SFF, SEDS Launch Student NewSpace Business Plan Competition

Sep 14, 2011 – Boulder, CO – The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) are proud to announce the Student NewSpace Business Plan Competition.

Specifically designed to give students a chance to enter the world of space entrepreneurship, this competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students with an idea for a frontier-enabling business. Competitors will pitch their space industry or space-scalable business proposal to a panel of investors and NewSpace leaders, and vie for the $1000 grand prize. The winner will also be automatically entered into the NewSpace Business Plan Competition held at the NewSpace 2012 Conference.


Altius Space Wins SFF NewSpace Business Competition

Jon Goff with his Sticky Boom rendezvous and docking unit.

Congratulations to Jon Goff and his Altius Space Machines team for winning the $25,000 grand prize in the Space Frontier Foundation’s annual NewSpace Business Plan Competition.

The company won the award to help it develop the “Sticky Boom” rendezvous and docking technology that does not require a spacecraft to have a docking port. The company plans to use this technology to deliver small payloads to the International Space Station, capture a sample return vehicle in martian orbit, and remove debris from Earth orbit.

Other winners included:

Celestial Circuits: $5,000

Celestial Circuits is developing a commercial line of command and control computers for Nanoracks, Cubesats and other small micgravity experiments. The plug-and-play units will range from $500 to $5,000 and will be used on everything from experiments on drop-tower and parabolic aircraft flights to the International Space Station.

Final Frontier Design: $2,500

FFD’s goal is to design, test and manufacture space suits for the commercial market. Their focus is on functional pressure restraint garment design and prototyping, especially for gloves.

The Ares is Dead! Long Live the Ares!

The Space Frontier Foundation had an Irish wake for the NASA’s Ares rocket program last night. This poster explains their antipathy toward the program.

In reality, the Ares I rocket is dead, although ATK is trying to resurrect it as a commercial rocket using an Ariane 5 upper stage. The Ares V (the larger rocket in the photo) should have been listed as a survivor; it has morphed into the Congressional-mandated Space Launch System.

How to Follow NewSpace 2011

The Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2011 Conference will run from Thursday to Saturday at the NASA Ames Conference Center.

I’ll be covering it from start to finish, so look for my updates here at PA and via Twitter at @spacecom. The hashtag for the event is #NewSpace2011.

My friends Ben and Cariann will be live streaming all the events at www.Spacevidcast.com. The coverage details are:

Thursday, July 28 to Saturday, July 30

Sessions: 8-8:30 a.m. to 5-6 p.m. PDT (check schedule)
Gala Dinner: Saturday, 6-10 p.m. PDT

The #NewSpaceTweetup will be held at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View on Friday, July 29 from 7-10 p.m. PDT.

For full information, please visit the conference website. For updates, follow the conference on Twitter @NewSpaceCon.

NASA Deputy Administrator Garver to Speak at NewSpace Conference

Deputy NASA Administrator Lori Garver

NASA & SFF PR — NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will provide opening keynote remarks at the Space Frontier Foundation’s annual NewSpace Conference at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 28. Media are invited to attend the conference, which runs July 28-30 at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

NewSpace provides a forum for space entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, engineers, regulators and space policy leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges of opening the space frontier to human settlement.

This year’s theme, “The Next Big Thing,” focuses on the near and long-term potential and challenges of the emerging commercial space industry.


SFF to Honor Yuri’s Night, NanoRacks and Rand Simberg at Gala

SFF PR – Silicon Valley, CA – The Space Frontier Foundation is proud to honor this year’s movers and shakers in the NewSpace industry. These brilliant award winners represent the best of commercial space business, entertainment, and media. Their awards will be presented at the NewSpace Awards Gala, where the NewSpace Business Plan Competition and We-Are-Space Video Contest winners will also be announced. The Gala is on Saturday night, July 30th, at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, CA, and we hope you will join us in celebrating these stars.

Tickets are limited and available for purchase online now. The Gala is a highlight of the NewSpace 2011 Conference. Conference panels will take place at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, CA on July 28-30. Please view the full description of the awards and winner online.

Here are the 2011 NewSpace Award Winners! Drumroll, please…

TEDxMidTownNY Event to Feature Shelley, Zerkin


On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the TEDxMidTownNY headline speaker will be Tom Shelley, Vice President of Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company providing human space missions to the world marketplace. He will provide an “Overview of the Human Spaceflight Training Market.” Tom will share his insights and discuss developments in commercial space transportation and other related industries.

