NASA is preparing for the 2014 Space Expo in California this week. Industry leaders will converge on the city of Long Beach to discuss the future of space exploration. The three-day symposium brings engineers, rocket-markers, business leaders, and government officials together to address key challenges in the current state of space technology. Both public and private entities are gathering to discuss the future of government and commercial space exploration.
The world has joined forces to make scientific space discoveries a global effort. With the development of the International Space Station, the international community has collaborated in a collection of 16 countries to create the greatest technological and geopolitical engineering marvel in technology. With more than 69 countries participating in the experimental aspect of space experimentation, the ISS provides an environment in microgravity for researchers to conduct multidisciplinary experiments that are detrimental to better understanding the universe. Lessons learned from such experiments allow educators to open the doors to a fresh new batch of scientists and engineers. The advancements discovered in a few short years have led to advances in medicine, environmental causes, and telecommunications that were not possible just 15 years ago.
Virgin billionaire Richard Branson has been leading the trend of commercial space flight opportunities for individuals. The idea of space exploration for the average person has been a key topic of discussion in previous expos. A panel of speakers will explore the academic and commercial partnerships between industry giants of Virgin Galactic and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Featured speakers include former astronaut Frank Culbertson of Orbital Sciences Corp. and Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO for SpaceX. Also speaking will be Carissa Christensen of the Tauri Group, Phil McAlister, NASA’s director of commercial flight, Jeff Greason of XCOR, and former astronaut George Zamaka, and current deputy associate administrator of commercial space transpiration for the Federal Aviation Administration. As NASA prepares to welcome the world community to the 2014 Space Expo, industry professionals are ramping up to demonstrate the newest and most advanced technology to date.
The expo will also be the home of the most comprehensive science and space job fair in the world. Hundreds of the top minds from around the world will converge on California in hopes of joining the leading companies in space exploration to date. Over the last few years fears in ending space exploration circulated due to governmental budget cuts, yet those fears have somewhat diminished as private entities and collaborating nations have stepped forward to fund to space exploration. California is quickly becoming a hotbed for the commercial space industry, not only home of the space expo, but also home to companies such as SpaceX. Event coordinator Gordy McHattie say they are anticipating over 2,000 people in attendance. The cost for passes to the conference start at $395, however admission to the exhibition hall is free with registration. Coordinators for the event have seen the numbers rise over the last three years and only expect it to grow. The expectations are that with each year, as NASA and the global community prepare for the 2014 space expo, that the program will become an annual event culminating in even further advancement of space exploration.
By Kimberly Beller