The 28th National Space Symposium kicks off for its first full day at The Broadmoor Hotel In Colorado Springs on Tuesday. With more than 220 vendors and exhibits, a keynote address by renowned Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and a concurrent program for pre-K through college educators that will include a tour of the Air Force Academy, the Space Symposium is the premier aerospace industry event held in the United States. NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Canada's Aerospace Community highlight an international contingent at the four day gathering that runs through Thursday evening.
The symposium, including all of the biggest names in the aerospace industry, pumps millions of dollars into the southern Colorado economy each year. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, IBM and Honeywell display new projects and current products in the more than 90,000 square feet of exhibit hall space at The Broadmoor. An additional pavilion has been set-up this year to accommodate all of the companies present. As Highlights of the exhibits include proposed replacements for the Space Shuttle including the Lockheed Martin proposed "Orion" and the Boeing submitted CST-100. Companies submitted proposals for shuttle replacements in late March and NASA has not chosen the next generation vehicle for crews to get into space as of tonigh
Speakers and and panels during the week will focus on issues from propulsion to societal benefits of space applications and Earth observations to global collaborations between national space agencies. The symposium will conclude with two unique events. One is a panel discussion about the future of space exploration moderated by Bill Nye The Science Guy on Thursday afternoon. The other event is the student art contest reception. Every year, pre-K to 12th grade students from across the globe submit space inspired art in different mediums to be displayed at the symposium. The first and second place winners in each category and age group are displayed in the exhibit pavilion. Several students from southern Colorado were chosen in 2012, you can view the winners here.