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NASA's Destination Station Set to Touch Down this November in the Muma College of Business Breezeway

By Keith Morelli

NASA Destination Station

TAMPA (August 9, 2019) -- Having already visited such exotic places as the moon, Venus, Mars and even an asteroid named Eros, NASA now has plans to land a little closer to home: Touch down is expected at USF and the Muma College of Business’ breezeway in November.

Destination Station is an interactive exhibit that will explore USF and Tampa for a couple of days beginning on Nov. 5. Various break-out sessions are still being formulated, but one is the business of space and will discuss the wide-open entrepreneurial opportunities available now that the private sector is more involved in launches and the research being conducted on the International Space Station.

“We are thrilled to have the premier space program on the planet visit us here at the USF Muma College of Business this fall,” said Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem. “Throughout the years, many have believed the field of space travel and exploration belonged to the government and, for the most part, it has.

“But now, commercial entities are playing more of a role in the efforts not only to make space more accessible to more people, but to investigate interplanetary travel and maybe even one day colonization,” he said. “The private sector is taking over the market and this will energize forward-thinking entrepreneurs who have been waiting their turn to break into this historically innovative field, both on the engineering side and the business side.”

The ISS was established to enable research that will lead to commercial applications. The space agency recently announced its support for more commercial allocation on resupply missions and that commercial companies are making it easier for various markets to take part in space commerce.

Already SpaceX and Blue Origin have invested in launch and manufacturing facilities. Private companies now build space capsules and deep-space crew transports, rockets and satellites. While many states and nations may only dream of getting into the space industry, Florida already has an advantage with Cape Canaveral and the block of supporting industries already located here.

The Destination Station exhibit includes a roundtable discussion that will focus on the current efforts and future of market forces related space.

Other breakout discussions include life sciences, remote sensing and advance materials.

Destination Station is a national awareness campaign and traveling exhibit of NASA and the ISS National Lab that promotes research opportunities and educates communities about activities and life on board the ISS. The Tampa visit will include eight to 10 NASA professionals and one astronaut.

The event is sponsored by the Muma College of Business, the Course of Action Foundation and Stewart Middle Magnet School’s John Glenn Top Gun Academy. The exhibit also will visit the Stewart Middle Magnet School during its stay in Tampa.

The exhibit doesn’t just offer insights and descriptions of what is done in space, but it also fields ideas and inspiration from entrepreneurs, engineers who come to visit the exhibit. They are looking for input on ways to identify possible marketing and communications opportunities. The main goal, however is to raise community awareness and support for space activities.

“Having NASA stop here at this vibrant college of business, where cutting-edge research touches on all aspects of commerce,” Limayem said, “is a unique chance to bring science and business together to create a win-win-win situation for our students, faculty and our valued partners beyond the university.”