The 2015 International Space Station Research & Development Conference (ISS R&D) took place recently in Boston, MA from July 7-9.
It was an amazing week of insights and information on the innovations and discoveries taking place on board the ISS, as well as glimpses of the achievements yet to come.
A highlight of the first day was a conversation with Elon Musk, who mused on his initial commercial forays into space, the state of his transformative company SpaceX, and a view of his vision for the future of space travel, research and exploration.
Core topics discussed at ISS R&D 2015 included everything from biology and human health, to materials development and plant science, to remote sensing and Earth observation, to space travel and human exploration. Here are a few of the top highlights:
- NASA and its partner agencies have transitioned from assembling an amazingly complex vehicle in space to now utilizing this vehicle for the benefit of humanity.
- The feat of building and maintaining the International Space Station is often underrated and overlooked, but it’s an incredible achievement, and everyone is encouraged to explore the marvels of what has been, and continues to be, accomplished.
- We are advancing to a future where space transport will become commonplace, and it is the science, humanitarian, exploration and business opportunities that will be the new focus of ISS utilization.
- The ISS is an entrepreneur engine, as evidenced in part by the rise of the new space economy. For example, new markets are emerging in the remote sensing domain, with NanoRacks, Teledyne Brown Engineering and Urthecast all making investments in expanding Earth observation from the ISS.
- The future of the ISS, and its continued operation, is a direct function of the success or failure of what is happening on the ISS right now. The greater the success, the brighter the future.
Throughout the week a question was often asked whether the ISS is evolutionary or revolutionary… and in the end the answer was both!
Interested in learning more about the ISS? Visit the recently launched website spacestationresearch.com to “explore the new era of science in space for life on Earth”.
Also, save the data for next year’s conference, which is taking place July 12-14, 2016 in San Diego, California. See you there!
“Space is now closer than you think.”