NASA to Fund Researchers to Fly on Suborbital Vehicles, Maybe Astronauts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

After spending a few years in hibernation, the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) is being held in Colorado this week. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but I’ve been following all the action on Twitter.

In a keynote address on Monday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine floated the idea of letting the space agency’s astronauts fly aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard and Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicles. He also discussed certifying the systems to comply with a subset of NASA’s human ratings requirements.

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Next-gen Suborbital Space Research and Education Conference to be held March 2-4

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to keynote conference

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 27, 2020 (NSRC PR) — Since its debut in 2010, the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) has rapidly become the largest gathering of suborbital researchers and educators in the world, providing an invaluable forum for information, discussion, coordination and networking in this community.

NSRC-2020, to be held at the Omni Interlocken hotel in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, will bring together vehicle providers, spaceport operators, government officials, industry leaders and hundreds of researchers and educators to engage in a variety of presentations, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. The NSRC conference series is jointly led by Southwest Research Institute and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

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Bridenstine to Give Keynote at NSRC 2020; Advanced Registration Closes Thursday

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (NSRC PR) — We just received confirmation today that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will be giving a keynote talk at NSRC-2020!

The conference will be held at the beautiful Omni Interlocken Hotel and Resort in Broomfield, Colorado, on March 2-4, with an opening reception Sunday, March 1, at 7:30 pm.

And a reminder that the Advanced Registration Deadline is this Thursday, Feb 13! You can register at  https://www.boulder.swri.edu/NSRC2020/Site5/Registration.html

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NSRC Abstract Deadline Extended to Jan. 14

Conference Update

We have received a large number of abstracts for Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference 2020, now surpassing the totals from the last NSRC conference! So due to this unexpectedly high demand, we will extend the Abstract Deadline to Tue Jan 14 at 6 pm MST to make sure anyone who wants to submit an abstract has a chance to do so! So please help spread this news to your friends and colleagues today!

Abstracts for the 7th NSRC can be submitted for contributed talks or posters. Topics include planetary science, atmospheric science, microgravity sciences (fundamental biology and physics), commercial applications, education, public outreach, life sciences, suborbital and commercial markets and policy, plans for human-tended experiments, and REM flight crew training, among others. The full list of session topics can be found here:  https://www.boulder.swri.edu/NSRC2020/Site5/Abstracts.html (click on “Scientific Session” on the Abstract Submission Form).

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NSRC Abstract Deadline is Friday

The Abstract Deadline is on Friday, Jan. 10th at 6 pm MST, for the 7th Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC).

Abstracts can be submitted for contributed talks or posters. Topics include planetary science, atmospheric science, microgravity sciences (fundamental biology and physics), commercial applications, education, public outreach, life sciences, suborbital and commercial markets and policy, plans for human-tended experiments, and REM flight crew training, among others. The full list of session topics can be found here:  https://www.boulder.swri.edu/NSRC2020/Site5/Abstracts.html

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SWRI, CSF Announce Suborbital Space Researchers, Educators Conference

BROOMFIELD, Colo., October 31, 2019 (NSRC PR) — As a new generation of space vehicles prepares the groundwork for space research and education, the 2020 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will bring together hundreds of suborbital researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceports and government officials in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, 2020.

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Speakers Lined Up for NSRC

NSRC2013logoNEWAn update on the upcoming Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference:

This year’s NSRC-2013 will be held at the beautiful Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colorado June 3-5. This meeting will educate researchers and professionals about the capabilities of the new generation of commercially-available reusable suborbital vehicles, funding and flight opportunities for flying experiments on these vehicles, and the kinds of
experiments various research communities – including microgravity physics, astrophysics and planetary science, life sciences, and atmospheric science – are planning. The meeting also includes a NASA workshop and multiple networking opportunities.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver
  • NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate AA Michael Gazarik
  • former NASA Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale
  • CSF President and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria
  • FAA Commercial Space Transportation AA George Nield
  • Challenger Center Chairman and former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski
  • ISS Program Manager Mike Suffredini
  • Mojave Air & Space Port CEO Stu Witt.

We will also have a presentation by the newly founded Colorado Spaceport!

For the first time, the conference will also include in-depth, 3-hour long “deep dive” technical sessions by suborbital flight provider companies like XCOR Aerospace, Virgin Galactic and Masten Space Systems to give the research and education community the chance to learn in depth about each flight system’s capabilities, development status, and future plans. 400 attendees are expected, so take advantage of Earlybird Registration and register today at http://nsrc.swri.org!











