Living in Space

Growing Life Beyond Earth: Innovating for Sustainable Space Habitats

Living in Space Location


Session Date and Time
Sunday, May 26 @ 10 am - 12 noon & 2 pm - 6 pm

Living and working in space requires all the attributes of an earthly existence to succeed. But farming cannot be undertaken in space as it has been on Earth, the vast open areas considered necessary for human health will likely be unavailable for some time, and large volumes of water, critical to human survival, must either be transported from Earth or mined from off-world sources. What new developments and technologies will allow us to take our biological environment with us into space, efficiently and sustainably? Join the experts in this new and emerging field as we seek the exciting answers.

Living in Space  Session Co-Chairs Info 

Dean of Psychology, Kepler Space University

Dr. Sherry E. Bell currently serves as the Dean of Psychology at Kepler Space University, where she specializes in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from California State University, Stanislaus, and both her M.S. and Ph.D. from Capella University. Alongside her academic role, Dr. Bell is the CEO of Advanced Personality-Based Consulting and the Assistant Secretary at the National Space Society.

Dr. Bell maintains a strong presence in the space advocacy community, underscored by her avid support for the Space Settlement Movement. From 2005 to 2009, she served as a Senior Leadership Advisor for the Aerospace Technology Working Group. In addition to her leadership roles, Dr. Bell is well-known for her contributions to space conferences, particularly as the host of the “Living in Space” track at the annual International Space Development Conference. Her expertise in the field is further evidenced by her numerous articles and chapters, her role as the editor of “Living in Space: Cultural and Social Dynamics, Opportunities, and Challenges in Permanent Space Habitats,” and the receipt of two research grants.

Dr. Bell’s professional endeavors also extend to private practice, where she provides executive coaching and works with an M.D. on weight loss issues. Her diverse expertise and involvement in both psychology and space science reflect her multifaceted career and her significant contributions to these fields.

NSS Awards Committee

After graduating from the Moscow Institute of Energy with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, Dr. Malko started her professional carrier in Institute of Nuclear Research of Science Academy in the former Soviet Union. Later she married and moved to the Dominican Republic, where she became a Physics professor at Catholic University of Madre and Maestra. Her second professional carrier was in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture after earning a PhD in Oriental Medicine from American Liberty University and post graduate studies in Korea, China, Japan and Russia. Dr. Malko was a teacher and a supervisor at Eastern School of Acupuncture and Tradition Medicine in Montclair, NJ for 14 years and a visiting lecturer at the Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr Malko is a founder of Traditional and High-Tech Acupuncture LLC, a successful health care business in New Jersey.

From a very young age Dr. Malko was fascinated with astronomy and space travel, to which she dedicated a large part of her free time. In the United State she joined the Planetary, Mars, and the National Space Societies, where she is an active member and sponsor.

Dr Malko is a world traveler and scuba diver. She had visited all continents of planet Earth and declared that her next step is Mars. She already has Zero G experience with Zero G flight from Florida, where she successfully applied the natural healing power of acupressure to help with nausea in Zero G conditions.

Co-Founder and President, Kepler Space University

Haroon B. Oqab is the Co-Founder and President of Kepler Space University, whose mission is to benefit society and advance human knowledge and expertise. The University is dedicated to the expansion of human civilization from Earth to Space, and is committed to discovery, preservation and dissemination of knowledge, educating the next generation of leaders, and the development of human space exploration. Haroon is a scientist, astronautical physicist and entrepreneur with a longstanding fascination with propulsion technologies relating to achieving interstellar distances. His main interests lay in fully integrated spacecraft design with a particular focus on propulsion engineering, space solar power, development of infrastructure supporting an interplanetary civilization, and the advancement of technology for space exploration beyond the solar system.

He is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario with Master of Engineering degrees in Mechanical and Materials Engineering (Automation Technologies and Systems) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (Robotics and Control), he also holds Bachelor of Science Honours Specializations in Kinesiology and Medical Biophysics (Physical Science). He also holds leadership positions across several prominent organizations: President of Columbiad Launch Services, CEO of Metasat, Director of Research at Space Canada, National Technical Program Manager of the Canadian Space Society and is a member of the Space Power Committee of the International Astronautical Federation, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, and Co-Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics Permanent Committee for Space Solar Power.

