Space Symposium postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

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Updated at 11:30 a.m. EDT to add Space Foundation’s written statement announcing the postponement.

WASHINGTON — One of the biggest space conferences of the year has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 36th Space Symposium, which regularly attracts several thousand registrants and hundreds of exhibitors from around the world to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will not be held March 30 through April 2.

“We are postponing,” Space Foundation spokesman Rich Cooper told SpaceNews. “We do not have an identified date yet. We are working with the Broadmoor and the Colorado Springs community to identify when the best available opportunity will be to bring everybody back together.”

The Space Foundation notified key stakeholders, including the U.S. Space Force and NASA, Thursday night that the annual event will be postponed.

A formal announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern Friday.

Cooper said the Space Foundation is working with the city of Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor Hotel to identify new dates for the conference.

“Obviously, this is a disappointing decision,” Cooper said. “In working with all our partners, we wanted to do everything we could [to avoid postponement] but these are obviously unprecedented situations that have lead us have to make a very difficult and unfortunate decision.”

Travel restrictions announced Wednesday night by U.S. President Donald Trump would have made it difficult if not impossible for European participants to attend the Space Symposium.

The Space Foundation’s decision to postpone the Space Symposium came toward the end of the week that saw hundreds of events canceled or postponed.

Here’s the official statement:

The Space Foundation issued a statement today announcing the 36th Space Symposium, previously scheduled for March 30 – April 2, 2020, has been postponed:

“The Space Foundation is working with its partners, The Broadmoor, the City of Colorado Springs, and its members and other key stakeholders to identify future dates and details that will assemble the world’s space community again in Colorado.

“In the coming days, we will be issuing additional guidance about those steps and the identified path forward. We ask for your patience as that guidance is assembled and conveyed to our partners, attendees, the public, and the space community we are proud to serve.

“From the beginning, the Space Foundation has valued its stewardship role in assembling the diverse members of the world’s space community. Those efforts will continue forward as we look toward future assemblies, programs, and activities that expand and diversify the space economy; inspire and educate every generation to take their place in this bold frontier; and, advocate that space has a place for us all.

“Thank you for your attention and support.”