More Videos from the International Space Development Conference

The following presentations from the 2012 NSS International Space Development Conference in Washington, DC, are now available on the NSS website.

Michael Lopez-Alegria Michael Lopez-Alegria, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and former NASA astronaut and International Space Station commander. Saturday Luncheon Keynote Address. 73 minute video.
Doug McCuistion Doug McCuistion, Director of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. 58 minute video.
Mike Simpson International Space Sustainability Panel: Sarah Factor, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy; Philippe Hazane, CNES Representative and Space Attache, French Embassy; Ade Abiodun, Former Chairman of UN COPUOS; Lynn Cline, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, Retired. Chaired by Mike Simpson, Secure World Foundation. 81 minute video.

Mars is calling: Be part of the conversation!

NASA is busy replanning the future Mars Exploration Program — and wants to hear from you!

NASA has opened a forum for public input on its Mars Exploration Program, the purpose of which is to achieve high-priority science goals and address the challenges of sending humans to Mars, all within an environment of very constrained budgets. NASA is inviting the Mars exploration community and all interested people, regardless of educational or professional background, to engage in a conversation about the future of Mars exploration.

The NASA Mars Forum can be found at:

You first need to register to submit questions or comments. After registering, wait for the email where you submit your password. Then login and submit a question or comment. You can also agree or disagree with a statement already posted.

This dialogue on Mars will only be open for participation until July 1, 2012.

More Videos from the International Space Development Conference

The following presentations from the 2012 NSS International Space Development Conference in Washington, DC, are now available on the NSS website.

Jeff Greason Jeff Greason: The 20 Year Plan? Saturday Dinner Keynote Address. Greason is president of XCOR Aerospace and was a member of the President’s Human Space Flight Review Committee (Augustine Committee) in 2009. 54 minute video.
Hugh Downs NSS 25th Anniversary Governors Gala at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum featuring Master of Ceremonites Hugh Downs (Chairman of the NSS Board of Governors), Senator John Glenn, Commander Scott Carpenter, and Mark Sirangelo (Chairman, Sierra Nevada Space Systems). 70 minute video.

Videos from the International Space Development Conference Online

Videos of presentations from the 2012 NSS International Space Development Conference in Washington, DC, are now available on the NSS website.

Charles F. Bolden Charles F. Bolden, Administrator of NASA. Opening Keynote Address. Prior to becoming NASA Administrator, Bolden was a Shuttle astronaut who flew four missions, including the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope. 60 minute video.
SpaceX Dragon SpaceX Update. The historic docking of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with the International Space Station occured during the ISDC on May 25th. This brief update by SpaceX as it was happening is accompanied by an announcement from NSS Director Jay Wittner that a portion of the remains of the late former NSS Chairman of the Executive Committee, Chris Pancratz, was aboard the Falcon 9 as it launched the Dragon. 10 minute video.
Eric Anderson Eric Anderson is Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of Planetary Resources, Inc., a private asteroid mining venture. He is also Chairman and Co-Founder of Space Adventures, and has sold nearly half a billion dollars in spaceflight missions, including all of the self-funded private citizens to have visited the International Space Station. Eric is a member of the NSS Board of Governors. 60 minute video.
Mark Sirangelo Mark N. Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Chairman of SNC Space Systems, whose products range from spacecraft actuators that power the Mars rovers, to hybrid rocket technologies that powered the first commercial astronaut to space, to Dream Chaser, a winged and piloted orbital commercial spacecraft. 39 minute video.
Steve Cook Steve Cook is Director of Space Technologies at Dynetics, which has been involved in both NASA and commercial space ventures, including the NASA Space Launch System, Stratolaunch Air Launch System, and the Google Lunar XPrize. 32 minute video.
Art Dula Art Dula, CEO and founder of Excalibur Almaz, a private spaceflight company, makes major announcements of what his company has been doing and plans to do (including private human cis-lunar flights). Mr. Dula is a member of the NSS Board of Governors. 57 minute video.

NSS Mourns Passing of Ray Bradbury, Author and NSS Space Pioneer Award Recipient

The National Space Society mourns the loss of legendary author and visionary, Ray D. Bradbury, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 91.

