2012-2013 Year in Review

From Stanford SSI Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Originally created in 2013:

SSI became an official student group in 2013 and we’ve hit the ground running. Between February and December we’ve hosted 2 space entrepreneurship conferences, launched 20 small solid rockets, flown 2 balloons to 100,000ft, had a zero-g project accepted for flights in Houston, and brought 20 speakers to Stanford – from the NASA Ames Director to the President of SpaceX.

And this is only our first year, our first events, and our first projects. If you count from our founding elections, it’s been 9 months. We’ve done all this while standing up a new organization and figuring out how to get funding.


  • Became an official student group at Stanford in February 2013[?]
  • Held our first elections in April 2013
  • Hosted over 20 speakers, culminating with Gwynne Shotwell, the President of SpaceX, and Peter Diamandis, co-founder of multiple space start-ups, in Fall 2013. Over 250 students attended these events.
  • Kicked off our high altitude balloon, zero-g, rocket, satellite, and business groups
  • Successfully launched and recovered two High Altitude Balloons in Fall 2013
  • Had our zero-g proposal accepted by NASA Flight Opportunities Program for a flights out of Houston in April 2014
  • Hosted or helped coordinate two conferences on commercial space and space entrepreneurship
  • Our first interviews were published by several organizations, including Al Jazeera, New Space Global, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal
  • Helped several students get internships at SpaceX, Planet Labs, Planetary Resources, and NASA

Specifics by Area:


  • High Altitude Balloons
    • Successfully launched two high altitude balloons to 100,000 ft and recovered them
    • Began planning Global Space Balloon Challenge for April 2014
  • Zero-g and Aeromedicine group
    • Had proposal for the “Analysis of the Effects of the Microgravity Environment on the Ease of Use and Viability of the hTEE Device [way to look at the heart in the ICU] and the Circulatory System” accepted by the Microgravity University Student Flight Opportunities Program for a flight in April 2014- submitted with Professor Marco Pavone and Dr. Peter Lee
  • Rockets
    • Launched 20 small solid rockets
    • Began designing a liquid rocket engine and attitude control system
  • Satellites
    • Helped Skybox Imaging Thermal Vacuum Test Skysat-1 at NASA Ames
    • Began working with Professor Andrew Kalman in the Space Systems Design Lab on SNAPS, an imaging CubeSat
  • Entrepreneurship
    • Began assembling a primer on current players in the commercial space industry
    • Held the first Space Startup Evening at Stanford
    • Hosted the Space Entrepreneurship Conference,
  • Keynote by Professor Scott Hubard
  • NewSpace Business Plan Competition with the Space Frontier Foundation
  • Afternoon panels on obstacles to space entrepreneurship, investing in space companies, and incubating space companies with speakers like Steve Jurvetson, Tom Atchison, Sean Casey, and many more
    • Helped with the SIEPR conference on commercial space
    • Session on applying innovative business models to space with Michaela Csik

Speakers (chronologically):

  • Fall 2012
    • Richard David, CEO and co-founder, New Space Global
    • Jason Dunn, CTO and co-founder, Made In Space
    • Arif Karabeyoglu, President, CTO, ad co-founder, Space Propulsion Group Inc.
    • Garrett Reisman, DragonRider Program Manager, SpaceX
    • Adam London, CEO and co-founder Ventions LLC
    • Peter Worden, Director NASA Ames Research Center
  • Winter 2013
    • Peter Platzer, CEO and co-founder NanoSatisfi
    • Dan Berkenstock, Ching-Yu Hu, and Mike Trela, co-founders and first employee Skybox Imaging
    • John Cumbers, Synthetic Biologist at NASA Ames Research Center
    • Edwin Chu, Avionics Engineer, SpaceX
  • Spring 2013
    • Jim Kerevala, CEO and co-founder Shakelton Energy Corp.
    • Manu Sharma, co-founder Infinity Aerospace
    • Lynn Rothschild, Astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center
    • Peter Lee, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Stanford Hospital
  • Fall 2013
    • Gwynne Shotwell, President SpaceX
    • Loretta Whitesides, Lecturer ISU, Flight Director Zero-g Corp, Co-creator Yuri’s Night
    • Frank Mycroft, VP of Strategy, Planetary Resources
    • Richard David, CEO and co-founder, New Space Global
    • Jason Kessler, NASA Office of the Chief Technologist, Asteroid Initiative
    • Will Pomerantz, VP Special Projects, Virgin Galactic
    • Alistair Aaronson, Clinical Instructor and Hospitalist, Stanford Hospital
    • Peter Diamandis, CEO and co-founder Planetary Resources, X-Prize Foundation, etc.

Professor Lunch Series:

  • Marco Pavone, Professor Aero/Astro Engineering
  • Brian Cantwell, Professor Aero/Astro Engineering
  • Sigrid Close, Professor Aero/Astro Engineering
  • Juan Alonso, Professor Aero/Astro Engineering
  • Scott Hubbard, Professor Aero/Astro Engineering
  • Debbie Senesky, Professor Aero/Astro Engineering