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"Fifty Years of Advancing the Testing Boundaries

Welcome to the 29th Space Simulation Conference. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Space Simulation Conference. With this year's theme “Fifty Years of Advancing the Testing Boundaries”, we celebrate the pioneers in the past 50 years that have pushed the Boundaries of Testing in order to achieve extraordinary results.

The conference began in the midst of the Gemini and Apollo missions which prepared America for landing people on the moon. Many exciting things were happening in 1966, including the Soviet Union’s soft landing of Luna 9 on the moon. That year marked the first time that a man made item landed on another planetary body and sent data back to earth. It also included the first spacecraft docking, with Gemini 8 and the Agena Target Vehicle (ATV) and a 14 day spaceflight record on Gemini 5 by Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad.

Scientists and Engineers of the day determined that a conference that concentrated on increasing the knowledge base and sharing information on the difficulties of simulating the environments of space would be beneficial to industry and the American Space Program. Since the first Conference in 1966 the attendees and supporters of the conference have been instrumental in many things including, putting people on the Moon, simulating the environments of our solar system and the Martian surface so that Spacecraft and Rovers can survive in these severe conditions. They have helped make the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station successful National and International Assets, along with supporting thousands of other spacecraft that perform functions of National Defense, Earth science, Planet research, Commercial applications and hundreds of other functions to numerous to mention.

A half century ago the conference consisted entirely of United States professionals. Today the conference has grown to include attendees from as many as 10 different countries. The advancement of attendance from around the globe shows the importance of ‘Advancing the Testing Boundaries’ to ensure that the Flight hardware that will operate in the harshest of environments will not only survive but will thrive and operate flawlessly to its nominal life span and in most cases well beyond. The Space Simulation Conference is and has been a tremendous venue for the experts and the novices in the field to share experiences, techniques, triumphs and even failures.

Fifty years of accomplishments is an honorable achievement but we cannot rest on what has been done in the past. We must build on the past to make the future even more exciting and confront the challenges that lie ahead of us by continuing to ‘Advance the Testing Boundaries’.

The 29th Space Simulation Conference is sponsored by IEST and co-sponsored by ASTM, NASA, CSA and APL. This continuous successful support of these sponsors has been vital for the past and present events.

This years conference begins on Monday November 14 with a full day of tutorials. The tutorials are meant to not only educate the seasoned veteran but to start a young technician or engineer off to the right start in their career. The day will start out with ..........................

Brian Langmyer
General Chair