Show Floor Features

Astronauts Making the Business Case

Sponsored by:

Thursday, December 7, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m

This special SpaceCom panel of decorated astronauts discussed how technology transfer from their space experiences helped them in creating business opportunities. The panel discussed the challenges of transitioning from governmental to entrepreneurial environments and explore the commercial potential of space technologies into the future.

Astronauts included:

  • Greg Johnson, Executive Director, CASIS (moderator)
  • Scott Altman, Engineering, Aerospace and Mission Systems, ASRC Federal
  • Franklin Chang Díaz, CEO, Ad Astra Rocket Company
  • Dave Wolf, Managing Director, EarthTomorrow, Inc.
  • Carl Walz, Director, Business Development, Space Systems, Oceaneering
  • Frank Culbertson, President, Space Systems Group, Orbital ATK

Panelists were available to take pictures with attendees after the discussion. A book signing table was set up as well. 


SpaceCom Innovation Theater

Thank you for visiting SpaceCom’s Innovation Theater on the show floor in Booth 250 for interactive presentations about cutting-edge products, service innovations, and research fueling space commercialization and business innovation.





Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD)

NASA has been working on a lightweight, inflatable spacecraft heat shield entry, descent and landing(EDL) technology known as Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, or HIAD, because of its versatility and scalability for NASA missions.  There are two main components to the technology – the inflatable structure and the thermal protective system.  Scientists and engineers working on EDL technologies create materials and systems for higher temperatures and stress loads that will benefit many areas, particularly the return of commercial assets from space.


ISS Hybrid Reality Experience

An environment simulation of the ISS, where users can interact with virtual bjects, handrails, and tracked physical objects -an incredibly realistic and immersive system that could be used to provide training, support engineering analysis, and augment data collection for various human performance metrics at NASA, through the combination of virtual reality and augmented reality.


Orion Aft Flight Bay Mockup

The Orion Aft Flight Bay Mockup provides a test environment for wireless sensors employing RFID technology.


Space Communications and Navigation (SCAN) Hologram

Assets of the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program are created into models and projected on our Holographic video display. NASA’s SCaN Program sponsors the exhibit to communicate the message of “Entering the Decade of Light” in an innovative, animated way. Content includes an animation of the purpose, functionality and design of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) 13 created by one of our Program’s former summer interns.


Space Suit Art Project – Space Suit Unity

Space suit “UNITY” is assembled from hand-painted swatches provided by the space centers that partnered to build the International Space Station and by children’s hospitals around the world, symbolizing the global issues surrounding childhood cancer.


Telescience Resource Kit (TReK) Photo System

The Telescience Resource Kit (TReK) is a suite of software applications that is used by payload developers world-wide to monitor and control payloads onboard the International Space Station (ISS).  The TReK booth at SpaceCom will demonstrate how easy it is for scientists on the ground to send commands and receive ISS data from anywhere in the world (even the G.R. Brown Convention Center in Houston).  We leverage a TReK demonstration laptop currently operating on ISS and uplink conference attendees’ photos to the laptop and display their pictures on the laptop screen.  An onboard camera streams realtime video of the laptop screen, back to the ground, where we print a color photo of their “face in space” as a memento of their visit to the ISS, booth, and the conference.  Booth attendees are also able to take cell phone pictures of themselves onboard and post them to various social media sites.