Chairman Message
Tutorial Overview
Technical Program
Keynote Speakers
Social Events
SSC Committee



Welcome to the 30th Space Simulation Conference. With this year’s theme, “Mission Success through Testing of Critical Challenges,” we celebrate the triumphs of our Space Simulation Testing over the past 50+ years that have helped push us beyond the boundaries and limits of our test capabilities and to travel further in space than ever before. We are flying to the sun with the Parker Solar Probe which will need to withstand temperatures outside the spacecraft that reach nearly 2,500 F (1,377 C) while we had New Horizons fly by Pluto back in 2015 where there is little solar energy at all. We are also on the brink of launching the James Webb Space Telescope which has the potential to take scientists back to the evolution of our universe.

Following on the heels of our past conference which celebrated our conference’s 50th year in existence we now celebrate another milestone of hosting our 30th conference. Our biannual conference gives an opportunity for technical personnel to learn about some of the latest testing techniques by attending the tutorial sessions as well as getting some nuggets of information from the great technical papers presented. The information is current and informative and covers topics from dynamics, contamination control techniques, to thermal vacuum testing and facility modernizations. We also have some interesting topics on test techniques and data recording and processing.

In order for future missions to have “Mission Success through Testing of Critical Challenges,” conference attendees will be instrumental in developing the proper testing techniques in a cost effective manner, so that the scientific goals of the United States and the world can be successfully achieved. The Space Simulation Conference is an integral part of that success and will continue to be for many years to come. This conference continues to be a focus of technical experts from the United States with continued attendance and participation from our international partners. The conference is and has been a tremendous venue for experts and novices in the field to share experiences, techniques, triumphs, and even failures.

This year’s conference begins on Monday, November 5, with a full day of four tutorials. The tutorials are meant not only to educate the seasoned veteran but also to ensure that a young technician or engineer is off to the right start in his or her career. For details on each tutorial please see the Tutorial Overview pages. Technical presentations will begin on Tuesday, November 6. The technical proceedings are broken into six categories with some great content. For a program schedule on each technical presentation please see the Technical Program pages.

We have three great keynote speakers lined up to open each day and for the complimentary luncheon. We are excited to start off Tuesday with an opening keynote presentation by Ed Hawkins. Ed is a Principal Professional Staff member at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and will be talking about the Europa Clipper Mission. It will be interesting to hear about the challenges of going to such a harsh environment and being able to survive in order to complete the mission. For the Tuesday luncheon, we are honored to have Nicola Fox and Betsy Congdon as the keynote speakers. They are project scientist and lead engineer, respectively, on the Parker Solar Probe mission and will update us on the current trip to “touch” the sun.

To kick off Wednesday morning, the keynote speaker will be Melissa Grady Trainer, Research Space Scientist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She will be talking about the Dragonfly rotorcraft lander mission, part of the New Frontiers Program proposals, which will explore surface composition and atmosphere about Titan.

The Wednesday night social event will be at the Chart House on the water in Annapolis. Though there won’t be an organized tour, if the weather permits it is a beautiful area to take a little walk along the waterfront. We will have an organized social hour with hors devours followed by a sit down meal. But hopefully everyone will feel free to continue to mingle through our casual dinner.

If you work in the space simulation area, this conference is a place to learn new things, get updated on things going on in the industry, and network with other professionals who do what you do every day. I have been involved in the Space Simulation Conference for more than ten years, and without a doubt it has been one of the most rewarding, educational, and career-advancing things I have done. I encourage everyone in the space simulation arena to attend. You will not be disappointed.

The 30th Space Simulation Conference is sponsored by IEST and cosponsored by ASTM, NASA, CSA, and APL. Continuous successful support by these sponsors has been vital for the past and present events.

The success of the 30th IEST Space Simulation Conference is in large part due to the support and dedication of the 26 members of the Management and Technical Program committees. They make a tremendous team and, as always, have done an incredible job bringing together this conference. I would like to specifically thank Ken Turner for his efforts in putting together the Technical Program. I believe it is the most difficult of all the tasks in preparing for this conference. I would like to thank those on the Technical Program Committee who support the authors of the papers with whatever they need and ensure that the papers and all other materials are submitted on time. I would like to thank the past General Chairs who have given great advice and guidance not just for this conference but throughout our industry.

I would especially like to thank those who are retired but still continue to provide invaluable support to the conference committees. Their continued dedication and enthusiasm make the extra work much easier to do and enjoy. I would like to thank the rest of the Management Committee, who take on specific roles and responsibilities for the conference and every year outperform the last.

IEST’s support has been invaluable to the success and growth of this conference. The vendor community that supports the Space Simulation Conference is composed of the companies that we in our industry use on a regular basis. Make sure you stop by each booth and get information on their products. You can also go to the Space Simulation website’s vendor page to get more information and a link to each vendor’s homepage.

Finally, I would like to thank Dynavac, m+p, PHPK, PCB Pieziotronics, and IEST for sponsoring the Wednesday night social event at the Chart House. Without their financial support for that event, we would not be able to have it.

The Management and Technical Program Committees worked hard to provide you with an intellectually stimulating and socially rewarding venue. We are so happy you are here to take advantage of what the 30th Space Simulation Conference has to offer.

Brent Nielsen
General Chair