By Alice M. Hoffman, PE

I hope you’ll be able to join me in Los Angeles May 24-27 to experience what promises to be, through months of work by dozens of dedicated NSS volunteers, one of the best ISDCs of all time!

Thomas Mueller of SpaceX “blasts off” the conference at Thursday morning’s plenary. As the Propulsion Chief Technology Officer at SpaceX, I’m hoping he’ll share some secrets about how they make those fabulous televised landings of first stage rockets come true!

Jeff Bezos, the Founder and CEO of Amazon, as well as the Founder of aerospace company Blue Origin, will  join us on Friday for the evening reception and dinner.

These receptions are great chances for networking, and this year we’ll have some unique items up for silent auction each evening, so leave a bit of room in your suitcase to take home a treasure.

At Saturday’s lunch, hear Dr. Frank Drake (the brilliant theoretician behind the famous Drake Equation) talk about his vision of the future of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). At dinner, the venerable Freeman J. Dyson, Professor Emeritus in Mathematical Physics and Astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study, will deliver a talk entitled “Noah’s Ark Eggs.” I’m intrigued!

Our Sheraton Gateway Hotel not only runs free shuttles to the nearby LAX airport, but also to the beach, so bring the whole family to soak up some Southern California sunshine. ISDC offers a full program of fun and interesting educational opportunities for students, with many available tours including safe skydiving at iFly’s wind tunnel followed by design sessions to apply these principals to land your spacecraft on Mars (OK, adults are welcome to fly, too!).

You’ll be able to hear and interact with 160 great speakers in 4 days of talks on 17 space topics. Even our MCs will be fabulous, including NSS Governors and TV personalities Janet Ivey and Geoff Notkin. The conference theme is “Putting People into Space,” so if you want to go to space, too, be sure to .

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