"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 and 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, Planetary research, Commercial applications and other unique functions too 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 year's conference begins on Monday November 14 with a full day of four 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. For details on each Tutorial go to the Tutorial Description pages.
The 29th IEST Space Simulation Conference will begin the paper presentations on Tuesday November 15. We have 4 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 Paul Geithner. He is a Program Executive working at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. It will be exciting to hear what is ongoing and what is upcoming at NASA including updates on James Webb Space Telescope.
For the Tuesday luncheon we are honored to have Glen Fountain as the Keynote speaker. He is the "New Horizons" Project Manager and will update us on discoveries made by spacecraft during by-pass of Pluto.
To kick off Wednesday morning, the Keynote speaker will be Ben Reed, NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office Deputy Project Manager. He will be talking about a new and upcoming endeavor of servicing spacecraft in orbit, how that benefits us and where it will lead.
The Wednesday night Social Event will be at the Goddard Space Flight Center Visitors center. We will be taking a tour of the Goddard Integration and Test building which should have the James Webb Optical Telescope Integrated System (OTIS) in the final stages of testing. We will tour and socialize in the visitor center and be dazzled by a Science on a Sphere presentation.
Thursday we will open with a Keynote speaker and will have a full day of presentations that will conclude the conference in the afternoon.
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 that do what you do every day. I have been involved in the Space Simulation Conference for more than 10 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 success of the 29th IEST Space Simulation Conference is in large part due to the awesome support, dedication and extra hours put in by the 26 members of the Management and Technical Program committees. They make a tremendous team and as always have done a tremendous job bringing together this conference. I would like to specifically thank Brent Nielsen for his efforts in putting together the Technical Program, I believe it is the hardest of all the tasks in preparing for this conference. I would like to thank those on the Technical Committee that support the authors of the papers in whatever they need and getting the papers and all other material in on time. I would like to thank the past General Chairs that have given great advice and guidance not just for this conference but throughout our industry. I would like to thank those that are retired but still support the conference committees. Their continued dedication and enthusiasm makes the extra work much easier to do and enjoy. I would like to thank the rest of the Management Committee that 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 are 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. Also you can go to the Space Simulation Web Site vendor page to get more information and a link to each vendor's home page.
Finally, I would like to thank Dynavac, m+p, PHPK and Muller-BBM and IEST for sponsoring the Wednesday night Social event at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Without their financial support to that event we would not be able to have it.
The Management and Technical 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 29th Space Simulation Conference has to offer.