Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Suborbital space research and education conference scheduled Feb. 27–29, 2012

Nov. 11, 2011 — The 2012 Next-generation Suborbital Research Conference (NSRC-2012), set to occur in Palo Alto, Calif., will focus on how new, low-cost reusable spacecraft coming online in 2012 and 2013 will carry research and education crew and payloads into suborbital space for a broad array of applications.

The conference, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Resort near NASA Ames Research Center, will feature invited and contributed talks as well as keynote addresses and informative discussion panels. Keynote speakers for 2012 include Virgin Galactic chief test pilot David Mackay and Challenger Center for Space Science Education founder Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, both of whom will be flying in space. At least seven other researchers and educators with already-reserved suborbital spaceflights also will speak.

NSRC-2012 brings together researchers and educators from academia, government and industry in the largest forum of its kind regarding next-generation suborbital spaceflight, providing speaking, workshops, a press conference and networking opportunities for the whole community.

"NSRC-2012 is shaping up to be a bigger blockbuster than NSRC-2011 by quite a bit. At the 2011 conference, more than 350 attendees were registered and we're well ahead of last year's registration mark at this time," said Dr. Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), NSRC-2012's program chair and organizer.

Objectives of the 2012 conference are to educate a broad array of research communities in the opportunities that the new wave of reusable, commercial human suborbital vehicles offer for research and education missions; to hear questions, feedback and ideas from researchers and educators about mission applications and user requirements; and to create new interest among U.S. and international researchers and educators for potential next-generation suborbital funding by entities such as NASA, U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation and private industry.

Abstracts will be accepted until Dec. 2, 2011. For more information about abstracts or registration, go to

For more information, contact Deb Schmid, (210) 522-2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.