Coming to Huntsville in May: NSS 2011 International Space Development Conference

The 30th International Space Development Conference (ISDC), the annual gathering of the National Space Society (NSS), is coming to the Von Braun Center in Huntsville May 18-22, 2011. NSS and its local chapter, the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5), are looking forward to hosting entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, politicians, and private citizens who are interested in creating a spacefaring civilization “From the Ground Up,” which is the theme of the conference.

ISDC 2011 on The Space Show: ISDC 2011 Chair, Bart Leahy, and Business Track Chair, Cliff McMurray, were on The Space Show with David Livingston on March 22. They talked about ISDC 2011, space advocacy, space policy, and space networking. Click here to listen.

With all the changes and uncertainties in the space business, it would be nice to get some perspective, as well as some idea of what the future might hold. ISDC does just that. ISDC will cover the broad spectrum of space topics, including the current and future states of space policy, the proposed Space Launch System, the future of the International Space Station, military space activities, Earth and planetary sciences, and the Google Lunar X Prize. Other sessions will discuss space-based solar power, biotechnology, breakthrough science and technology, space settlement and colonization, living in space, education, advocacy, and outreach, economy and business, and space history…but that’s not all.

To address these challenging topics, our programming will feature panels and talks by professionals from across the industry, from NASA to commercial space to military space to the halls of Congress to the science community. Among these speakers will be international, national, and local experts, including:

  • Lori Garver, NASA Deputy Administrator
  • David Neyland, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Office (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office
  • George Nield, Associate Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation
  • Dennis Stone, Manager, Program Integration, Commercial Crew and Cargo Program, NASA
  • John Logsdon, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Phil McAlister, Acting Director, Commercial Human Spaceflight, NASA HQ
  • Buzz Aldrin, Former Apollo 11 Astronaut, Author, and Founder, ShareSpace Foundation
  • Michael Griffin, UA Huntsville Eminent Scholar and former NASA Administrator
  • George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic
  • Michael Simpson, President, International Space University
  • Ken Money, President, National Space Society and former Canadian astronaut
  • Klaus Dannenberg, Deputy Executive Director, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Simon ‘Pete’ Worden, Director, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Robert Zubrin, Founder and President, Mars Society
  • Les Johnson, Deputy Manager, Advanced Concepts Office, NASA MSFC, and Author
  • Tim Pickens, Chief Propulsion Engineer and Commercial Space Advisor, Dynetics, and Team lead, Rocket City Space Pioneers
  • Deborah Barnhart, CEO, U.S. Space & Rocket Center

In addition to these luminaries, NSS will be presenting the Wernher Von Braun Award ( to Japanese Hayabusa team for their work in developing a spacecraft to bring samples of asteroid material back to Earth. The award is given every other year and recognizes excellence in management of, and leadership for, a space-related project. Previous winners of the award include Burt Rutan, Steven W. Squyres, Donna Shirley, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., George Mueller, Max Hunter, and Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger. This year, we are privileged to have Curt Von Braun, an executive at Raytheon and nephew of Wernher von Braun, presenting the award on behalf of NSS.

This year’s ambitious agenda also will feature a trade show for civil, military, academic, and non-profit groups interested in space activities; a job fair hosted by Huntsville Space Professionals and Next Step in Space; and a book fair showcasing the latest in space-themed authors. All of these activities will be hosted in the VBC East Hall, while technical programming will occupy most of the North Hall.

Prior to ISDC proper, which begins on May 19, on May 18 the National Space Society will host the Space Investment Summit, an invitation-only event that educates space-minded entrepreneurs on the ins and outs of securing investors and doing business. Huntsville entrepreneur, “rocket man,” and Google Lunar X Prize team leader Tim Pickens will be the keynote speaker for this event.

Other opportunities for registered conference attendees include tours of Marshall Space Flight Center, the United Launch Alliance plant in Decatur, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, and discounts at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp.

For more information on exhibiting or sponsoring, attending, or volunteering for ISDC 2011, visit the web site is Come learn how to make a spacefaring civilization grow “from the ground up!”


Picture of National Space Society

National Space Society

Leave a Comment

future 1

Don't Miss a Beat!

Be the first to know when new articles are posted!

Follow Us On Social Media


Give The Gift Of Space: Membership For Friends and Family

Book Review


ISDC 2025:
Together Beyond!

In Orlando at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
June 19 - 22, 2025


Image of Kalpana One space settlement courtesy Bryan Versteeg, $32,000 in Cash Awards Given for Best Space-Related Business Plans — Deadline March 1, 2024

Category: Nonfiction Reviewed by: John J. Vester Title: Nuclear Rockets: To the Moon and Mars Author: Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried Format: Paperback/Kindle Pages: 270 Publisher:

Partially Successful Flight Reached Space and Demonstrated New “Hot Staging” System The National Space Society congratulates SpaceX on the second test of its Starship/Super Heavy

Ad Astra, the NSS quarterly print, digital, and audio magazine, has won a 2023 MARCOM Gold Award. The awards are given yearly for “Excellence in

By Jennifer Muntz, NSS Member Coordinator On October 10th, an inspiring breakfast event took flight at the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space

By Grant Henriksen NSS Policy Committee Benefit sharing is a concept that refers to the distribution of benefits derived from the exploration and use of

People residing and working in space, space settlements, or on long-duration space flights will need to produce infrastructures and food to maintain healthy lifestyles. The

Image: Artist’s concept of the Blue Moon lander. Credit: Blue Origin. Second Human Landing System Contract Encourages Competition and Innovation The National Space Society congratulates