The author of more than 50 books, Bradbury’s works encompassed many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. He is most widely known for his novels, The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and Fahrenheit 451 (1953).

Through his vivid writing style and great imagination, many readers have been introduced to concepts such as human settlement on Mars. This has inspired great interest in that topic, stirring the imaginations of many NSS members, and has certainly contributed to the start of many careers in the sciences, and in the aerospace field in particular. His writing has helped us to better understand what it is to be human, as well as the pressing need for us to be ever mindful stewards of the future that is yet to unfold.

In appreciation and recognition of his lifetime body of work in fantasy writing, including a significant amount of science fiction, such as The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury was awarded the NSS’s prestigious Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media in 2010.

The entire NSS membership mourns his loss, and extends its condolences to the Bradbury family.

NASA Gains Breathing Room On Commercial Crew Program

NASA has negotiated a continuation of its successful Space Acts Agreements (SAA) procedures for contracting and funding of the next phase of its Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The SAA has also been the process for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS), which saw the flight of the SpaceX Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo, and its return with science experiments and no longer needed space station equipment.

The deal, worked out between NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee, Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va), will allow NASA to select 2.5 partners under the CCP using SAA rather than the more restrictive and cumbersome Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Wolf’s statement on his website was followed by a letter from Bolden.

The agreement allows the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCAP) phase of CCP to proceed under SAA rules, but then commits NASA to using FAR procedures for certification and procurement of services.

There was also agreement to fund the program at the Senate level of $525 million, although Bolden in his letter urged the conference committee to fund the CCP at a higher level for 2013. The Administration had originally requested $836 million.

Contenders in the Commercial Crew arena include:

  • Space Exploration Technologies Corporation – SpaceX – Dragon
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation – SNC – Dream Chaser
  • Boeing – CST-100
  • Blue Origin – New Shepherd

NSS Congratulates SpaceX Team — Calls on Congress to Fully Fund Commercial Crew & Space Technology

The National Space Society (NSS) congratulates Elon Musk and the entire SpaceX team on the Dragon spacecraft’s historic mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and its safe return to Earth yesterday.

“The mission was truly spectacular and marks a watershed moment in space history — proving that the commercial sector can successfully service the ISS,” said NSS Executive Director Paul E. Damphousse. “We were especially fortunate to celebrate the Dragon’s grappling at ISS on Friday morning with NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., who was at that very moment addressing an audience of nearly one thousand at NSS’s recent International Space Development Conference (ISDC).”

ISDC, the National Space Society’s annual conference, wrapped up in Washington, DC earlier this week. Administrator Bolden was delivering the opening keynote speech just as Dragon approached and then berthed at the ISS.

The safe return of Dragon and the advancement of commercial cargo and crew programs mark true milestones on the path to enabling a space-faring civilization. NASA’s efforts to advance space technology will also have a significant impact: technologies such as cryogenic propellant storage and transfer (CPST), solar electric propulsion (SEP), and advanced robotics are “mission-multipliers,” and are but a few examples being advanced by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. These efforts will help to enable robust space operations while providing dramatic reductions in overall costs.

NSS recognizes that there is still much to be done, and maintains that strong leadership in government will be critical going forward. In this context, NSS calls on the Senate to fully fund the commercial crew development program and space technology lines of the NASA budget as proposed in the President’s FY2013 budget request earlier this year, removing the proposed cuts made by the House in May. While NSS acknowledges the difficult budgetary parameters under which Congress must work, we strongly encourage both Houses of Congress to accede to the President’s request for both commercial crew and space technology during conference later this year.

“The successful conclusion of SpaceX’s COTS-2/3 missions has demonstrated that the commercial sector is now ready to move forward with increased responsibility for servicing ISS, including the development of crew transport capability,” Damphousse said. “If funded and executed correctly, the commercial crew program will end our sole reliance on foreign providers and bring that capability — and the jobs associated with it — back home. We should be preserving funding for these commercial and space technology programs — which are producing tangible successes today, and will continue to do so in the near-term and beyond — rather than shifting it to already well-funded programs that may be years away from providing results.