Space Transportation


This track will examine all facets of space transportation from the new generation of commercial launch vehicles that through technical innovation and reusability are lowering the cost of space access to in-space transfer vehicles and deep space interplanetary propulsion systems. The new suite of reusable first stages (flyback & vertical descent boosters), reusable capsules, air launch systems, laser launch, suborbital tourism vehicles, and heavy lift boosters will fall into this track as will cis-lunar transportation elements necessary to enable cis-lunar operations and lunar exploration, and architectures that enable Mars exploration.

Chair: Jim Merriman, Board Member, The Space Museum, Bonne Terre, MO

Jim Merriman is a Board Member of the The Space Museum Bonne Terre, MO. Previously he was an Assistant Engineer at McDonnell Douglas.

Co-Chair: Hoyt Davidson, Founder and Managing Partner of Near Earth LLCTBD

Hoyt Davidson is the founder and Managing Partner of Near Earth LLC, an investment bank focused on the satellite industry, commercial space and aerospace/ defense. Clients include major companies in those industries, private equity and hedge funds, and early stage entrepreneurial firms seeking private equity capital.

He received a Physics degree from MIT and then spent six years at Lockheed as a Senior Research Engineer, before returning to MIT for an MBA and heading to Wall Street. In the 1990s, at DLJ and later Credit Suisse, he co-founded the Space Finance Group, the first coverage group focused on the commercial satellite industry, and raised over $25 billion for companies such as PanAmSat and XM Radio. In 2002, he left to start Near Earth LLC, to continue helping space-related companies grow. He also serves on and the Boards of Pacific International Center for Space Exploration Systems and NanoRacks LLC, and formerly served on the NASA Advisory Council.