Rick Tumlinson

When it comes to outer space, possibility is literally in the air, and on Tuesday, March 14, nearly 100 industry and thought leaders gathered at Concordia University Wisconsin to ruminate about the potential it holds.

More than a dozen speakers of international repute—including U.S. Space Force officials, a former NASA scientist, and leading space investment teams and developers of technology—visited campus for the inaugural Strategic Space Summit, which was put on by the Concordia National Security and Space Center (CNSSC).

Keynote speaker Rick Tumlinson, one of the world’s top visionaries in the field, kicked off the all-day event. Tumlinson is co-founder of Space Fund, Deep Space Industries, Orbital Outfitters, and the New World Institute. He is credited with helping create the new commercial industry highlighted by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

“You are one of the luckiest generations to be able to be alive right now, when all of human history changes,” Tumlinson told those gathered. “That (change) is happening now, within the next year or so.”  

Yannik Gruner
Jason Lane
From top left clockwise: Dr. Lamont Colucci, George Pullen, John Quinn, CUW Theology Professor Rev. Dr. Jason Lane, and CUW student Yannik Gruner

Why space?

Speakers spent the day laying out the rationale for exploration beyond earth and explaining its impact for the average person. Space exploration holds implications in the political, national security, and economic realms, to name a few.

As Pullen explained on Tuesday, the space economy is estimated at $500 billion today; however, the forecast is projected to escalate to $4 trillion by the 2040s. The need for democratizing that system and applying free-enterprise principals is great.

“If we (America) don’t make those norms under which people conduct science in space, someone else will impose their norms,” Pullen said.

Impact on the economy

Just before lunch, several speakers joined in a panel discussion focused on the economic and business implications of the field. Panelists included (listed in order as shown from right to left in the video):

Impact on national security

The summit concluded with a second panel discussion focused on national security. Panelists included (listed in order as shown from right to left in the video):

Learn more about the Concordia National Security and Space Center

The CNSSC exists to promote American national security, space economics and power, science, and exploration, unifying the ideals of virtue, free enterprise, human potential, and American security. In addition, the activities of the Center serve to recognize each individual’s God-given talent and seek to develop students in mind, body, and spirit for a life of service to the Church and humanity.