Press Release

2011 Next-Gen Suborbital Researchers Conference a Hit, 2012 Follow-up Conference Planned

By SpaceRef Editor
March 3, 2011
Filed under , ,
2011 Next-Gen Suborbital Researchers Conference a Hit, 2012 Follow-up Conference Planned

Image: PR Newswire press release regarding SwRI/XCOR suborbital flight announcement as seen in Times Square in New York City. Larger image.

Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 3, 2011 – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) held in Orlando, Florida, this week set records for the number of presentations, sponsors and attendees. The annual conference brings the research and education communities together with suborbital vehicle providers and government funding agencies to explore the exciting new era of suborbital spaceflight. CSF is a proud co-sponsor of the event, which was attended by about 350 people.

NSRC organizing chairman Dr. Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute stated, “When we first conceived the idea for NSRC, many people were skeptical that such a meeting would generate much interest. Some even thought the research and education communities were simply not interested in suborbital science. But just as in 2010, people have voted with their feet and come to NSRC by the hundreds. And once again we heard an amazing variety of proposals to exploit the capabilities of next-gen suborbital spaceflight — in fact, the number of presentations by researchers and educators increased 40 percent over last year.”

Stern added, “Clearly, many people are very interested in the capabilities that next-gen suborbital can provide to the research and education communities.”

Bretton Alexander, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, stated, “The interest from researchers in these new commercial suborbital spacecraft was immediately apparent at this week’s Florida conference. The excitement in the air was contagious. It’s becoming increasingly clear that scientists and educators can’t wait to put payloads and experiments onboard these vehicles.”

In addition to featuring more than 120 presentations spread among 20 technical sessions, this year’s NSRC also featured four discussion panels, a press conference, presentations or booths by 25 sponsors, and a public evening presentation by Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.

“This year’s NSRC, like 2010’s, has been a galvanizing event for both the suborbital industry and the space research and education communities, demonstrating that the level of researcher and educator interest in next-gen suborbital is dramatically growing,” added Stern. “In response to the high turnout at NSRC in Orlando, we are today announcing that NSRC-2012 will take place in the San Francisco area next February 27-29, and will be hosted by NASA Ames Research Center. I’m looking forward to that already!”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit or contact Executive Director John Gedmark at or at 202.349.1121.

SpaceRef staff editor.