Between January 24th and 26th approximately 100 space enthusiasts including students, industry professionals, and university professors gathered in Kingston for yet another Queen’s Space Conference. The theme this year was “Canada’s place in tomorrow’s space industry.”
Azam Shaghaghi who was one of the delegates and speaker provides the following summary on the conference:
The Queen’s Space Conference (QSC) is a two-and-a-half day conference consisting of talks by space industry experts and professionals. It sought to encompass the entire spectrum of the space industry – privatization and commercialization, asteroid mining, settling Mars, legalities and policy, manned missions, and more – by analyzing where these aspects are trending and where Canada sits on the internal and international scales.
The keynote speakers came from all corners of the space industry, in an effort to explore beyond just the technical aspects of space exploration, provided a greater perspective on the industry as a whole. QSC also focused on the topic of space tourism and the Canadian players, new mergers and start-ups along with the ongoing operations in this sector.
The Space Tourism Society Canada (STS Canada) introduced the newly reactivated Canadian chapter along with the public programs and engaging various communities and universities with STEM activities to build up the concept of space tourism in public.
STS Canada is also the main wing of organizers for International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2014 Space Engagement Track which is considered to be an international stage for key Canadian players in the space sector. ISDC 2014 is being held in Los Angeles between May 14-19, 2014. It is estimated that twelve hundred delegates will participate.
Also in the tourism track, the Canadian Adventure Travel Company (ATC), one of XCOR’s ticket agency resellers for suborbital flights said that Suborbital Space Flights are likely by the end of 2014 and early 2015.
In the the technical side of the space exploration track, Nick Cristello from Neptec Design Group covered their rovers missions along with outlining Neptec’s future robotic plans.
Space policy and space commercialization were addressed by Sirisha Bandla, the assistant director of Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Sirisha provide an update of FAA regulation and policies related to private space flights.
The Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada (RMCC) representative were Ron Vincent and Marc Fricker who presented the ongoing space activities at RMCC with a focus on military space and the future of space commercialization.
The conference was followed by a Case Competition: Plan the first Mars colony and was contested by 11 teams.
The QSC 2014 executive team members included: Ted Donelly, Daniel Armitage, Mark TammingIvan Mokrooussoc, Jennifer Erskine, Roni Goswami, Will Carter, Lily Sundararaj, Katrina Stirling, Michaela Thomas and Dylan Yang.