The Hard Rocket Conference held at Marshall Space Flight Center on
January 13-14, 1998 was widely acclaimed as a pathbreaking initiative,
creating real dialog about how to provide low-cost launches for small
Attendees praised NASA for its commitment to hearing varied
and contending views from the space community at large including
researchers, launch providers, start-up companies, technologists,
engineers, and interest group enthusiasts.
Participants at the conference used several dozen laptop computers
linked by “electronic meeting software” to register their views about
nearly everything. At times they were asked to respond to specific
questions, such as details about program goals or contractual
Broader questions asked about views concerning the appropriate role for NASA overall and prospects for emerging markets.
Participants also used the computers to make comments about the
conference presentations and to “talk” with one another.
These conference data were captured by the electronic meeting software.