Status Report

NASA NSPIRES: The Next Generation Plenary: Next Destinations for Human Space Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
January 2, 2013
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Beijing, China
23-27 September, 2013

Calling U.S. students and U.S. young professionals! If you could choose humanity’s next destination in space, where would you choose? We want to hear what you think should be the next destination for humans to explore and why your destination is the best. As today’s 21- to 35-year-olds, you will be the senior engineers and mission managers who will be carrying out and leading the next human missions to explore space, and we want your input. Why wait 10 years to be heard?! We invite you to share your ideas with space leaders in government, industry and academia at the International Astronautical Congress in Beijing, China, 23-27 September 2013!

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to address and possibly influence the international space community. We are proposing a plenary event to hear concrete ideas from 21-35 year olds on what the next destinations for human space exploration should be. If approved, this event will take place the week of 23-27 September 2013 in Beijing, China at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) ( The Plenary participants will engage in a panel discussion and interact with the audience while sharing their ideas on the possible future destinations for human space exploration including discussing the benefits, risks, and challenges of each location. The plenary will be moderated in a talk show fashion interweaving clips from the panelists’ audition videos with questions and comments from the moderator, other panelists, and the audience. The video clips will be used to enhance the audience’s understanding of the ideas of the plenary participants. This is an exciting opportunity that you do not want to miss!

This sounds great! What do I need to do to participate?

ROUND ONE: 15 Seconds of Fame!

By January 6, 2013, create a 15 second video telling us why you should be chosen to address the IAC and post it on We will only watch/listen for 15 seconds, so be sure to watch the time of your video! Then complete the application at this link.

ROUND TWO: Three Minutes!

The IAF will select the Round Two subset of candidates from the above and notify all entrants by January 22, 2013. Specific details of Round Two requirements will be sent to the candidates in the notification. Selected candidates will be asked to create and post a three minute video on a specified YouTube site by February 22, 2013.


Please record your video in a high quality audio and video format. If you are selected as a panelist, segments of your videos will be used during the plenary and leading up to it to promote the plenary. Please limit special effects, scene changes, and music. The video is about you, not your video editing skills.


The IAF will select the finalists from these entries based on their creativity, efficacy of messages and relevance to the plenary topics. We will be looking for concrete ideas on what the next destinations for humans to explore should be and why these destinations are important as well as your expertise in this area.

The IAF will make the final selection of Plenaries for the IAC in Beijing the week of 18 March 2013 and will notify the finalists of its decision by 31 March 2013.

Who Will Sponsor Me to Travel to Beijing?

Plenary participants will be responsible for finding a sponsor or sponsors for their travel to and accommodations at the IAC. In addition to the obvious sources of sponsorship – your employer or school, and industry contacts – we want to share with you some great programs for students and young professionals that occur in conjunction with the 2013 Beijing IAC. The following are all distinct programs related to the IAC but are not directly related to this plenary opportunity.

. IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme (watch for the announcement this month at

. Candidates are encouraged to contact the Space Generation Advisory Committee (SGAC) concerning the plans for the SGAC event prior to the IAC in Beijing and associated sponsorship opportunities. Visit for more information.

. Students in Europe, Japan and the United States are encouraged to contact ESA, JAXA and NASA respectively to apply to the space agencies’ student programs at the IAC in Beijing.


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SpaceRef staff editor.