s conference on the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation, brought to you this year in cooperation with the Bay Area’s own Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society.

SA2019 will feature a cross-section of the growing cheap access community, talking about what’s going on now and what happens next, in an intensive informal atmosphere, single-track throughout so you don’t have to miss anything. Space Access has been described as “Hackers” for rocket people, with better content than other space conferences costing many times more. It’s three days of total immersion in making the future happen.

The primary web page for SA2019 conference registration and hotel room reservations is . And check for the latest updated conference info and program as it grows and evolves.

Preliminary SA2019 Conference Agenda updated 2/2/19

(We’re rolling – this list represents over two-thirds of the final SA2019 three-day program. Stay tuned for additional details and a few more excellent program additions in the coming weeks.)

Confirmed speakers/presentations so far:

  • Additive Rocket Corporation on High Impulse, Ultra-Low Cost Additively Manufactured Rocket Engines
  • James Benford on Ultrahigh Acceleration Neutral Particle Beam-Driven Sails
  • Breakthrough Starshot/Peter Klupar on Plans for a Near-Term Interstellar Probe
  • Cislunar Space Development Company/Dallas Bienhoff on Elements Of A Cislunar Transport Net: Space Tugs, Moon Shuttles and Propellant Depots
  • CubeCab
  • EXOS Aerospace/John Quinn with An Update On the SARGE Vehicle
  • Firefly Aerospace on The Alpha Launch Vehicle, plus Highlights of OTV and CLPS
  • Flometrics/Steve Harrington on Progress Report: Pistonless Pumps For High-Performance Rocket Propulsion Systems
  • Gerald D Nordley on Mass Beam Propulsion, An Overview including Jordin Kare’s Sailbeam Concept
  • Jeff Greason of Electric Sky will discuss Some Advanced Power Transmission & Space Propulsion Concepts
  • Masten Space Systems/Dave Masten
  • Momentus Space/Joel Sercel, CTO on Water-Plasma Propelled In-Space Transportation Services
  • Jim Muncy/Polispace will discuss Prospective FAA Launch/Reentry Rules Changes and The Washington Space Scene
  • Orbit Beyond – Lunar Spacecraft & Landers
  • Rocket Lab/Amanda Stiles, Senior Mission Manager on The Electron Launcher & Multi-Burn Kick Stage
  • John Schilling will discuss Earth Orbit, Cislunar & Mars Practical Payload Capabilities Of Current & Near-Term Launchers
  • Rand Simberg will discuss A Co-Orbital Transportation Infrastructure Concept
  • Space Studies Institute Hosted Session covering SSI’s focus area of How To Get Things Done Once There, technology and business aspects of habitats, power generation, resource extraction, manufacturing etc.
  • SpaceIL
  • Henry Spencer will discuss Transitioning From Standalone Spaceships To Space Transport Networks
  • Henry Spencer & Henry Vanderbilt will discuss Some Likely Characteristics Of Usefully Faster Near-Term Inner Solar-System Space Transports. Thermal rockets aren’t practically capable of high enough velocities to minimize cosmic-ray and other slow-transit problems.  A look at some near-term approaches that may be usefully faster – and why they may not look at all like you might expect.
  • Jess Sponable will discuss Project History & Management Lessons From DC-XX-40, and XS-1
  • Tethers Unlimited
  • Unreasonable Rocket/Paul Breed on Development Of A Low-Cost Modular Launcher
  • Pete Worden, Breakthrough Prize Foundation Chairman, on What We Might Do With A StarShot Capability

Panel Discussions

  • Extremely High-Velocity Propulsion Concepts: A Survey.  Jim Benford, Gerry Nordley, Henry Spencer
  • How To Save Civilization and Make a Little Money, or, This Is All Jerry Pournelle’s Fault.  Recalling Jerry’s significant part in the forty-year evolution from “Commercial rockets? Security, get this loon out of my office” to “Commercial rockets?  How much do you want?”  Aspects of the story as seen by some who were there.  Larry Niven, Gary Hudson, Jim Muncy, Jess Sponable, Henry Vanderbilt
  • Space Startup Party Fouls – Common Startup Errors & How To Avoid Them, as seen by Rocket People. There are a thousand books that will tell you what Venture Capital people look for. Rocket people, not so much. Paul Breed, Ben Brockert, Henry Spencer, Henry Vanderbilt
  • NewSpace Meets Milspace – Both are evolving fast, with overlaps (both business and operational) likely growing with time. Some discussion of what the shared spaces may look like.  Bill Bruner, Mitchell Burnside Clapp, Jess Sponable

