Lobby of the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. The rocket-like elevators make this seem like a Space colony or underground Moon base. Architect John Portman designed this hotel, the Marriott Marquis and others in the early 1970's, when people were walking the Moon and the price of heating oil was low. In the first Space Age, optimism about the future was everywhere.
This week the hotel is host to the International Conference of Environmental Systems (ICES). Like last year in Chicago, this event brings together people who work on Spacesuits and life support systems. Sunday night was an early bird reception hosted by Hamilton-Sundstrand, who were decidedly downbeat. We heard from people working on everything from life support to Spacesuits. With Oceaneering winning the Constellation Spacesuit contract, there is excitement in the air.
Monday morning's plenary address was by planetary scientist Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. His talk was full of enthusiasm about a return to the Moon. (This writer asked him about missions to asteroids.) As in the Chicago meeting last year, the program cover (below) showed people working on the lunar surface. This could be a second Space Age, moving upward with hope for the future.
Check out the new Carnival of Space!