Blue Origin and the Four Futures of Human Space Flight

Thursday, October 20, 2022
5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Zupnik Forum, A. James Clark Hall; virtual option available

The Whiting-Turner Business and Entrepreneurial Lecture Series presents Blue Origin and the Four Futures of Human Space Flight

Networking Reception (in-person only)
5:00-5:30 pm
Zupnik Forum, A. James Clark Hall

5:30-6:30 pm
In-person attendees: Zupnik Forum, A. James Clark Hall
Virtual attendees: Zoom (RSVP to receive the Zoom details)

Most discussions about space futures revolve around exploring planets. A more balanced model identifies four distinct goals of human space flight: Explore, Experience, Exploit, and Expand. While everything starts with exploring, long-standing dreams are about expanding civilization into space. There’s a huge funding and technical gap between the two. The other two futures can bridge this gap by tapping sources of capital outside government budgets. Our conversation will examine the distinctions and connections among the four futures, and describe the many programs Blue Origin is developing now to build the bridge.

Brent Sherwood is Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin, a private space company building the foundation for millions of people living and working in space. He is responsible for the development of in-space systems and services for human space flight, cargo, and infrastructure that collectively will open space to human expansion. He reports to Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith.

Brent came to Blue Origin from JPL, where he was the founding manager of the JPL Innovation Foundry and later the Program Manager for Solar System Mission Formulation. In those roles he respectively led the integration of JPL’s mission formulation and competitive proposal operations, and the strategic pursuit of Discovery, New Frontiers, unsolicited planetary, and future planetary missions.

Prior to JPL, Brent was at the Boeing Company, where he led teams that developed human lunar and Mars exploration system concepts, Space Station Freedom module manufacturing methods, Sea Launch services pursuits, entrepreneurial civil and commercial space initiatives, International Space Station business development, and pursuit of planetary science objectives ranging from the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter to Mars Sample Return.

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