Grant Anderson, President and CEO of the Paragon Space Development Corporation, will be speaking at the STAR Tech 2020 conference taking place on November 19th through the 20th in San Francisco, California. This conference will focus on space travel technology and capability needs, in an effort to accelerate the development of commercial and non-commercial space exploration. We recently caught up with Grant to find out what we can expect during the conference.
In your opinion, what is the most important current trend in space travel technology?
The falling costs of launch and the desire/motivation by NASA to pay for services rather than vehicles.
From your perspective, what are some of the biggest challenges scientists/engineers face in this field?
The lack of on-orbit testing or on-Moon testing for long term. Current testing has relied on access to the experiments and equipment in low Earth orbit in a 2–6 month timeframe. When on the Moon, total mass as well as personnel and access time is going to be longer. We do not at this time have any really long-term testing in the harsh environment of the moon’s surface (2-week-long, hot days) and maintenance and concept of operations schemes that need to minimize spares and repair parts count and mass.
What specifically will you be talking about at the conference?
Issues emerging in the development of Moon capabilities. These issues include schedule pressures of the race to achieve a landing in 2024, the use (or inability to use) legacy designs due to the higher radiation environment and obsolescence issues, commonality between Moon lander assets and Moon orbiting assets, and designing in sufficient extensibility to achieve a mission-to-Mars capability.
What message would you like the audience to take away from this year’s conference?
Space travel and development will happen, it just depends on whether this generation will do it (and country if talking about US) or will we punt it to the next generation?
Mr. Anderson co-founded Paragon in 1993. From the time of inception of the company until early this year, he has been the VP of Engineering and Chief Engineer of the company and was responsible for the design and implementation of not only many of Paragon’s technical achievements, but also its processes of engineering rigor in a stepped approach of requirements, design, build, test, and delivery. Read more.