17–19 September 2018
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, Florida

NASA and Industry on Space Exploration


Panelists for “NASA Directions”: Moderator Stephen Jurczyk, associate administrator, NASA; Steven Clarke, deputy associate administrator for exploration, NASA Science Mission Directorate; John Guidi, deputy director, Advanced Exploration Systems, NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate; James Reuter, acting associate administrator, NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate

Panelists for “Industry Perspectives”: Moderator Dan Dumbacher, executive director, AIAA; Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of commercial civil space, Lockheed Martin Space Co.; Steven Lindsey, vice president of space exploration systems, Sierra Nevada Corp.

by Tom Risen, Aerospace America staff reporter

AIAA SPACE FORUM, Orlando, Fla., Sept. 19, 2018 — In two back-to-back panel discussions in the “New Directions in Space Exploration” session, representatives from NASA and the private space industry spoke about how their groups can collaborate on missions to the moon and Mars.

In the “NASA Directions” panel, Stephen Jurczyk, associate administrator at NASA headquarters, stressed a “fiscal realism” mentality for upcoming deep space missions.

Jurczyk called for “a cadence of missions” that are sustainable enough to ensure a consistent presence in space and on the moon.

Commercial partnerships will be crucial for this so NASA does not have to develop everything itself. This includes development of lunar landers, said Steven Clarke, deputy associate administrator for exploration at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, referring to a request for proposal published in September for U.S. companies to provide commercial lunar payload services.

“NASA will be buying services for small lunar landers to go to the surface of the moon as early as next year,” Clarke said, adding that NASA has shared science data from deep space missions with other countries and will have to “build on” those partnerships to share any resources and samples collected.

In the “Industry Perspectives” panel, representatives from Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corp. took the stage. Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of commercial civil space at Lockheed Martin Space Co. said “we need to spend more time and dollars” on what to do once humans arrive at the moon and Mars to get the most from those missions. 


Participants in the "New Directions in Space Exploration” session, Sept. 18 at the 2018 AIAA SPACE Forum in Orlando, Fla.

Building spacecraft that can be flown on multiple missions — such as the Orion crew capsule Lockheed Martin is developing — is a top method to save time and money, Callahan said, adding “reusability has a couple of different flavors.”

The space industry is “very small,” so companies both collaborate and compete, said Steven Lindsey, vice president of space exploration systems at Sierra Nevada.

“We are kind of like frenemies,” Lindsey said, adding that when one space company fails, it hurts the whole industry.

“If we make a mistake, we want others to learn from that,” Lindsey said.

Watch the full video for more details.

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