Saturday, June 1, 2013

Catching up on the New Space Industry

Much of my reason for leaving Alaska was to get with what is called the New Space Industry.  Our OpenLuna project is part of the movement. Interestingly, we founded ISECCo back in 1988 under the exact same concept, so I was New Space before New Space was cool.  So I had the chance to come over the California for two conferences, the first being the SpaceExpo which had a free exhibit area and two speaking forums plus one speaking forum at the usual framework of a sizable conference fee.  The second was the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) which is the annual meeting of the National Space Society (NSS).  They overlapped one day and were a couple hours apart. 

In the pilot's seat at the Expo; Full Scale mock up of Lynx
The Space Expo is actually a trade show and the topic of the paid conference was the business case for space.  It was held in Long Beach May 21-23, and was a few miles from a friends home where I was able to stay.  Thank you Monika, Andrew and Isabelle.  The booths were varied but highly technical in nature.  The ISDC was just north of San Diego in La Jolla a couple miles south of LA/Long Beach.  It was May 23 thru Memorial Day.  I only attended Friday afternoon and Saturday and mostly stayed in the exhibit area tending the booth for OpenLuna with some help from Gordan Fisher and he managed it on Sunday for us, thank you.  The topics of discussion were at a much higher level in general with highly technical stuff available for those.  The exhibitors were few and the room lightly attended but the ones who did come through were good contacts. 

I left the mountain, which the locals call the "rim of the world" into the LA area.  Traffic wasn't too bad but I forgot one of the highways and went a bit out of the way, story of my trips these days,and I arrived around Noon in Long Beach, the first day of the Space Expo at the Long Beach Conference and Entertainment center.  The booths ranged from companies producing connectors to facilities in formation like The California Space Enterprise Center.  The well known players XCorp, the X-Prize, The Planetary Society, SEDS, and Boeing had booths.  The Commercial Space Flight Federation sponsored the coffee. There were manufactures, testing labs, test equipment rental companies, sensor manufacturers so very technical skiled people.  I would ask them what they had that I would need to get to the moon.  I left after 2 1/2 days
with a pile of data sheets and promotional materials. 

The best contact came on day 2, I stopped by APV Manufacturing's booth to see what they did. They engineer and manufacture any part out of many material for development (vs production, i.e. 1-15 copies).
I spoke with Bruce Richardson, a Retired Army Col, was intersted in helping with OpenLuna and has become our Marketing Manager.  He has a plan.  More will come on this soon.  I am very excited
that we could get things moving very fast.

Full Scale exhibit of Lynx spacecraft under development
Between the prospect of a marketing manager (what we have been really needing for the project) and the promotional ideas that Jerry was talking about it was very tempting to return to the mountain (Lake Arrowhead) and get started.  The problem was, the team originally planning to attend ISDC were not going to make it and I had the brochures for that exhibit table.  So Friday morning, I drove down the La Jolla amidst some slow traffic so when it finally picked up the pace I almost missed the exit.  The only reason I caught it was because I needed an exit anyway.  As it happened, traffic was just starting to back up at the intersection and I just got off in time.  When I left early at the end of the exhibit time on Saturday, I was able to say, "I am going to get working on the problem instead of just talking about it" and everyone liked that.  After 5 days at conferences, my brain was pretty full anyway.

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