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Rice Space Institute

Lilie Lecture: Discussion with Samantha Snabes, ChangeMaker

October 25th, 2016 by David Alexander

Please join us for a discussion with ChangeMaker, Samantha Snabes. Tomorrow October 26 4-5pm at Rice University.  Details and registration at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lilie-lectures-with-samantha-snabes-tickets-28265284226.


Live Streaming of Spaceport Lecture Thursday October 20

October 18th, 2016 by David Alexander

Check in at 7pm

Spaceport Frontiers Lecture on Thursday at Rice University. Chirag Parikh “Blurred Lines: The Eroding boundaries between Civil, Commercial and National Security Space”. Details at space frontiers.rice.edu. Live streaming at

Houston Spaceport Frontiers Lecture: Thursday October 20

October 14th, 2016 by David Alexander

BLURRED LINES: The Eroding Boundaries 
between Civil, Commercial, & National Security Space

Thursday, October 20
7:15 pm
McMurtry Auditorium
Reception at 6:45 pm

Chirag Parikh
Director,  Source Strategies Office
National Geospacial-Intelligence Agency


Lecture Abstract

The space age was born out of the Cold War and took its first steps to meet national security and foreign policy goals of the United States and the Soviet Union.  Over the course of the next several decades, the formation of a robust civil space/space exploration sector and national security space sector also formed strong boundaries between these communities.   Over the last couple decades the commercial space sector has been focused on satellite communications and, more recently remote sensing also serving interests of civil and national security needs.  However, in recent years, entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors have seized on the untapped potential of unique space applications that now blur the lines on what is driven and used by government and what is now of unique business interest with little to no government involvement.  Areas once traditionally focused on by governments – space launch, human spaceflight, space situational awareness, space robotics, among many others, are now burgeoning commercial space sectors. 

Mr. Parikh will discuss these emerging areas, highlight the current and future “blurred lines”, and discuss the challenges and opportunities of how the U.S. Government is trying to encourage and capitalize on this renaissance in space for purposes that range from research and development platforms for space exploration to preventing a war in space.

Speaker Biography

Chirag Parikh is the director of the Office of Source Strategies at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).  In this capacity, he is responsible for worldwide imagery collection operations and adjudicates requirements for all U.S. space-based imagery intelligence systems and works with industry partners to support U.S. civil and national security needs. 

From 2010-2016, Mr. Parikh served at the White House as the Director of Space Policy on the National Security Council.  In this position, he was responsible for advising the President of the United States and the National Security Advisor on civil, commercial, and national security space matters supporting broader national security and foreign policy goals.  He chaired interagency policy committee meetings, consisting of representatives from all Executive Branch departments and agencies dealing with space, to formulate and implement national space policies.  He presided over issues that included developing plans to counter potential adversary efforts to destroy U.S. national security satellites, relaxing commercial imagery resolution thresholds, facilitating new space startups to enter the market, adjudicating issues on U.S. space launch developments and competition, and coordinating international space cooperation and diplomatic efforts.  In 2016, Mr. Parikh was identified by SpaceNews as one of five space industry game changers from the around the world making a difference. 

Prior to 2010, Mr. Parikh served in a variety of roles to include serving as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology at the National Intelligence Council and as a Principle Intelligence Analyst for Space Systems at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.  Mr. Parikh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.


TCC News

September 30th, 2016 by David Daniels

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18 presentations are currently scheduled for the October 12 Remote Sensing Technologies Event, to be held at the NASA Johnson Space Center, covering a wide range of technologies related to sensors taking measurements, where the object being measured, the sensors taking the measurements, and the systems processing the data may be located in different locations. This includes a broad range of potential applications such as measurements by satellite, underwater monitoring, energy, medical, traffic management, manufacturing and agriculture.

Any organization can request to make a remote sensing technologies presentation on their latest technology developments or unmet challenges, with only a few presentation slots available.

If you or anyone you know has an interest in remote sensing technologies, please register to attend or make a presentation through the TCC’s website. Tickets are $25 for TCC members (through noon, October 7) and $50 for non-Members.


The Telemedicine Technologies event originally scheduled for October 24 will be held next year, and will be planned in conjunction with the previously announced Precision Medicine event with the NASA Human Health & Performance Center.  Anyone interested in making a presentation or attending this event should pre-register through the TCC’s website.

