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untilA public event will be held to kick off World Space Week at AIA Houston on the evening of Thursday, Oct 4 as part of the AERIAL FUTURES: The Next Frontier think tank taking place in Houston between Oct 4-5, 2018. Expanding Houston’s reputation as Space City, USA, Ellington Airport’s conversion into the Houston Spaceport will reiterate the city’s role as a front-runner in the space race of the 21st Century. As the most urban-centered commercial spaceport to date – Houston Spaceport is within a 15-minute drive of the central business district – this development will serve as a detonator in making Houston the most cosmically connected city in the world. Because of the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015, the commercial sector is now driving the industry, with private investment in commercial space companies reaching a record $3.9 billion worldwide in 2017. The implications this has on the city, its economy, and its lifestyle has not gone unnoticed, with the spaceport earning both the Houston Business Journal’s Economic Deal of the Year Award and Overall Business Deal of the Year Award in 2016. AERIAL FUTURES: The Next Frontier brings together leading thinkers and practitioners to ask how commercial space operations and spaceports will promote economic generation and disrupt urban development impact in the 21st century. PANELISTS The panel discussion will be composed of leading designers and thinkers from the commercial space industry and the architecture community, including: Chris Culbert, Center Chief Technologist at NASA Johnson Space Center Ken Gidlow, Technical Advisor at FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation at Houston Airport System Roger Soto, Director of Design at HOK Marcus Martinez, Urban Design Committee at AIA Houston will Moderate DATE Thursday, Oct 4 Doors Open 6:00PM Program Begins 6:15PM Free & Open to the Public LOCATION AIA Houston @ HOK HOK Design Lab 3200 Southwest Fwy #900 Houston, TX 77027 First-Come Seating AERIAL FUTURES is a non-profit organization and cultural platform exploring innovation in the architecture of flight, technology, and the broader urban mobility ecosystem.