Space access remains both expensive and rare. It has still not reached the stage where scientists can themselves routinely travel there to conduct research, and within civil and military space, cost is still a key inhibitor to more rapid progress and innovation. With more and more commercial companies, research, and academic bodies also looking towards getting into space, lowering the cost of access is a key priority for the industry.
Commercial companies are at the forefront of driving down cost; SpaceX in particular is potentially shaping the pricing and strategy for the launch market with its plans for reusable rockets. But how much cost reduction is likely and how long will it take to achieve? This panel will examine these questions, and further considerations including:
NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) invests financial and technical resources to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate safe, reliable, and cost-effective space transportation capabilities. Offering perspectives from NASA and its commercial partners, this session will share key program updates, examining the impact of budget cuts, and sharing insight into the progress of newly added milestones that are intended to reduce risks, advance the partners' development efforts or accelerate schedules consistent with the goals of CCP.
The session will also examine the potential future development of the Commercial Crew Program, exploring issues such as:
For more than a decade the export and import of many defense-related articles and services – including satellites and satellite components – have been placed on the US Munitions List (USML) covered by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). To be ITAR compliant, a manufacturer or exporter whose services or systems intended for use in space appear on the USML list, must register with the US State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).
In 2013, Congress passed reforms to ITAR that removed most satellites and satellite technologies from the USML for most US allies and major trading partners. The US Commerce Department proposed draft regulations implementing this change in May of 2013 and received industry comments in July. This panel will bring together a variety of expert perspectives to discuss the anticipated impact of these changes on the space market, including:
With Virgin Galactic, XCOR and others getting closer to their goal of commercial spaceflight, there are still a number of regulatory, safety and risk management challenges that remain unresolved. Bringing together key perspectives from the commercial sector, as well as legal experts and key drivers of regulatory policy including the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the Federal Aviation Authority/AST, this session will explore issues including:
In April 2013 Gen. William Shelton, commander of US Air Force Space Command, said that shrinking government budgets, combined with a growing reliance on space assets, were putting the US in an undefended position and therefore at risk. Every US military action depends on space capabilities such as satellite-based surveillance, communications, and mapping and weather technologies. Critics in some quarters say that current satellite networks are not robust and there is not sufficient backup if these technologies were to fail. The threats to US spacecraft include not just deliberate attacks by hostile states, but also the possibility of a collision with a piece of space debris.
Managing these threats and bolstering US space resources within the drastic budget constraints of sequestration is a major challenge currently facing the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps. This session will examine how different departments within DoD can evolve their operational and business strategies, develop new architectures and improve acquisition policies in line with the key priority to build resilience and drastically improve affordability.
The session will examine questions including:
With declining defense budgets, US space capabilities will be increasingly difficult to sustain in the future. Due to the very tight federal budget environment, reducing the cost of space systems is paramount since additional resources for space systems will likely be taken from other vital programs.
The AIA has identified four primary areas where steps are being successfully undertaken by industry and government to adapt and provide the best capabilities in this challenging environment. These include a focus on contractors’ internal management and product portfolios; support for acquisitions and procurement innovation; supporting new ways of doing business; and strategic investments to advance new paradigms of hardware development. Bringing together experts from military/DoD, industry associations and commercial space players, this panel will examine successful tools that can be used to reduce cost and serve as a starting point for future cost reduction efforts.
With the full might of sequestration cuts currently being felt, the US Government is hungry for cost-effective access to space, and hosted payloads is increasingly becoming a viable option for budget-strapped civil and military users. Bringing together key players from across the commercial, civil and military DoD sectors, this session will explore why hosted payloads are a key tool for lowering the cost of space access, and will focus particular attention on the efforts of United States Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center (SMC) as it leads the DoD charge on hosted payloads. Key areas of discussion include:
The final session of the military-focused day will examine how different parts of DoD are reducing cost and improving architecture lifecycle with the use of smallsats and other technologies and strategies to maximize and extend the life of satellites. The session will also examine whether different parts of DoD can collaborate more effectively in order to synchronise space-related acquisitions and reduce cost. Expert speakers from the AIAA, SPAWAR (Navy), US Air Force, DARPA and Boeing, will share experience-based insights into topics including:
The final day of the conference will explore key technologies and strategies that have the potential to dramatically change the game in terms of accessing and operating missions in space. Kicking off with keynote perspectives from industry pioneers, the day will explore the developments in 3D printing (additive manufacturing), robotics, reusable rockets and spacecraft, electric propulsion technologies, and strategies that could aid in cost reduction, improve manufacturing processes and significantly enhance efficiency.
The Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA is charged with advancing game-changing technologies needed for future space science and exploration missions to an infusion point. STMD rapidly develops and demonstrates revolutionary high-payoff technologies through transparent collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise. STMD employs a merit-based competition model with a portfolio approach, spanning a wide range of discipline areas and technology readiness levels. By investing in bold, broadly applicable, transformative technologies, STMD seeks to mature the technology required for NASA’s future missions in science and exploration while proving new capabilities and lowering costs for other government agencies and commercial space activities. The presentation will provide an overview of STMD programs and will highlight areas of current and future technology investments.
Throughout history, spaceflight has been rare in large part because it is so expensive; it has also been expensive because it is so rare. But that vicious cycle may soon be broken, as new technologies, new customers and new services are helping to increase the frequency and decrease the cost of visiting space. Will Pomerantz of Virgin Galactic will speak about how suborbital voyages on SpaceShipTwo and orbital launches for small satellites on board LauncherOne are helping to change the game for industry veterans and newcomers alike.
"As NASA ventures further into space, whether redirecting an asteroid or sending humans to Mars, we'll need transformative technology to reduce cargo weight and volume. In the future, perhaps astronauts will be able to print the tools or components they need while in space."
- Charlie Bolden, Administrator, NASA
3D printing allows for objects to be specifically designed for a microgravity environment. This means that now-critical space-based technologies, such as satellite systems, could be disrupted by an innovation that could only be made in space. The ability to print items on demand away from Earth could significantly reduce the cost, extend the duration and increase the possibilities of space exploration missions. The game-changing potential of 3D printing has not gone unnoticed, with commercial, academic, government and military organizations taking active strides toward using 3D printing for aerospace applications. This panel will bring together a variety of perspectives, sharing the latest innovations and practical applications of additive manufacturing. Expert speakers from across the industry will discuss the materials that can be used, the technical approaches developed, and highlight quality control and other issues to address when considering 3D printing as a manufacturing option.
"Game changing is about developing transformative technologies that enable new missions and new capabilities."
- Stephen Gaddis, Program Manager for the Game Changing Development Program at NASA's Langley
Solar electric propulsion has been cited on a list of technologies NASA specified as vital for a crewed mission to Mars, as well as for asteroid retrieval and other more complex space missions. Commercial companies including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Thales Alenia have achieved notable progress with all-electric propulsion technology, which has long proved itself a viable option for station keeping or keeping the satellite in its position in orbit, but not for orbit raising. This panel will highlight the challenges and benefits of electric and solar electric propulsion versus chemical propulsion options, as well as outline possible use cases of electric propulsion, such as on spacecraft repair vehicles and cubesats. Delegates will hear how innovations and breakthroughs in electric propulsion and mission-enabling technologies can reduce cost and improve performance.
"Thanks - it was great working with such a professional organization"
--Frank Slazer, Vice President – Space Systems, AIA
"You can talk to 100 people within 2-3 days, it would take months to contact these people through phone"
--Rick Hoskin, Director, ATK
"It’s a networking opportunity that quite frankly is priceless"
--Marv Vander Weg, Vice President of EELV Customer Office, SpaceX
“We found this a great opportunity to connect and network with most of the participants. We’ve had a very busy week arranging meetings every day”
--Ing. Alex Carrella, Product Manager Dynamic Environmental Testing, LMS International
“This year’s show has had a LOT of foot traffic. We’ve also had a lot of media coverage.”
--Andrew Nelson, COO, XCOR Aerospace