  • BayTech is hosting a Cybersecurity Luncheon at Galveston College on September 22. For more information, please contact Kim Morris at 832-536-3260.
  • The TCC is a supporting organization for the Houston Technology Center’s Innovation Conference & Showcase, to be held on October 13. For more information, please visit the HTC’s event website.
  • The University of Texas Dallas is holding their annual Business Idea Competition, giving undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to present their business ideas, competing for $20,000 in cash and scholarship prizes. If you are interested in participating or assisting, please visit their website.
  • September 21Radiation Technologies, at the NASA Johnson Space Center
  • October 12Remote Sensing Technologies, sponsored by the Strategic Sensing Alliance, at the NASA Johnson Space Center
  • October 13 – Houston Technology Center Innovation Conference & Showcase (TCC is a supporting organization)
  • November 15-17SpaceCom 2016 (the TCC is a supporting partner and will have a speaker at the event)
  • January 25, 2017 – Imaging Devices & Software, at the Houston Technology Center
  • 2017 – Telemedicine Technologies
  • Spring 2017 – Precision Medicine & Genomics, with the NASA Human Health & Performance Center

September 15th, 2016 by David Alexander

spacesuitliveWatch live tomorrow as our friends at MD Anderson and NASA unveil a flight suit hand painted in collaboration with patients, families, and staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center.   Astronaut Kate Rubins will showcase the spacesuit live from the International Space Station.

You can watch the event live at 2:55pm Houston time on NASA tv: www.nasa.gov/ntv.

NASA Deputy Administrator meets with Rice Students

September 15th, 2016 by David Alexander

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On her recent visit to Rice, NASA Deputy Administrator, Dava Newman met with some Rice students prior to her standing-room only talk.

NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF17) – Fall 2017 Release

September 13th, 2016 by David Daniels

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, titled NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF) – Fall 2017, on September 8, 2016. The solicitation is available by visiting this link.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) seeks to sponsor U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate student researchers who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our Nation’s science, exploration, and economic future. This call for graduate student fellowship applications solicits applications from individuals pursuing or planning to pursue master’s (e.g., M.S.) or doctoral (e.g., Ph.D.) degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities.

Click to view more details about this solicitation...

Selected applicants will perform research at their respective campuses and at NASA Centers. In addition to his or her faculty advisor, each Fellow will be matched with a technically relevant and community-engaged researcher who will serve as the student’s research collaborator.

This solicitation has two phases:

  • Phase A is the application submission by the student. All Phase A applications must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES and are due by 6 PM ET on November 3, 2016. Detailed submission instructions for applicants are provided under "Other Documents" on the NSPIRES webpage associated with the NSTRF17 solicitation. Potential student applicants are urged to access the NSPIRES electronic proposal system well in advance of the proposal due date to register with NSPIRES, familiarize themselves with its structure, and to enter the requested information.
  • Phase B is the application submission by the university where the selected student will be enrolled for the fall 2017 term as a full-time graduate student (as specified in the NSTRF17 solicitation).

Awards are planned to coincide with the start of the 2017 academic year and are subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Awards resulting from this competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to accredited U.S. universities. This solicitation covers only new fellowship applications; renewal applications are handled separately.

Comments and questions may be addressed by e-mail to the Space Technology Research Grants Program Executive, Claudia Meyer (hq-nstrf-call@mail.nasa.gov). Responses to inquiries will be answered by e-mail and may also be included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of individuals/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.

Rice University Campus Observatory Open House – Fri Sep 9

September 6th, 2016 by David Alexander
Rice University Campus Observatory Open House
Friday Sept. 9 8pm-11pm
Lecture 7:30pm-8pm in BRK 103: Viewing the Moon and Planets this Fall
Host: Dr. P. Hartigan

We should have good views of the Moon, Saturn, and Mars,
weather-permitting. Other celestial objects will be viewed
as time and weather permit. See
for the latest updates regarding scheduling and weather.

New Season of Houston Spaceport Frontier Lectures starts September 7

August 23rd, 2016 by David Alexander

NASA’s Journey to Mars and Beyond

Wednesday, September 7J2M
7:00 pm
McMurtry Auditorium
Reception at 6:30 pm

Dava Newman, Ph.D.
NASA Deputy Administrator

European Science Cafe: Living With a Star

June 2nd, 2016 by David Alexander

Click image for details.  RSVP here.