ISPCS: Afternoon Sessions

We’re back from lunch here in Las Cruces. A very nice lunch of beef, tuna steaks, salad and some delicious — if mysterious — desserts. No margaritas, sadly, which is probably a good thing given the first afternoon session: building the commercial space supply chain.


The speakers are interesting, anyway: Tim Pickens of Dynetics and Mark Sirangelo of Sierra Nevada.


  • Decided not to build Dream Chaser by itself…
  • Went to NASA centers to sign “reverse” Space Act Agreements in which Sierra Nevada is paying the centers to do work on the project
  • Taking advantage of all the expertise that exists out there
  • Challenging to manage
  • Decided not to build own launch vehicle
  • Selected ULA’s Atlas 5 for Dream Chaser because of its high reliability
  • There is a time when you ask yourself why is our company in the space business…that happens about once a week…passion is the key reason

Schedule for the rest of the afternoon, all times MDT:

2:30-3:00 PMRound table discussion: platforms for collaboration and innovation. The path forward for commercial spaceflight.
Sponsored by Sierra Nevada Corporation  Chair: Jeff Carr, Vice President, Aerospace Communications Griffin Communications GroupSpeakers:
•    LeRoy Maughan, Senior, Consultant, Franklin Covey’s Global Speed of Trust Practice
•    Robert Bigelow, Owner and Founder, Bigelow Aerospace
•    Tim Pickens, Chief Propulsion Engineer, Dynetics
•    Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
•    George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, FAA
3:30-4:30 PMIntellectual property: creating business assets and getting them to market
Sponsored by Bigelow Aerospace, LLC Successful companies align their intellectual property (IP) plan with their business plan.  IP is not just about innovation, it is also about commercialization.  This panel will take a close look at how companies create meaningful IP portfolio’s that are assets for their company.  Speakers will discuss what you should do to protect yourself, your company, and your intellectual property when markets are in upheaval, customers are inconsistent, and intellectual property law is in flux.  It will also address how you should protect your IP when working on state-funded developments.Chair:  James Babineau, Managing Principal of Fish & Richardson P.C., Austin, TXSpeakers:
•    Jack Atzmon, CEO, SmartFish Technologies
•    Randy Baker, Director of Finance, XCOR
•    Mindy Bickel, Supervisory Patent Examiner, United States Patent and Trademark Office
4:30-5:30 PMRe-entry from space: the experience of gliding back home
Sponsored by Virgin Galactic  Gliding has long been a fundamental part of aviation.   The Shuttles were the most technically advanced gliders ever designed and flown by the U.S.  Gliding back from space will continue to be part of the spaceflight experience.  Session chair Brian Duffy piloted Atlantis on STS 45 and Endeavour on STS 57.  He will provide the audience a rare perspective on this singular experience, gliding back to earth.  Joined by fellow Shuttle pilot Steve Lisdsey, who piloted Columbia on STA 87, the mission that returned John Glenn to space.  He was also pilot on Discovery, STS 95.  Steve will discuss the flight profile of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser, a reusable spaceplan.  Dream Chaser is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program.  Non-powered flight is the means by which some spaceplanes will re-enter the atmosphere.  Scott Osterm, with the SpaceShip Company, designers and builders of Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnight2 and SpaceShip2 Vehicles, will contrast the planned glide back under the unique feather system for spaceflight participants.  This session examines two different re-entry profiles for orbital return, and two planned sub-orbital perspectives.  Bob Carlton, who operates gliders in New Mexico, including a jet glider, will invite the audience to experience gliding just for fun.  By riding columns of rising air called thermals, gliders ascend to altitudes of up to 18,000 feet above sea level.  The view from the cockpit is spectacular and one can often see for miles in the clear blue skies of the Land of Enchantment.Chair:  Brian Duffy, Vice President and JSC Program Manager
Space Launch Systems, ATK Aerospace Systems GroupSpeakers:
•    Scott Ostrem, Chief Engineer at The Spaceship Company
•    Steve Lindsey, Director, Flight Operations, Sierra Nevada Space Systems
•    Bob Carlton, Vice President/Test Pilot/Aircraft Design, Desert Aerospace, LLC