Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 22-03-2012

SPACE: From Foray to Habitation Conference

by Martin Rigby

SPACE: From Foray to Habitation Conference

The Scientific Preparatory Academy for Cosmic Explorers (SPACE) is a nascent undergraduate space university that fills a gap in the current space education pipeline. It will provide an undergraduate programme dedicated to multidisciplinary international space education and hands-on research.

This new academy has been established on the Isle of Man due to its favorable business environment and the Government’s interest in developing space technology.

Tim Craine, Director of Space Commerce at the Department of Economic Development, confirmed his department’s commitment to this niche sector:

“Over the last decade, the Isle of Man has been pro-actively developing its space industry and is now able to boast a cluster of space related companies based on the Island including satellite operators, insurers, manufacturers, space tourism, global space related not for profit organisations, space related academic institutions and many more. We believe that the Island has built a solid reputation and is now known and respected around the world as a centre of excellence for space related activities.”

Initially, SPACE will focus on the development of new technologies for asteroid deflection and mitigation. Other future projects include developing optical interferometry techniques and telescope arrays for detecting exosolar planets, and Deep Space Navigation sensor development, necessary for attaining position and attitude during interplanetary travel.

Although space research is exciting, SPACE’s ultimate aim is to expand from a research institution into an accredited four-year university. A space conference in July and a space retreat this winter are both steps towards that. The conference is entitled SPACE: from Foray to Habitation and will be held on the Isle of Man at the Sefton Hotel in Douglas, from July 9-10, 2012. It has already attracted numerous high profile speakers and delegates.

As the conference title implies, delegates will primarily explore and call for a united effort to colonise the solar system. The agenda features an exploration of three themes: i) requirements for space education, ii) technical barriers to a space faring civilisation, and iii) legal and institutional barriers to space habitation.

Conference organisers include Professor David Hyland, innovative educator and optical interferometry and asteroid mitigation expert, Roy Tucker, famed asteroid discoverer and electro-optical engineer, space lawyer Virgiliu Pop, entrepreneur and aerospace engineer Ryan Goodnight, space entrepreneur Shen Ge, and aerospace engineers Hyerim Kim, Neha Satak, and Darkhan Alimzhanov. Conference delegates include Chris Stott of ManSat, Art Dula, space entrepreneur and space law expert, Dumitriu-Dorin Prunariu, former cosmonaut and head of UNCUPUOS, Rick Tumlinson, space visionary and entrepreneur, Tim Craine, Director of Space Commerce on the Isle of Man, and Dr. Haithem Altwaijry, Director of the Space Research Institute of Saudi Arabia.

Further information can be found on the conference website:

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