On March 18th 2010 I visited the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to see the facility here in Boulder and attend a talk by Dr. Stanley G. Love – a NASA astronaut that flew on STS-122. Founded in 1947, employing over 3,000 people in several states, SwRI is a very prolific multi-disciplinary institute, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas (for more information about the SwRI, visit its facts page). SwRI has a fairly large office (about a hundred people) in downtown Boulder Colorado. If you live, work or ever visited Boulder you’d appreciate the prime location, close to many of the restaurants and atmosphere unique to Boulder.
After the fascinating talk I got a tour of the Boulder office, which seems more like a startup company than an office of a large company (and I mean that in a good way), and I got invited to join Stan and several SwRI employees for lunch at an Indian restaurant, where conversation about a number of space related issues continued. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed this short time amongst researchers, an astronaut and space topics. This was my first time attending one of the SwRI Boulder Colloquia, which occur about once a week and revolve around space – science, missions, technology and findings. These meetings are free, open to the general public and I highly recommend attending – I know I’ll come back for more.