SpaceVision 2017 was the more well attended SEDS conference to date.News has a habit of traveling fast, so whether you were there or not you may have heard that 2017 was our biggest SpaceVision conference yet. While the tallies are still being totaled, I want to say why this was the biggest event I’ve seen for students in ways that aren’t easily quantified. Yes, this year we had the most student attendees on record at SpaceVision, but that’s more than a number to me. Every student who attends adds to the collective experience of all – every attendee means more interactions, more ideas and collaborations, more passion. One more student is an exponential contribution to our network, and I witnessed it in action the entire time. Members from chapters on opposite ends of the nation swapping tips on how to build a better rocket, leaders from wildly different campus life discussing outreach ideas, shared experiences flowing with every conversation. And yes, while the quantity alone is impressive, a number does nothing to convey how amazingly dedicated, diverse, motivated, and empowered our members are. Every year I’m blown away by the sheer talent I meet, and this year was no different. With every conversation I could hear the passion sparking in their words. SEDS participation fell 10 years ago, but I don’t fear it falling back that far ever again thanks to the community that has been fostered by those who’ve come before me. We have more chapters than ever before. That means more projects, more grants, more members, and more potential for the upcoming year. Putting together the SpaceVision conference is no easy feat and requires a lot of hard work, but seeing it come together is more than worth it when we see the result every year. The plane ride home is always bittersweet for me, which is why I wrote this to try capturing the sheer amount of admiration and hope I have for our students. So thank you University of Central Florida for the most bombastic SpaceVision yet; but I challenge each of you reading this to make next year even bigger and even better. Mark your calendars for next November, I’m hoping to see more of you than ever before in San Diego for SpaceVision 2018.
UCSD better get ready for the excitement headed their wayMake this the year to put your best foot forward, and show it off this time next year. I’m eagerly waiting to see what was ignited from this year’s conference. And as always, ad astra per aspera. Miekkal Clarkson Executive Director, SEDS-USA