Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI, CSF announce 2017 suborbital space researchers, educators conference in Colorado

For immediate release

San Antonio — Aug. 23, 2017 — As a new generation of suborbital space vehicles prepares to come online for space research, education, and space tourism over the next two years, the 2017 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will bring together hundreds of researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceport operators, government officials, and others in late December. NSRC-2017 will be held in Broomfield, Colo., just outside Denver, Dec. 18–20, opened by a Dec. 17 reception featuring experienced NASA and commercial astronauts.

NSRC is the premier conference for the suborbital space research and education community. NSRC-2017 follows five highly successful NSRC meetings, the first held in 2010. Information about NSRC’s program, sponsors, venue, and other information is available at the conference website,

Organized by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), NSRC-2017 will feature invited presentations, panels, workshops, contributed talks, and numerous networking opportunities. The lead keynote speaker will be Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science. Other keynoters include former NASA Shuttle commander and Blue Origins executive Jeff Ashby and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. A wide variety of speakers, including FAA Associate Administrator for Spaceflight Dr. George Nield, are also scheduled to speak.  

NSRC-2017 will focus on research and education opportunities offered by human-tended commercial suborbital vehicles. The conference will provide an in-depth forum for attendees to learn about how they can conduct research and public outreach using new commercial suborbital spaceflight systems.

“Rocket and balloon companies have demonstrated more mature flight-tested systems over the past year, and a new era of routine access to suborbital space for payloads and people is soon approaching. NSRC-2017 is poised to benefit researchers and educators looking to take advantage of that new era,” said SwRI Associate Vice President Dr. Alan Stern, NSRC-2017 convener and program chair.

“2017 has shown steep growth in the achievements and capabilities of the suborbital industry,” added CSF President Eric Stallmer. “There has never been a better time for researchers and educators to become involved in the suborbital platforms that are about to become abundantly available — and NSRC-2017 is the place to do it!”

For more information about poster abstracts, sponsorship opportunities, or to register for NSRC-2017, visit or contact Cindy Conrad at (720) 240-0126. 

For more information, contact Maria Stothoff, (210) 522-3305, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.