NSRC Abstract Deadline is Thursday

nsrc2013logoGreetings friends of the suborbital frontier!

A reminder that the NSRC-2013 abstract deadline is fast approaching! Abstract submissions for the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2013) are due in only *3 days* on Thursday March 7th!

Session topics include planetary science, atmospheric science, microgravity sciences (fundamental biology and physics), astro/solar physics, education, public outreach, life sciences, suborbital and commercial markets and policy, technology and technology testing. A full list of session topics can be found at http://www.boulder.swri.edu/NSRC2013/Site2/Abstracts_Submit.html.

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Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference Set for June in Colorado

nsrc2013logoWashington D.C. (NSRC PR) – Since its debut in 2010, the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference has rapidly become the largest gathering of suborbital researchers and educators in the world, providing an invaluable forum for information in the community. NSRC-2013 will continue the community wide discussion, focusing on the research, education and public outreach capabilities of new reusable suborbital vehicles that will begin operations soon.

NSRC-2013 will bring together vehicle providers, researchers and educators from academia, government and industry to engage in presentations, workshops and networking opportunities. Keynote speakers will include NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, FAA Associate Administrator George Nield, and former Space Shuttle and ISS astronaut and Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria.

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Registration Opens for Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference

nsrc2013logoA note from Cindy Conrad:

We are happy to announce that registration and abstract submission are now OPEN for NSRC-2013! (http://nsrc.swri.org)

NSRC-2013 will take place on June 3-5 at the Omni Interlocken Hotel and Resort in Broomfield, Colorado. This year’s conference will focus on in-depth briefings and forums to provide input to NASA, the FAA, and vehicle flight providers on the needs of research and education users.

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Remembering Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong passed away yesterday at 82. The tributes have been pouring in since the sad news broke. My own encounter with him was brief, but I feel it’s worth sharing.

The only time I saw Neil in person was in February at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto. His appearance there was a surprise. Neil was a very private person who rarely appeared in public. But, there he was, having postponed a European trip to talk about scientific research that he and other pilots had done while flying the X-15 in the 1960’s.

I remember how honored we all felt to be in his presence. Everyone knows Neil as the first man who walked on the moon. But, the X-15 research was another one of his legacies to the world, one that very few people know about. Neil talked about it with evident pride to a new generation of researchers that is taking up where he left off.

It was just a thrill to have him there. I recall that we gave Neil a standing ovation when his talk was over. It is one that the world is repeating this weekend.

Well done, Mr. Armstrong. Rest in peace. And Godspeed.











NSRC Deadline Approaches to Win Free Lynx Flight


XCOR PR — January 30, 2012 Mojave, CA: XCOR Aerospace and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announce the final week to register and become eligible to win a suborbital research flight on XCOR’s Lynx I vehicle at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2012) in Palo Alto, CA on February 27-29. The deadline for early conference registration and for entering the drawing is the 10th of February at nsrc.swri.org.

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Astronauts4Hire Becomes NSRC Sponsor

A4H PR – Tampa, Florida – Astronauts4Hire is pleased to announce that it has become a sponsor of the 2012 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Resort in Palo Alto, California from February 27-29, 2012. The NSRC will bring together researchers from government, industry, and academia in the largest forum of its kind focused on the research and education capabilities of new suborbital vehicles.

“Astronauts4Hire grew out of NSRC-2010 and was a NSRC-2011 sponsor,” said Brian Shiro, President and CEO of Astronauts4Hire, “so it is fitting that we will once again support the suborbital research community by sponsoring the NSRC-2012. This will be a prime opportunity for A4H to demonstrate how far it’s come in its second year and where it’s going in the future.”

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CSF on NRSC: AHSUM!

Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 3, 2011 – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) held in Orlando, Florida, this week set records for the number of presentations, sponsors and attendees. The annual conference brings the research and education communities together with suborbital vehicle providers and government funding agencies to explore the exciting new era of suborbital spaceflight.  CSF is a proud co-sponsor of the event, which was attended by about 350 people.

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First Report From Orlando

The Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference kicked off tonight with a reception at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. There was muchnetworking accomplished and alcohol and food consumed, although not necessarily in that order.

It looks like it will be an interesting couple of days. It seems that the Southwest Research Institute’s decision to purchase six flights on XCOR’s Lynx is only part of the story. The full scope of the work will be revealed tomorrow. Not clear what that exactly means, but stay tuned here and at @spacecom.  There is a press conference on Monday afternoon that may answer those questions.