March Storm now a joint SFF/NSS project – Join Up!

March Storm

By Dale Skran, Deputy Chair, NSS Policy Committee

Please consider joining the MARCH STORM Congressional action event organized by the Space Frontier Foundation and the National Space Society March 15-19. The MARCH STORM focuses on space development and settlement via a specific and practical set of requested actions. You can expect topics to include a Low Cost Access to Space Prize, establishing settlement and development of space as an official purpose of NASA, full funding for Commercial Crew, and increased funding for commercial research on the ISS. The basic commitment is to a training session on Sunday, March 15, and to at least one day on the Hill – March 16, 17, 18, or 19 to accommodate different schedules. Supporters with more time can sign up for multiple days. If you are interested, register ASAP at www.marchstorm.com. I plan on joining the MARCH STORM and look forward to seeing you there.

Posted in Event, National Space Society, Space Policy, The Space Movement | Leave a comment

National Space Society and Space Frontier Foundation announce the formation of the Alliance for Space Development

The National Space Society (NSS) and the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) will announce the formation of the jointly managed Alliance for Space Development (ASD) at a media event on 25 February in Washington DC. ASD (allianceforspacedevelopment.org) is dedicated to influencing space policy toward the goals of space development and settlement. At press time the LifeBoat Foundation, the Mars Society, the Mars Foundation, the Space Development Steering Committee, the Space Tourism Society, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, Students on Capitol Hill, Tea Party in Space, and the Texas Space Alliance have also joined ASD. Charles Miller, Executive Coordinator of ASD, said “We’re delighted at the support ASD, and the focused, coordinated, year-long strategy it represents, has received in the space community.”

Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R) and Representative Chaka Fattah (D) will co-host the press conference in the House Space Subcommittee hearing room in the Rayburn office building. Chair of the NSS Executive Committee Mark Hopkins said: “NSS is proud to be a founding member of ASD. We see space as a place not just to visit but to stay. The time is right to galvanize the space community toward a greater focus on space development and settlement.” SFF President James Pura said: “The Space Frontier Foundation sees the new Alliance as an important way to advance the central issue for the next era of space—the development and settlement of space as a growing contributor to human prosperity and well being.”

ASD is organized around three key goals: (1) making the development and settlement of space clearly defined parts of why we are sending humans into space, (2) reducing the cost of access to space, and (3) stimulating and accelerating the growth of space industries.

In 2015, ASD objectives include (1) incorporation of space development and settlement into the NASA Space Act, (2) a four-point plan to reduce the cost of access to space, (3) full support of the Commercial Crew program as requested by the Administration, and (4) increasing the utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) while ensuring a gapless transition to private space stations with NASA helping with development and acting as an anchor tenant.

The ASD 2015 legislative strategy is a unified action plan that incorporates previously uncoordinated projects and activities, such as the March Storm (www.marchstorm.com), the August Home District Blitz (www.nss.org/legislative) and other activities of ASD member organizations.

Posted in National Space Society, Space Policy, The Space Movement | Leave a comment

The NSS 2015 International Student Art Contest

Arcturus Space Settlement
2014 Grand Prize Winner:
Arcturus Space Settlement by Bogdan Alexandru Cionca

The National Space Society is hosting the 2015 Roadmap to Space Settlement International Student Art Contest for students aged 13-25. We are looking for original, photo-realistic illustrations of daily life in a space settlement located anywhere in our solar system. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to visualize their ideas of what humanity’s future in space may look like.

The contest’s Grand Prize winner will receive a number of prizes including:

  • Publication on the cover of the National Space Society magazine Ad Astra
  • An award certificate at the annual International Space Development Conference and complimentary registration to the 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto, Canada
  • One year complimentary membership in the National Space Society, including a subscription to Ad Astra magazine
  • Five complimentary copies of the Ad Astra magazine the art work is featured on

Additional prizes will be awarded to the First Prize and Honorable Mention winners in the contest.

Submissions are due by March 16th. For complete contest details, see 2015 Roadmap to Space Settlement International Student Art Contest

Posted in National Space Society, Space Art | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rosetta Team Wins the National Space Society’s Science and Engineering Space Pioneer Award

The National Space Society announces that the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission team is the winner of its 2015 Space Pioneer Award for science and engineering. NSS recognizes the achievements of the Rosetta team, which include the construction, launch and operation of the spacecraft. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference (http://isdc.nss.org/2015/). This will be the 34th ISDC and will be held in Toronto, Canada, at the Hyatt Regency Toronto (downtown). The conference will run from May 20-24, 2015.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at left, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988.

About the Rosetta Team

Rosetta TeamThe Rosetta Mission, underway for over a decade, has scored two historic science firsts: (1) the Rosetta spacecraft went into close orbit around a comet (67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko) on August 6, 2014, and (2) the Philae lander landed on the comet and provided data transmitted from its  surface. The two vehicles have provided abundant data that will help characterize the geology and chemistry of the comet. Rosetta will also monitor the evolution of the phases of the comet during and past its perihelion. This will be the first time in human history that such details of a comet’s behavior have been closely observed. The fact that the comet resembles a contact binary adds to the interest created by the amazing photographs the mission has provided, showing a wide variety of surface features. Mission Manager Fred Jansen and Project Scientist Matt Taylor head the great team of engineers and scientists who carried out this European Space Agency mission.

Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by Deutschen Zentrums für Luft und Raumfahrt (German Center for Aeronautics and Space Research), Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung (Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research), Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (National Center for Space Research) and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (Italian Space Agency).

Posted in Event, National Space Society | Leave a comment

Jay Barbree Wins the National Space Society’s 2015 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media

The National Space Society announces that NBC space news correspondent Jay Barbree is the winner of its 2015 Space Pioneer Award for mass media. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference (http://isdc.nss.org/2015/). This will be the 34th ISDC and will be held in Toronto, Canada, at the Hyatt Regency Toronto (downtown). The conference will run from May 20-24, 2015.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at left, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988.

