Mojave Air & Space Port, birthplace of private sector leaps in aerospace technology, will be the site for the Southern California high desert and mountain region's largest economic conference on Friday, Feb. 21.
The day-long 42nd annual Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference will include a regional economic forecast and presentations by leaders in business, industry, military, technology, education and government.
International Space Station and Space Shuttle Astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly will deliver the keynote address during the 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. conference, open to the public. Call the Antelope Valley Board of Trade office at 661-947-9033, or visit avbot.org for ticket reservations and information, as well as a nationally prominent keynote speaker.
Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics will provide an in-depth forecast for the economic condition of the Antelope Valley region, which encompasses northern Los Angeles and southeastern Kern counties, from Acton to Ridgecrest, and from the San Bernardino County line to Interstate 5 on the west.
John C. Miller, CEO of Denny's, the national and international restaurant chain, will discuss business strategies, and George Whitesides of Virgin Gallactic and KevinMickey of Scaled Composites will talk about their respective companies' roles in leading the way to commercial space tourism and development.
Maj. General Arnold W. Bunch, Jr. will deliver an update on programs and projects planned or underway at the Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB, while David McBride, director of Dryden Flight Research Center, will report on the installation's future prospects.
Additional presentations will include reports on selected leading-edge companies in the region, which encompasses an area larger than the state of Connecticut, with a population of about 500,000.
"Breaking Boundaries" is the theme for the conference, relocated this year to Mojave Air & Space Port, where diversified private sector technology and research companies create the future in aerospace, energy, manufacturing and transportation. And much of the hardware emerging from Mojave's hangars and shops will be on display at the Outlook Conference.
Upwards of 800 attendees are expected for the Business Outlook Conference, according to Outlook Conference Chairman and aerospace executive Al Hoffman.
Mojave Air & Space Port rose to worldwide attention with the non-stop, un-refueled around-the-world flight of Voyager, designed, built and flown by now legendary Mojave-based Scaled Composites. The company, one of more than 45 Air & Space Port tenants, went on to achieve the first private sector manned space flight with SpaceShip I, and working with airport neighbor Virgin Galactic, continues to expand civilian space flight with SpaceShip II.