Space Symposium

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By Diane Wengler

A record 8,000 people attended the 25th National Space Symposium, the premier gathering of the global space community, last month at The Broadmoor Hotel.

Despite a difficult economy, international involvement, exhibitor participation and educational involvement during the four-day event proved that the space industry is maintaining a strong position.

Futurist Alan Toffler and Bill Nye the Science Guy were among more than 70 speakers, who included the secretary of the Air Force, the director of the National Reconnaissance Office, the commander of Air Force Space Command, Gov. Bill Ritter, top space industry leaders, leading space scientists and former astronauts.

Taikonaut Zhai Zhigang, who performed China’s first spacewalk during last year’s Shenzhou 7 Mission, mingled with luminaries from The European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Agency, European Commission, International Space Station and Arianespace.

The Boeing Exhibit Centers were filled with state-of-the-art business displays that included a space capsule, space video and information about space technologies from representatives of more than 140 companies and organizations.

Job-seeking college students and transitioning military members attended a day-long career fair focusing on space-related jobs throughout the country. And almost 1,500 students participated in space-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshops and presentations.

The event was covered by more than 100 international, national and local journalists.