About Jay Barbree

Jay BarbreeJay Barbree is a reporter, correspondent, and writer. He began reporting on space issues just after Sputnik in 1957. He paid his own way to Cape Canaveral to observe the ill-fated launch of Vanguard 1. On July 21, 1958, he began work for NBC, where he still works today. Barbree is the only reporter to have attended every single manned launch in the USA, from Alan Shepard in 1961 to the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011. He is also the author or co-author of eight books, the latest of which is Neil Armstrong (2014). Barbree’s exemplary, fact-based reporting has helped the public and the space community better understand our space program.

Posted in Event, National Space Society | Leave a comment

Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Rover and Science Team Wins the National Space Society’s von Braun Award

The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Rover and Science Team is the winner of the National Space Society’s Wernher von Braun Memorial Award. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference (http://isdc.nss.org/2015/). This will be the 34th ISDC and will be held in Toronto, Canada, at the Hyatt Regency Toronto (downtown). The conference will run from May 20-24, 2015.

About the von Braun Award

Von Braun AwardThe von Braun award is given in odd-numbered years to recognize excellence in management of and leadership for a space-related project where the project is significant and successful and the manager has the loyalty of a strong team. The award was originally proposed in 1992 by National Space Society Awards Committee member Frederick I. Ordway III, a close associate of and co-author with Wernher von Braun. More information about the von Braun Award and past recipients can be found on the NSS awards page.

About the MSL Curiosity Rover Team

The von Braun Award recognizes the team’s success in conducting over two years of highly significant science operations including drillings at multiple sites in Gale crater. Results so far include discovery of two different ancient aqueous environments on Mars. One of these was found in sedimentary rock, made up of fine-grained mudstone containing clay and sulfate minerals. This was near an ancient stream bed, which contained water-worn rocks and may have flowed about a foot deep. The chemically-mild environment at this site could have supported ancient microbial life on Mars. The rover has also found low but variable levels of atmospheric methane, which contributes to the understanding of the Mars atmosphere. In addition, measurements of background radiation taken by the rover contribute to management of hazards for future human explorers. With the rover currently operating at science sites near the base of Mt. Sharp, the mission promises many more important results.

Curiosity Team

Posted in Event, National Space Society | Leave a comment

Lori Garver Wins the National Space Society’s Non-Legislative Government Service Space Pioneer Award

The National Space Society announces that former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver is the winner of its 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the non-legislative Government Service category. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference (http://isdc.nss.org/2015/). This will be the 34th ISDC and will be held in Toronto, Canada, at the Hyatt Regency Toronto (downtown). The conference will run from May 20-24, 2015.

About the Space Pioneer Award

NSS Space Pioneer AwardThe Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, as shown at left, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year, starting in 1988.

About Lori Garver

Lori GarverLori has served two terms of service with NASA, the first from 1996-2001 when she served as Associate Administrator of the Office of Policy and Plans. In 2008-2009, she served as the head of the Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for NASA. She became the Deputy Administrator of NASA in July, 2009. During her term as Deputy Administrator, she steadfastly supported the areas of launch privatization and new technology development that will allow more effective human space operations both in low Earth orbit and beyond. Since her departure from NASA in September, 2013, she has remained outspoken in her support for launch privatization, and about how space can be used for the benefit of and the economic expansion of mankind. She is currently the General Manager of the Airline Pilots Association, International.

Posted in Event, National Space Society | Leave a comment

Enterprise in Space Orbiter Design Contest Winner Announced

Enterprise in Space Orbiter
Enterprise in Space Orbiter Design Contest Winner

The results are in and the three winners of the NSS Enterprise In Space Orbiter Design Contest have been announced. Of the three winning entries, it is the Grand Prize winning entry that will be used as the design for the NSS Enterprise Orbiter – a donor-funded project that will carry some 100 student experiments to space for approximately one week and return them to Earth. It is important to note that donations are not only funding the construction and launch of the orbiter but will also cover the flight costs of the student experiments. You can learn more by reading the Enterprise In Space project description and you can help to make this unique project a success by making a donation.

The Grand Prize entry in the contest was submitted by Stanley Von Medvey, a concept artist currently living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The First Prize winning entry was submitted by Steven Pestana, a college senior at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona. The Second Prize winning entry was submitted by John Cortes, a first-year graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering.

"The Enterprise in Space team and I want to thank all the people who sent in their wonderful and imaginative science fiction inspired ship designs from all over the world," said EIS Founder Shawn Case. The winning designs and the press release announcing the winning entries can be seen at www.enterpriseinspace.org/winner/.

Posted in Education, National Space Society | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The International Space Station as a Research Hub

From Dale Skran, Deputy Chair, NSS Policy Committee:

One of the major foci of the NSS Policy Committee has been and continues to be supporting the International Space Station and the associated critical Commercial Crew and Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) programs.  One reason both are so important to the ISS lies in the incredible value of the ability to both move new experiments to the ISS on a regular basis, and to return experimental results when they are ready.  It should be noted that the Russian Soyuz is a very tight fit for the three astronauts, and it has virtually no return-to-Earth cargo capacity.  Thus, without the CRS SpaceX Dragon, there would be no way to return experiments to Earth. NASA has produced the interesting half-hour video below that reviews science and technology efforts on the ISS during 2014.

Posted in International Space Station, NASA, National Space Society, Space Policy | Leave a comment

“We Are Going to Mars”

Boeing version:


Trailer for “Journey to Space” IMAX 3D film opening February 2015.

SpaceX version:


Animation of Falcon Heavy launch with booster return.

Posted in Space Transportation | Leave a comment