Videos from the 2013 International Space Development Conference

Thanks to our friends at MoonandbackMedia, some of the presentations from the 2013 NSS International Space Development Conference in San Diego are now online.

ISDC 2013 Opening Opening Ceremony. 16 minutes.

Jeff Greason Bas Landsdorp. 29 minutes. Opening Keynote Address. Bas Lansdorp is Co-Founder and CEO of Mars One.

Stephen D. Covey Asteroid Panel: Threats or Resources? 50 minutes. Moderated by Stephen D. Covey.

Martin Elvis Dr. Martin Elvis: Asteroid Characterization for Planetary Defense. 39 minutes.

Bob Richards Bob Richards. 46 minutes. Thursday Luncheon Speaker. Dr. Richards is Co-Founder and CEO of Moon Express.

Ohio University - Space Solar Power Ohio University – Space Solar Power. 14 minutes. Creative Visualizations of Space Solar Power.

Dana Rohrabacher Dana Rohrabacher. 46 minutes. Congressman Rohrabacher (CA) is Vice Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Chris Lewicki and David Gump Asteroid Mining Prospects. 50 minutes. Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, and David Gump, CEO, Deep Space Industries.

Mark Sonter Mark Sonter: Asteroid Mining. 55 minutes. Director of Mining and Processing, Deep Space Industries.

Howard Bloom Howard Bloom. 47 minutes. Saturday Luncheon Presentation: Gardening the Solar System, Greening the Galaxy.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. 73 minutes. Saturday Night Gala. Space Solar Power: Key to a Livable Planet Earth.

Mae Jemison Dr. Mae Jemison, physician astronaut. 61 minutes. Saturday Keynote Plenary Speaker.

Tom and Tina Sjogren Tom and Tina Sjogren: To Mars in Alpine Style. 49 minutes.

Robert Zubrin Robert Zubrin: Mars in Our Time. 52 minutes. Robert Zubrin is founder and president of the Mars Society.

Buzz Aldrin Buzz Aldrin. 85 minutes. Saturday Luncheon Speaker. A Unified Space Vision: Mission to Mars.

Maria Zuber Maria Zuber. 91 minutes. Principal Investigator of the lunar GRAIL mission. Saturday Banquet includes tribute to Women in Space and NSS Chapter Awards.

Robert Kerr Robert Kerr. 52 minutes. Director of the Arecibo Observatory.

Space Solar Power: Key to a Livable Planet Earth

The National Space Society (NSS) today announces a new space solar power international initiative. NSS endorses this initiative and will work to forge an international organization involving America, India and other nations to develop space solar power. This has the potential of solving humanity’s energy needs and greatly mitigating climate change.

The following is a joint statement of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of the Republic of India and Mr. Mark Hopkins, Executive Committee Chairman, National Space Society.

Space Solar Power: Key to a Livable Planet Earth
Joint Statement of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Former President of the Republic of India
Mr. Mark Hopkins
Chairman of the Executive Committee, National Space Society
June 1, 2013

We, Dr. Kalam and Mr. Hopkins, have long shared humanity’s dream of all nations living together in prosperity and peace and moving forwards through global collaboration in space to meet the challenges that now face our Planet Earth. We are conscious that all nations have to strive to make our planet livable again, after centuries of devastation of its environment and ecosystems and rapid depletion of its precious mineral resources, including fossil fuels and fresh water.

Over these last three years many of our colleagues, in NSS and in India, have come together and made progress towards this international collaborative mission by sustained dialogue with mutual respect, understanding, and trust. It is essentially this process that has helped us to decide that the time has arrived for us to together attempt to give a direction and momentum to this movement to realize space solar power and its enabling technologies through international collaboration that can help rebuild our environmentally vulnerable planet.

Today, we begin working together in a well organized and well supported manner to realize such a 21st Century global collaboration; and together help to lay the structural foundation for an international collaboration to develop and deploy space solar power systems. We are aware that coalitions and collaborations work best if there is a shared mission and common goals, and effective leadership. We need to build strong, trusting relationships across nations through a participatory process with the active involvement of member nations and their institutions and organizations. We will work to develop an effective mission governance process and hope to evolve, jointly and together in international teams, clear operating procedures regarding decision-making, communications, and accountability. We shall be working together to develop a shared vision, to build strong relationships within the leadership team, and to rotate leadership roles.

Kalam and Hopkins discuss joint statement at the 2013 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).

Such a shared vision shall include specific mechanisms such as the Global Space Knowledge Platform, the International Virtual Laboratory, and the International Advisory Committee that Dr. Kalam has elaborated through discussion papers with Mr. Hopkins and his Address to the 2013 National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2013). We hope our international collaborative mission will act as a catalyst for a livable planet which will promote prosperity and peaceful relations within and between nations.

We shall start our team building and mission structuring phase with core members from nations who we know are already networking and who are contributing to the dream of harvesting energy from space, including the US, India, Japan, and UK. We shall also invite, as observers, representatives in relevant domains of public policy, science and technology and management systems from other space faring nations like Russia, China, and other European nations. We shall engage in open and frequent communication with people who share our values and goals in governments and societies which are important to the success of this venture. We will help accomplish this through collaborative practices that are the true hallmark of effective global cooperation for a livable planet Earth. We shall have a clear plan of action to market the idea of a livable planet Earth through space solar power to G8 or G20 nations within a year.