Project Engineer, Boeing Defense

Hannah Rens is an aerospace engineer and space settlement advocate. Hannah is currently serving as the Region 3 Representative for the NSS Board of Directors and is a member of the Space Settlement Advocacy Committee, where she has authored a literature review analyzing the scientific feasibility of space settlement. This effort covers over fifty peer reviewed papers published in a wide array of academic journals and establishes the current status of space settlement technology. Cutting edge work in fields such as radiation protection, closed ecosystems, ISRU, and construction methods is examined and compared across potential locations for space settlements throughout the solar system. The impacts of the literature published to date is discussed, and future research opportunities are outlined.

Hannah is currently working as a project engineer within Boeing Defense, Space, and Security. Additionally, she has worked on a Economic Research for Space Development grant from NASA’s Emerging Space Office and the AIAA Space Systems Design Competition. Hannah has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2012, she has been a part of the International Space Settlement Design Competition family of events as a student and volunteer. She has been directly involved with the NSS since 2018, when she presented in the Space Settlement and Space Minerals track at ISDC.

Living in Space Presentation Speakers

President of the National Space Society
Presentation Title: Is Science Fiction a Preview of Our Future in Space

Isaac Arthur is the host and executive producer of Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur (SFIA) on YouTube, with nearly 700,000 subscribers and 400 episodes covering topics like Colonizing the Solar System, Interstellar Travel, the Fermi Paradox, Artificial Intelligence, Biotech, Cybernetics, and other topics representing possible futures paths and challenges for humanity. Isaac has given guest lectures and presentations to the US Air Force Academy, MIT Lincoln Labs, the National Space Society, Trinity Dublin, the Carnegie Science Center, to name a few, and has been a frequent guest on various podcasts, news interviews, and nationally syndicated radio programs.

Isaac received his degree in physics from Kent State University, graduating top of his class at age 20, and remained there for graduate studies before joining the US Army and serving in Iraq. He also worked as a civilian researcher at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio. After the military he returned home to Ashtabula, Ohio and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Elections for his area, when not working on his channel. Isaac is the 2020 winner of the National Space Society’s Pioneer Award. He is married to Sarah Fowler Arthur, who serves in the Ohio House of Representative, District 99, since her election in 2020, and who had previously served 8 years as an elected member of the Ohio Board of Education.

Music Teacher
Presentation Title: Emotional and Physical Health of Space Settlers Through Use of Music and Sound Frequency

Annamaria Chilimintris felt pulled to the vibrations of the violin at a young age. Throughout the years, she has developed her skill through classical training and eventually shifted lanes to guide others to develop their skills on the violin. As she noticed the changes in her students’ emotional states after music class, it intrigued her to learn more about sound and its properties, especially in healing. This expanded her mind to all sorts of possibilities to be had with sound, music, frequencies, and vibrations.

Undergraduate College Student, Butte College
Presentation Title: A Spacesuit For Titan

Jonah Dijoux is a sophomore at Butte College in Chico, CA, majoring in Graphic Design. He has had a life-long interest in science, space exploration, and science-fiction, and is interested in creating artwork and designs to share visions of our human future in space. His artwork and other creations are collected worldwide. He is the author and illustrator of the novel “Noise 0421” which he published when he was 17, and is currently working on a second novel, “The Great Sleep”, to be released in Fall 2024.

Director of Information Systems, NSS
Presentation Title: Is Science Fiction a Preview of Our Future in Space

Dave Dressler has been a National Space Society (NSS) member since 1991. Dave volunteered to support the Intranational Space Development Conference in 2006, leading the tour group to Mojave Space Port and providing production support to ISDC ever since. In 2013, Dave chaired ISDC2013 in San Diego, CA.
In 2021, Dave took on the role of Director of Information Systems for NSS. Dave has been working in technology starting in 1980, as a mainframe computer operator in Milwaukee, WI. Dave was the first and last Technology Manager for the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) at the San Diego County Office of Education – and retired in June of 2014.
He was the founding director and program manager for the San Diego Space Society (2007-2014), an NSS Chapter. Dave has organized events for SD Space such as the San Diego Science Festival, SpaceUp, Yuri’s Night, and Sally Ride Science.

