SAN FRANCISCO — More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the 37th Space Symposium in person at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs and online through a virtual platform.

Roughly seven months after the 36th Space Symposium, which was rescheduled repeatedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Space Foundation is preparing to welcome 275 exhibitors and representatives of 40 nations to the annual event that showcases military, civil and commercial space activities.

“We had a smaller international presence this past August principally because of travel restrictions,” Space Foundation spokesman Rich Cooper told SpaceNews. “Since a lot of those restrictions have been lifted, a very healthy international presence is going to be on hand.”

Still, online access to presentations and discussions is essential because “not everyone can travel right now,” Cooper said.

“We want to make sure that whoever wants to participate in symposium can,” Cooper said. “The in-person option is great for people to be able to network, but we know that not everybody has the budget or the flexibility to travel.”

Masks will not be required for attendees.

“People who want to wear masks should feel comfortable wearing them and those that don’t want to wear masks should feel comfortable,” Cooper said.

For the past two years, Space Foundation executives have closely tracked the rise and fall of COVID cases, plus local, state, national and international rules related to health, safety, travel and large gatherings.

“Each Symposium reflects the environment that we were in,” Cooper said. “This past August was certainly in the midst of COVID. Now we’re still going through COVID, but things have certainly changed.”

In addition to the traditional programming at the Broadmoor, the 2022 Space Symposium will include presentations focused on artificial intelligence, investment and space exploration at the nearby Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

“We want to make sure that every attendee, whomever they may be, wherever they’re coming from, gets to have the best of Symposium experiences, where they can connect, meet, do business, partner, but most of all absorb what is happening in the global space community,” Cooper said.

Approximately 15,000 people attended the 2019 pre-pandemic Space Symposium. The August event drew roughly 7,500 people in person and online.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...