Attend a suborbital rocket meeting, and you might win a seat to space!

Attend a suborbital rocket meeting, and you might win a seat to space!

Attend a suborbital rocket meeting, and you might win a seat to space!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Nov. 23 2011 9:45 AM

Attend a suborbital rocket meeting, and you might win a seat to space!

This is not a joke: if you attend the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference 2012, you could win a seat on an XCOR suborbital rocket flight to space!

I'll note this conference is a technical meeting for suborbital researchers, so it's not like Comic Con. Still, I know a lot of scientist-types read this blog, so it's worth promoting. I attended the meeting here in Boulder in 2010, and it was a fascinating look into a new field of research: science done on crewed suborbital rocket flights, where microgravity (free fall) conditions last for as long as four minutes. That's long enough to do a lot of interesting work, including astronomy, physics, engineering, and biology.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Advertisement

The meeting is being sponsored by the Southwest Research Institute and many other groups, including XCOR Aerospace, which is developing a reusable suborbital spaceplane that can carry people above the 100 km (62 mile) demarcation line of space. And they're putting their money where their mouth is: one paid registrant to NSRC 2012 will win a seat on XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle, where they can perform their research. This is a $95,000 value!

How cool is that?

If you want to attend the conference and present a paper, the deadline for submitting abstracts is December 2.

And no, I'm not submitting. I get sick on a kid's swing set. I'll let astronauts and people with more solid stomachs take to space. I'm happy to wave at them from the ground.