Last Wednesday night marked the first gathering of the Los Angeles Space Salon, at the Brewery Arts Complex in Lincoln Heights. Organizers Scott Norman (SpaceX), Simone Syed (BIL co-founder), and Michael Clive (XCOR) lured out an extensive cross section of the aerospace community, traveling from San Diego to Mojave, to engage in a vibrant dialogue that featured an opening talk from Virgin Galactic’s Will Pomerantz.
The sell-out event featured a cash bar, complimentary Mediterranean food, and is slated to be held again in mid-December.
After an informative and insightful presentation by Pomerantz, the floor was opened to discussion, which ranged from the merits of a post-shuttle NASA to commercial versus government-backed space efforts.
Though professional backgrounds and opinions of attendees varied considerably, all involved seemed to agree that much of the future of space transportation and access hinged upon the success of Elon Musk’s Hawthorne-based commercial rocket endeavor SpaceX, soon expected to fly resupply and crew missions to the International Space Station.
A notable highlight of the evening was a light verbal skirmish between John Spencer of the Space Tourism Society, who argued that the primary offering to the public should be “the space experience.” Molly McCormick, who splits her time between Raytheon and Orbital Outfitters countered that, “There are real, productive reasons to want to go to space that will benefit everyone. Space is more than an experience; it is a resource. There are things we can do and make in the microgravity of space that are extremely difficult or even impossible to do or make on Earth: exotic materials, precision components, satellites, medicines, etc.”
Multiple staff members of Mojave-based XCOR also made their presence felt at the event, as did a strong cross-section of college-aged space aficionados, who expressed great interest in finding a professional foothold within local aerospace companies.
So long as the LA Space Salon continues to welcome a diverse swath of guests, this event is very likely to grow. Cheers, cadets and commanders alike, to a dazzling launch.