Space may be the final frontier, but it is swiftly opening up with the advent 3D printed rockets, satellites and other aerospace systems. We’ve previously reported on putting a 3D printer inside a CubeSat to test 3D printing in space, as well as sending a 3D printed CubeSat into space, and using 3D printed propulsion systems for CubeSats. We’re also seeing a lot of concepts for 3D printing Martian and Lunar habitats, and a host of other uses for 3D printing for space travel and operations. But where are the next great ideas for using additive manufacturing going to come from? Maybe that incredibly innovative idea is floating around in your head right now.
The Space Settlement Symposium (S³), part of New Worlds 2016, is seeking brief abstracts for presentations on breakthrough technologies and concepts that advance our capabilities to survive and thrive on the frontier. Presentations will be 8 minutes in length and there will be a live Q & A. What is unique about this opportunity is that there will be cash prizes for the best presentations; $500 for Best of Session and $1,000 for Best of Event. Winners of each session will get a 30 minute private meeting with a major science, engineering, or business leader who can give you advice and perhaps help you move your ideas forward. Selections will not only be judged on their content, but also on their relevance and your ability to sell your ideas.
Like the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) challenge that we recently covered, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or have a background in space-related technologies to submit an idea for a presentation. In fact, part of the purpose of this open call is to solicit crucial new ideas from people who aren’t involved in the industry. You just need to have a rocking idea and be able to present it well. Presentations, as stated by S³, must be in one of 6 topic areas:
- SPACE HIGHWAYS – Inter-Solar Transportation
- Ideas, technologies, and systems that enable the development of fast, safe, and reliable transportation between worlds in space.
- SPACE MAKERS – Manufacturing
- Ideas, technologies, and systems that enable the manufacture of products for use in space or export to Earth.
- SURVIVE AND THRIVE – Staying Healthy in Space
- Ideas, technologies, and systems affecting the ability of humans to survive and thrive in space.
- FARMERS IN THE SKY – Food and Agriculture in Space
- Ideas, technologies, and systems to provide food and supplies to settlers and workers in space.
- HOME SWEET HOME – Space Habitats
- Ideas, technologies, and systems to build habitats and communities in space (the Moon, Mars and Free Space).
- SPACE RESOURCES – Mining the Sky
- Ideas, technologies, and systems to enable the harvesting and utilization of resources found in space.
There’s not a lot of time to submit, as they are due on Friday, September 30, but the requirements are rather simple. Abstracts must include the title of the presentation, name(s) of the author(s) and their email addresses and institutional affiliation (if any) and which of the 10 topic areas your presentation best fits into. Abstracts can be up to 500 words of text (up to 1 page) and must include any tables and/or figures. Including a high-quality PowerPoint or video of you presenting your idea will enhance your chance of being invited to present, but is not required. Presentations may be assigned to a different (but relevant) session depending on how many abstracts are received in each topic area.
Abstracts will be reviewed by the conference organizers for appropriateness to the aims of the conference, and if it fits then you will be notified of acceptance by October 3, 2016. If your abstract is selected, you will need to submit a 3–5 page paper, due on October 21, that will become part of the symposium’s proceedings — the proceedings will be distributed online after the symposium has concluded. The proceedings will document the innovative and inspiring ideas, which is important so the symposium actually helps humanity achieve the goal of space settlement.
The Space Settlement Symposium is taking place at the Renaissance Austin Hotel at the Arboretum in Austin, TX. All presenters will be given passes to both days of the symposium, and a 10% discount on a seat to the Space Cowboy Gala and Ball. However, since this is the first year of S³, they cannot afford to pay for travel, food or lodging. Symposium walk-throughs/rehearsals are on November 3, and presentations at the conference will be on November 4 and 5. For more information on submitting presentations, please see the New Worlds site.
This is an incredible opportunity to advance your vision for space exploration, colonization, mining and manufacturing. Send in your abstract at warp speed, and you may find yourself presenting your bold new idea at S³.