NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Named as Keynote Speaker at the 2018 International Space Station Research and Development Conference

The 2018 International Space Station Research and Development Conference will take place at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco from July 23-26

Kennedy Space Center, FL (May 2, 2018)  The International Space Station Research and Development Conference today announced that NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei (Colonel, U.S. Army) has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at its 7th annual meeting at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA. from July 23-26, 2018. This conference was created to connect commercial and academic communities involved in new innovations, breakthroughs, and discoveries through the International Space Station. This event is held in coordination with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the American Astronautical Society (AAS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Col. Vande Hei recently returned to Earth after logging 168 days as a flight engineer onboard the space station. During the mission (Expedition 53/54), the crew marked the beginning of the first long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment, enabling NASA to double the time dedicated to research and achieve a record-setting week of research that surpassed 100 hours. Highlights from this research include investigations into the manufacturing of fiber optic filaments in microgravity, improving the accuracy of an implantable glucoses biosensor, and measuring the Sun’s energy input to Earth.  Col. Vande Hei was selected by NASA in 2009, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Saint John’s University and a Master of Science in Applied Physics from Stanford University. Prior to his selection as a NASA astronaut, Col. Vande Hei was commissioned in the U.S. Army serving as a combat engineer, and then taught physics at the United States Military Academy in West Point.

“Having an astronaut who recently returned to Earth from the space station at this year’s conference will provide attendees a great understanding of the capabilities and opportunities that exist through the orbiting laboratory,” said Brian Talbot, director of marketing and communications for CASIS. “Col. Vande Hei’s story will hopefully inspire and engage scientists to think about how microgravity can enhance their research, and pioneer new frontiers through the International Space Station.”

Media is invited to attend the conference and interview opportunities are available with Col. Vande Hei upon request. Media interested in interviewing Col. Vande Hei should contact Gary Jordan at

Registration for the 2018 conference recently opened. To learn more about conference, including how to register, please visit:

# # #

About CASIS: The Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is the non-profit organization selected to manage the ISS National Laboratory with a focus on enabling a new era of space research to improve life on Earth. In this innovative role, CASIS promotes and brokers a diverse range of research in life sciences, physical sciences, remote sensing, technology development, and education.

Since 2011, the ISS National Lab portfolio has included hundreds of novel research projects spanning multiple scientific disciplines, all with the intention of benefitting life on Earth. Working together with NASA, CASIS aims to advance the nation’s leadership in commercial space, pursue groundbreaking science not possible on Earth, and leverage the space station to inspire the next generation.

About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space.