The second speaker for this event will be Noah Zerkin, Research Engineer in the Neurology Department at the Human Aerospace Lab at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Noah designs and fabricates prototype sensor modules for automated mobile neurovestibular evaluation of human subjects who have spent extended periods in microgravity (i.e. at the International Space Station). Noah is also the inventor and developer of the Zerkin Glove, a low cost glove for interacting with virtual objects in an augmented environment, and the author of Augmentation featuring his views on the coming AR revolution.


SFF to Congress: Keep Your Promise


Members of the Space Frontier Foundation are headed to Washington on March 6-8, 2011 to urge Congress to “Keep the Promise” when it comes to supporting the new US commercial space industry. The group is inviting all supporters and friends of America’s space efforts to show up and speak up in defense of innovative budget saving initiatives like NASA’s Commercial Crew program, and warn Congress about the damage it will do if it does not act to support this critical new approach to space.


Teachers in Space to Hold Summer STEM Workshops


In the Summer of 2011, Teachers in Space will offer five one-week professional-development workshops for high-school science, technology, engineering, and math teachers. Teachers in Space project manager Edward Wright announced the workshops during the final session of the Space Exploration Educators Conference, which took place here today.

“Next summer, teachers will have opportunities to experience unpowered aircraft flight with a former NASA Shuttle commander, to fly a flight simulator for the next generation of reusable spacecraft, to study the effects of high-altitude flight in a university altitude chamber, and to build experiments that will fly on a suborbital vehicle,” Wright said.


Teachers in Space to Fly Student Experiments on Masten Vehicles

Masten's Xombie vehicle


In the summer of 2011, high-school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers will have the chance to fly experiments on an early unmanned flight of a suborbital reusable launch vehicle (RLV). The Excelsior STEM mission was announced here today by Teachers in Space, a nonprofit project of the Space Frontier Foundation.

Speaking at the annual Space Exploration Educators Conference, Teachers in Space project manager Edward Wright said “Excelsior STEM will provide a historic opportunity for high-school STEM teachers to gain hands-on experience with space-science hardware.”

Video: NewSpace for a New Era

The Space Frontier Foundation released this video of people promoting the Obama Administration’s space plan. It’s pretty good overall, except it’s dominated mostly by talking heads so it reminds me of a PBS documentary.

Spending the first quarter of the video (two minutes plus) on a Nostradamus/Mayan style humanity is doomed if we don’t do this narrative may not have been the best choice. It’s depressing, for one. And it’s probably far too esoteric for most voters and decision makers, who view doomsday as being laid off or not being re-elected in November. This is a far better argument for a more immediate and existential threat, like an giant asteroid heading our way — or Godzilla reaching the Pacific Coast.

Ansari, Garver to Appear at SFF TEDx Event in New York Next Week

Anousheh Ansari


The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) will sponsor the first TEDxMidTownNY event to discuss the continued importance of exploration with X-Prize Cofounder Anousheh Ansari and Deputy Administrator of NASA Lori Garver. TEDxMidTownNY is a local, independently organized event to be held on September 14th, 2010 at 7 PM at the Explorers Club in New York, NY.

A diverse group of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, adventurers, investors, teachers, and students will share their perspective and leave the event inspired to improve the collective future of humanity through space exploration. Tickets are available now through the Explorers’ Club website.


Teacher’s Dream Comes True as He is Chosen for Trip Into Space

Steve Heck (left) is one of the Pathfinder 7 - teachers from across America chosen to fly on suborbital space missions.

Ohio Teacher Prepares For Space Travel

Steve Heck is flying high. In fact, he recently took a training flight in California as one of two teachers from Ohio to be picked for the Teachers in Space program.

“At 320 thousand feet you momentarily leave the gravitational pull of Earth but not enough into Earth’s orbit, then coast back down,” Heck explained.

The Milford Junior High school science teacher applied for the program in November, and his students even helped him come up with this experiment.

The hard work paid off and this past May he found out he’ll soon blast off into space.

It is a dream come true for this retired Lt. Colonel who spent 20 years in the Air Force before heading into the classroom.

Read the full story.

Flagsuit Wins Space Frontier Foundation Business Competition


After a weekend of presentations by several new companies in the NewSpace field, the judges of the 2009 NewSpace Business Plan Competition awards the following:

1st Place – Flagsuit, LLC
2nd Place – Syntiant
Honorable Mention – Santa Clara Satellite Solutions

The first place winner, Flagsuit, LLC, received a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Heinlein Trust and will have the opportunity to present their vision to entrepreneurs and investors alike at Space Investment Summit 7 on September 30th in Boston and attend an upcoming Space Angels Network event.