“How to Achieve the Best Future for the United States” was the theme for this 2nd annual event.

By Alyssa Giese

Concordia University Wisconsin is dedicated to providing its students unique opportunities to develop in mind, body, and spirit, while looking ahead at their future professions. One such opportunity was the 2024 Spring Space Summit hosted by the National Security and Space Center (NSSC). The theme of the second annual Space Summit was “How to Achieve the Best Future for the United States.” An all-day event, the Summit brought in a variety of speakers to discuss the importance of space for the United States broadly, as well as for every-day citizens.

Speaker list

Orson Scott Card: A well-renowned science fiction writer, Mr. Card delivered the Summit’s keynote speech. He provided a unique view on the importance of space in military tactics.

Rick Tumlinson: Mr. Tumlinson is an entrepreneur working with several companies in the space sector. In his talk, he explained the importance of reaching strategic locations first to win the dominance in space.

Dr. Joel Mozer: The United States Space Force Director of Science, Technology and Research, Dr. Mozer discussed the power of technology in giving nations the advantage in space. In order to stay ahead of competitors, the United States must invest in innovation.

Gen. John Shaw: A retired three-star general from the U.S. Space Force, Gen. Shaw explained the world’s transition into the “third space age,” which is when a multitude of nations begin to show interest in using space to their strategic advantage, both economically and militarily, which creates the question of how space will be governed.

George Pullen: Providing an economic analysis on the future of space, Mr. Pullen is an economist working with the Milky Way Economy, as well as a professor at University of New Hampshire.

Dr. Martin Edwards: Dr. Edwards is a principal systems engineer with past experience in the United States Air Force. He moderated a panel discussion during which audience members could ask the speakers questions.

Rev. Eric Skovgaard: A pastor at Elm Grove Lutheran Church, Rev. Skovgaard gave the invocation and benediction for the Summit, ending the day by leading the audience in singing the Doxology.

While catering to the students and faculty of Concordia, the Summit was open to community members as well. The wide variety of industry leaders, private educators and members from local congregations illustrates the public interest in the topic of space.

The space sector has an important impact on our daily lives already, as many of the speakers pointed out. Economist George Pullen stated, “We have to realize that space interacts with everything else.” Later, he added, “We’ve come so far, so fast that unless we stop we don’t realize that we’re living in the future now.” The average citizen uses technology that requires space in order to function properly. For instance, GPS, cell phone reception, and weather-tracking apps are all powered by satellites, though we often take them for granted. The military also relies on the United States’ space-based assets to be effective.

“Because what most Americans have forgotten, or never knew, is that we already fight our wars at least partly in space. All our battlefields involve, one way or another, satellites, which are put into space by rockets and which are vital for exercising command and control as well as acquisition of intelligence about enemy movements and capabilities. If we were deprived of those satellites, we would be back to sixes-level tactical capabilities,” explained Orson Scott Card.

Beyond the every-day impact of space, the space sector has the ability to effect CUW’s student’s future jobs, regardless of their profession. The NSSC’s mission is to connect them with experts to further their education within the context of Christian vocation. In doing so, the Center is working to ensure Concordia’s graduates are prepared to be successful competitors in the workforce.

Want in?

The National Security and Space Center strives to be a connection point between CUW’s students and faculty and outside business leaders and community members. While Concordia provides the NSSC with access to facilities, the Center relies on the generous support of donors in order to continue to operate. Show your support by reaching out to nssc@cuw.edu or with the button below.