Event features a conversation with an astronaut, a moon rock, panel discussions and interactive displays
TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2019) – Students, faculty and the surrounding community will have a unique opportunity next week to learn more about space exploration and technology, including the possibility of future research collaborations or entrepreneurial partnerships, when NASA’s interactive exhibit, Destination Station, visits the University of South Florida campus in Tampa.
The national awareness campaign will make a stop at USF to promote research opportunities and educate community members about activities and life on board the International Space Station (ISS). The two-day event takes place at USF’s Muma College of Business 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 5-6. A campus map can be found here. The first day of the event is geared toward students. The Nov. 6 sessions are free and open to the public. Interested attendees can view more details and register here.
On both days, event check-in starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by a NASA and ISS Lab Teams presentation at 9 a.m. Afterwards, an astronaut from NASA will deliver a keynote address about their career and participate in a Q&A with audience members. The name of the astronaut scheduled to attend has not yet been confirmed. In addition, a moon rock will be on display at the event, and starting at 1 p.m. various breakout sessions will begin and cover topics such as growing commercialization of space exploration and the prospect of entrepreneurial opportunities that come with the private sector’s increased involvement. Discussions also will focus on engineering and computer-related careers at NASA, on the ISS and in the private sector.
“We are thrilled to have the premier space program on the planet visit us,” said Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem. “Throughout the years, many have believed the field of space travel and exploration belonged to the government and, for the most part, it has. But now, commercial entities are playing more of a role in the efforts to make space more accessible to more people.”
The ISS was established to enable research that will lead to commercial applications. The space agency recently announced its support for more commercial allocation on resupply missions and that commercial companies are making it easier for various markets to take part in space commerce. Additionally, the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, which works in cooperative agreement with NASA to fully utilize the orbiting laboratory for research initiatives, has a diverse commercial portfolio of partners. More than 50 percent of the research sponsored by the ISS National Lab represents commercial companies.
Already SpaceX and Blue Origin have invested in launch and manufacturing facilities. Private companies now build space capsules and deep-space crew transports, rockets and satellites and Florida has a jump on everyone with the presence of Cape Canaveral and the expanding block of supporting industries already located in the state.
Media is invited to attend both days of Destination Station. NASA and ISS officials, as well as USF representatives, will be available to reporters. They have set aside 11 a.m. to noon on Nov. 5 for one-on-one interviews.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three separately accredited institutions: USF, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 50,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.8 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF ranks in the top 25 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2018, the Florida Board of Governors designated USF as a Preeminent State Research University, placing USF in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.