Chief Web Content Designer, Space Settlement Progress
Presentation Title: Impact of the Gravity Prescription on the Strategy for Space Settlement

John has held positions in Quality Engineering and Management in the defense and medical device industries in Silicon Valley for 40 years. John was hooked on space advocacy after reading the High Frontier and became a Senior Associate of the Space Studies Institute since its early days. Currently retired, he is on the Advisory Board for The Space Show and advocates for space settlement through his blog Space Settlement Progress.

Student, UNISA
Presentation Title: Imbibition of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Tools for Inferring Exoplanetary Habitability

King Kumire is a distinguished academic and project manager with diverse expertise. Holding degrees in Computer Science, Space Science, an MBA, and an MSc in Data Science, he is completing a PhD in Astronomy focused on machine learning and AI for exoplanetary habitability. With over a decade of project management experience across 15 African countries, King’s interdisciplinary knowledge spans business management, financial technologies, astronomy, and space law.

NSS Space Ambassador, Space Farms, St Louis Space Frontier

Bryce holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, as well as a graduate degree in biology. He has also logged thousands of hours above and below the surface of lakes, rivers, and oceans, and has spent time working on farms. He writes on space agriculture, focusing on mass flow and balanced menus.

Science Fiction Writer
Presentation Title: Is Science Fiction a Preview of Our Future in Space?

Larry Niven is a world-class science fiction writer and visionary. Niven’s seminal works include Ringworld, read by millions, about a megastructure concept for space settlements.  He is very influential and has also played a critical role in shaping national space policy, such as the Strategic Defence Initiative as part of the Citizens’ Advisory Council on National Space Policy.  Niven lives in Los Angeles and has been a strong partner of NSS for decades, appearing at conferences and virtual events.  

Presentation Title: The Use of AI to Monitor Radiation in Space Farming

Kevin L. Simmons is a professional educator, author, principal investigator and Congressional advocate. He founded BLUECUBE Aerospace, Inc., co-created the Aerospace and Innovation Academy, Inc. (AIA), and currently leads the Wolfpack CubeSat Development team (WCDT) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Simmons is Principal Investigator for two NASA-selected missions selected by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) in 2017 and 2019. He led the first middle school team to launch a CubeSat on December 3rd, 2018 and his WCDT was the only K-12 entity selected nationwide by the 2019 CSLI. He is trained as a biochemist, and has worked in industry, military and academia. Simmons completed two years as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow and four years as a senior policy analyst in the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Directorate. He serves in a leadership role in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Palm Coast section and as a member of the AIAA SmallSat Technical Committee. Simmons is the current president of the Florida Association for the Gifted, and Area Director for the Florida Association of Science Teachers, member of the inaugural Limitless Space Institute Educator Fellowship, a National Space Society Space Ambassador, a 2023 NASA AAPT HEAT Physics Ambassador, a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison, and an ISS Educator Ambassador. Simmons recent national-level awards include the National Space Council Space Worker Hall of Fame, AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Award, Dwyer Award for Excellence in STEM education, and Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award.

President, Pioneer Astronautics
Presentation Title: The New World on Mars: What Can We Create on the Red Planet?

Robert Zubrin is President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado. He is also the founder and President of the Mars Society. Formerly a Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, he holds a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Washington. Zubrin is the author of 9 books, 15 patents, and over 200 published technical and non-technical papers in the field of space exploration and technology.

Other Sessions at ISDC 2025

Preserving Aerospace Heritage
Infrastructure is the Backbone of Civilization
Space Ventures Stride Toward Lucrative Horizons
Newest and Most Exciting Ideas
Growing Life Beyond Earth: Innovating for Sustainable Space Habitats
...Some More Traveled Than Others
A Martian Renaissance is at Hand
How Will We Best Explore, Prospect, and Settle Our Natural Satellite?
Discuss Comprehensive Solutions Planetary Defense
Learn More About the History of Tomorrow
Educating and Enlightening People
Exciting Technology that will Revolutionize Access to Space
Global Collaboration for Outer Space
Medical Capabilities to Travel Into Deep Space
Who Owns the Vast Riches of Space?
Making Humanity a Space Faring Species
Core Interest of the NSS Since the 1970s
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