Though comprised of students from a variety of backgrounds, the members of the Michigan chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) are unified by a common passion: the promotion of space exploration through public outreach and community collaboration. This past week, ten delegates from UM SEDS traveled to Cape Canaveral, Florida for the SpaceVision Conference, meeting astronauts, learning from industry leaders and panels and engaging with hundreds of students from across the country.
The three-day SpaceVision Conference featured a variety of speakers and panels that offered students exposure to numerous sectors of the space industry, including national security, commercial, public policy and government research. Owen Marr, Aerospace Engineering sophomore and member of the SEDS UM outreach team, reflected on the conference:
I think people will be surprised by the acceleration of the aerospace industry over the coming decade.Owen Marr, SEDS UM member
“SpaceVision was a wonderful experience. Being able to listen to and interact with industry professionals gives a more complete picture of where we are, and where we are going. The theme which echoed throughout the conference was the new shape of the industry… Now and in the future, a good idea can come from anyone, and if it is financially viable, it can happen. This expansion is allowing us to speed up the process of exploration and development, and I think people will be surprised with the acceleration of the industry over the coming decade.”
During the weekend, students had the opportunity to tour the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Cape Canaveral facility and visit Kennedy Space Center. They networked at a career fair featuring Virgin Orbit, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and others. They heard from experts in the field, including astronauts Sandy Magnus and Nicole Stott, and exchanged ideas for local chapter collaborations.
The UM chapter left the weekend “energized” and eager to continue their public outreach efforts. As Owen notes:
“Moving forward, [SEDS UM] will continue to push for increased exploration and development of space. We will be hosting students at Aerospace Day and other outreach events that will help inform the public, and the next generation of engineers, about the importance of space. By showing the world the value of space in their everyday lives, we can create a better future and become a more knowledgeable society.”