MIT To Host Commercial Space Conference

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The New Age Space Conference will convene March 11 at the MIT Samberg Conference Center to discuss the future of the commercial space industry. Barret Schlegelmilch, the conference organizer and an MIT graduate student, told AVweb the conference is “is one of the only places where you’ll find entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, astronauts, startup founders and aerospace engineers in the same room. The space industry is undergoing a period of major growth and commercialization, and this conference is set to explore the next exciting directions it will take.”

The list of scheduled speakers includes representatives from Boeing, Blue Origin, NASA and Iridium, as well as many smaller organizations. Schlegelmilch wouldn’t pick a favorite, but told AVweb he was excited to hear from Natalya Bailey, CEO of Accion Systems: “Accion is a very successful startup out of MIT that is working to revolutionize satellite propulsion. Natalya should have some interesting stories about Accion’s growth and great insights into how to create a sustainable business model for a startup in the space industry.”

The conference comes on the heels of SpaceX announcement that they intend to take two paying passengers to lunar orbit and back in 2018. NASA had planned an unmanned circumlunar flight in 2018 with humans to follow in 2021, but President Trump is reportedly pushing NASA to put humans aboard the 2018 trip, setting up an unlikely space race between NASA and private industry.