We also plan Subject Concentrations this year on

  • SmallSat Launch Startups
  • Commercial Lunar Cargo Companies

Participants for both currently being recruited – if you haven’t yet heard from us, contact us at

We’re also interested in Student Space Project Presentations – we’re reserving a number of short (5-10 minute) timeslots in the main program track for student/amateur presentations on interesting (not necessarily directly access-related) space projects. Contact

Conference Registration

Basic SA2019 registration will be $180 through March 27th, more afterwards. Student full-conference rate $60. See for more details on Exhibitor and Patron rates, or go directly to SA2019 online registration.

Exhibition Space

We will have an Exhibitor Room across the hall from the main Presentations ballroom. Exhibitor memberships will get you one Regular membership, an 8′ table in a 10′ x 10′ area, and two chairs. Space is limited and will be assigned on a first come first served basis. When space is filled we will create a waitlist. Register at the $300 Exhibitor Rate at SA2019 online registration

Conference Hotel is the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley.

Hotel Rooms We have negotiated a special deal for the convention, with a room rate of only $130 per night (in Silicon Valley!), so book your room early to keep you in the heart of the conference. Space is limited (it’s a very busy hotel). Mention “Space Access 2019” to get this rate and be in our room block. Conference-Rate Reservation cutoff is 27 March 2019.

Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley
46100 Landing Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538

Reservations: (510) 413-3700 – Mention “Space Access 2019”

Conference Schedule

Program Sessions will run Thursday & Friday, morning afternoon and post-dinner, and Saturday morning and afternoon, with socializing opportunities Saturday evening plus an extended Sunday networking brunch.

Conference Style

Space Access conferences are designed to let people who are serious about low-cost space transportation get together, trade information, make deals, and learn useful things. Dress averages business casual, and we don’t do rubber-chicken banquets – just an intensive single-track presentations schedule with relaxed on-your-own meal breaks, in a setting with comfortable places in the hotel and nearby to go off for food, drink, and talk – not least of these ERPS’s interpretation of our world-famous volunteer-run Space Access Hospitality Suite.

Space Access has been a useful productive conference over the years – companies started, talent recruited, deals made, ideas spread. Be here with us for the next round.

New Horizons successfully flies by Ultima Thule & Brian May releases commemorative song

The New Horizons probe made a successful flyby of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule today. (See earlier preview posting.) It will take several weeks for all of the high resolution images and data to be downloaded from the distant spacecraft. The first high-res flyby views will come out in a day or two. Today a blurry “pre-flyby” image was released: New Horizons Successfully Explores Ultima Thule: NASA Spacecraft Reaches Most Distant Target in History – JHAPL

At left is a composite of two images taken by New Horizons’ high-resolution Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), which provides the best indication of Ultima Thule’s size and shape so far. Preliminary measurements of this Kuiper Belt object suggest it is approximately 20 miles long by 10 miles wide (32 kilometers by 16 kilometers). An artist’s impression at right illustrates one possible appearance of Ultima Thule, based on the actual image at left. The direction of Ultima’s spin axis is indicated by the arrows. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI; sketch courtesy of James Tuttle Keane

Here is a video of a briefing held today at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHUAPL), which manages the NASA-funded project (the panel discussion starts at ~23:00):

The New Horizons team shares the first image of Ultima Thule, as well as updates on spacecraft status and flyby success, from the Mission Operations Center at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Alice Bowman, New Horizons mission operations manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Chris Hersman, New Horizons mission systems engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

The former Queen guitarist and professional astrophysicist Brian May was at JHUAPL for the event and he released a new song in honor of the New Horizons mission: Queen’s rock-star astrophysicist Brian May debuts anthem for a far-out trip – GeekWire

More about the flyby:


Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto