NASA and the Rise of Commercial Space: A Symposium to Examine the Meaning(s) and Context(s) of Commercial Space

March 17, 2021


History of Science Assoc. Professor Matthew Hersch is one of the discussants for a virtual WebEx event, "NASA and the Rise of Commercial Space: A Symposium Examining the Definition(s) and Context(s) of Commercial Space."

From activities in low-Earth orbit to the Artemis program, the commercial space industry is beginning to take on an increased role as innovator in both space access, commerce, and exploration. This growth of commercial space over the past decades offers the potential for a new paradigm for space exploration—one in which industry transitioned from supplier to partner. Still, many questions remain spanning from the most seemingly consequential “How will humanity explore the Moon and Mars?” to the more foundational, “What is Commercial Space?” Individual panels address a range of topics including legal and entrepreneurial frameworks, advancements during the space shuttle era, and new trajectories at NASA and beyond. Overall, this symposium will explore the evolution of commercial space and examine the historical context surrounding these larger questions. Our hope is that discussion will add an historical framework that will help inform the relationship between government and industry moving forward. The entire event is free and open to the public. No registration required to attend sessions—simply click on the WebEx links located on the program webpage:

NOTE: Prof. Hersch will be part of a panel on the afternoon of March 18: "Legal and Entrepreneurial Frameworks." The WebEx link for this panel is: