Here's some information about upcoming space conferences, including some comments about space prizes and other topics.
International Space Development Conference 2011 - May 18-22, Huntsville, Alabama - This conference includes workshops on ISS Payload Integration, Commercial Crew and Cargo, and Space Launch System Mission Development. As in past ISDCs, the NASA Space Settlement Contest winners will be honored. There will be a Google Lunar X PRIZE Plenary, and 4 teams have already signed up. The conference includes numerous speakers, exhibits, tours, and other activities.
ISSMars-DC Conference - April 6-7, George Washington University (DC) - ExploreMars, the group organizing the Mars Education Challenge and the ISRU Challenge, will investigate how the ISS can help lay the foundation for exploration. Numerous prominent speakers such as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden are on the schedule. Themes include use of the ISS as a Mars analog, an exploration technology development and demonstration platform, a market for commercial services that can later help exploration, and as a governance model for international exploration missions.
Civil Commercial Imagery Evaluation Workshop - March 29-31 - Boulder, Colorado - I noticed this conference about the time the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which prominently featured the services of several prize-related teams, was in session. While pleased with the advances that the 2011 NSRC demonstrated, I couldn't help thinking that they won't really have made it until these services are featured in more traditional conferences like this commercial remote sensing evaluation workshop. The agenda includes government evaluation of commercial satellite imagery, sensors, and aerial remote sensing. There is a gap between the commercial air photo and satellite remote sensing services, but can the commercial suborbital industry fill it?
Space Access '11 - April 7-9, Phoenix, Arizona - This conference can be counted on to feature prizes, prize teams, and other facets of entrepreneurial space access. Some teams with past, current, or likely future involvement with space prizes that are on the Space Access '11 schedule include Altius Space Machines, Armadillo Aerospace, KC Space Pirates, Masten Space Systems, Team Prometheus, SpeedUp, and Unreasonable Rocket. FAA AST is also there; their 2012 budget proposal includes funding for a space access prize.
Smallsat (25th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites) - August 8-11 - Logan, Utah - I can never quite convince myself which is more exciting, the progress being made in small space access systems, or the progress being made in small satellites. As usual, there will be a Student Scholarship Competition at the conference.
Reinventing Space 2011 - May 2-6, Los Angeles, California - This used to be called Responsive Space. Now the emphasis isn't just on Operationally Responsive Space, but on Low-Cost ORS. I guess I've always assumed that ORS is impossible without low cost. This conference includes student presentations by award winners.