SEDS SpaceVision Conference Kicks Off w/ Bill Nye
Greetings from Boulder, Colorado! I am currently at the annual Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) conference, SpaceVision 2011. For those unfamiliar, SEDS is a student-run organization that was founded by Peter Diamandis (XPF CEO), Bob Richards (CEO of Moon Express), and Todd Hawley back in 1980. Like so many of us, they wanted to go to space someday -- so they started a student club to bring together young people who were passionate and ambitious about space exploration. As stated on seds.org: "SEDS believes in a space-faring civilization and that focusing the enthusiasm of young people is the key to our future in space."
I was a part of SEDS when I was a college student, and it's safe to say that the organization and the people connected to it have greatly contributed to where I am today. SEDS is something near and dear to my heart, although I must admit that this is the first time that I've been able to attend the annual conference. Day one of the conference hasn't even concluded yet, but I can already say that I am very impressed. The students organizing SpaceVision kicked off the conference with Bill Nye the Science Guy, speaking to a sold-out crowd of 1000 people at the University of Colorado last night. Bill Nye was an inspiration for so many of us as we were growing up, and he carried on the tradition by giving a great speech last night. I highly recommend watching the video of it: Moonandback.com has already posted the video on Vimeo. It's over an hour long, but well worth watching.
This morning our Googler, Tiffany Montague, gave an inspiring keynote speech about how she became the "Intergalactic Federation King Almighty and Commander of the Universe" at Google (yes, her real job title!), which was followed by an interesting commercial spaceflight panel and Pete Worden (Center Director of NASA Ames), who gave a great post-lunch talk about current/future NASA projects and collaborations. It is inspiring to see the excitement and avid interest that these students demonstrate for space exploration, and I'm looking forward to speaking with many of them over the course of the next few days.