Towards this end, we agree to start working together by jointly identifying the core members and observer members in the joint working mechanisms that Dr. Kalam has proposed. This shall be the direction of what we must accomplish in the coming months. We shall build upon the trusting relationships we have established and consolidated these last three years between NSS, Dr. Kalam, and others in India. We shall now strive to expand this relationship in an organized and well-structured manner towards an international collaborative mission to realize space solar power for all humanity.

For more information concerning the plan, see Dr. Kalam’s June 2, 2013  address to the leaders of the Indian aerospace community and “Global Space Solar Plan Unveiled,” Aviation Week, June 3, 2013.

About Dr. Abdul Kalam: Despite coming from a poor background, which required him to work at an early age to supplement his parents’ income, Dr. Kalam obtained degrees in Physics and Aeronautical Engineering. He was project director of India’s first indigenous satellite launch vehicle. Dr. Kalam was subsequently responsible for the evolution of ISRO’s (India’s equivalent of NASA) launch vehicle program. From 1992 to 1999, he was the Scientific Adviser to Defense Minister of India and Secretary, Department of Defense Research & Development. Dr. Kalam was President of India from 2002 to 2007. He is known for his work with students. His 79th birthday was recognized as “World Student’s Day” by the United Nations. According to a 2010 Readers Digest poll, he is one of the two most trusted men in India. Dr. Kalam has received numerous prestigious awards including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, and the 2013 Wernher von Braun Memorial award from the National Space Society. He currently serves as the Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Technology, the leading institution for producing new engineers and scientists for India’s space program. Read more about Dr. Kalam at his website.

Announcement of Opportunity to Submit Input to Study on Human Spaceflight

Deadline is July 9

The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences is currently conducting a congressionally-requested study to examine the goals, core capabilities, and direction of human space flight. This study, which is being carried out by the NRC’s Committee on Human Spaceflight, will provide findings and recommendations to guide the U.S. human spaceflight enterprise in a sustainable manner. The Committee on Human Spaceflight recognizes the importance of reaching out to the communities interested in human exploration and is using several approaches to solicit input regarding the motivations, goals, and the possible evolution of human spaceflight. One important source of input is this call for short papers from communities around the world with an interest in human spaceflight.

The Committee on Human Spaceflight invites interested individuals and groups to submit input papers describing their own ideas on the role of human spaceflight and their vision for a suggested future. In developing their papers, respondents are asked to carefully consider the following broad questions.

1. What are the important benefits provided to the United States and other countries by human spaceflight endeavors?

2. What are the greatest challenges to sustaining a U.S. government program in human spaceflight?

3. What are the ramifications and what would the nation and world lose if the United States terminated NASA’s human spaceflight program?

In discussing the above questions, respondents are asked to describe the reasoning that supports their arguments and, to the extent possible, include or cite any evidence that supports their views. In considering #1 above, submitters may consider private as well as government space programs.

This request for input papers is open to any and all interested individuals and groups. For more information on the committee and the goals of the study, please see the statement of task at

Formatting and Length Requirements

To facilitate document management, the Committee asks that submitters abide by the following formatting guidelines:

• Input papers should not be more than 4 pages in length. Papers can include web links to other documents among the references.

• Use a 10 or 12-pt font with 1-inch margins on all sides of the document.

• Use Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). No other formats will be accepted.

• Authors are responsible for obtaining any permissions necessary to use, or for the NRC to reproduce, copyrighted material.

• Position papers must be less than 50 MB in size. For file management purposes, please compress your figures if this does not detract from the clarity of your white paper. You should feel free to include hyperlinks to high resolution versions.

• A cover page can be included (beyond the 4-page limit) that shows the title of the white paper, a short abstract, the primary author’s name, phone number, institution, and email address, and a list of co-authors with their respective institutions.

Utilization of the Papers

All submitted papers will be reviewed by the Committee on Human Spaceflight. Note that, because participants will be self-selected, these input papers will not be used to judge the prevalence of attitudes or opinions within various communities. However, they will help ensure that the committee hears about important issues from interested parties. The submitted papers will also be available for public viewing at All input papers will be considered non-proprietary for distribution with attribution.

Submission Instructions

Please submit your white paper by navigating to Clicking on the appropriate link there which will take you to a page where you can upload your input paper as instructed. You must agree to the copyright consent form on that page before uploading your document. Doing so will ensure that your paper will be reviewed by the committee and that your contribution will be made publicly available.

Submissions must be made through by no later than July 9, 2013. All submitted white papers will be made public.

National Space Society Reports on Annual Conference

The Washington DC-based National Space Society (NSS) announced the conclusion of its 32nd International Space Development Conference (ISDC), which was held May 23-27, 2013 in San Diego, California.

Despite the slowdown in federal spending and travel restriction on government leaders and other personnel, the conference was among the biggest held by NSS. Over 800 participants from around the world, including approximately 400 students, took part in a wide range of field trips, discussions, and presentations.

Key focus areas included use of and protection against asteroids, living in space, breakthrough science and space technologies, emerging uses of space to improve life on Earth, and opportunities for lunar and Martian exploration. Attendees also focused on space and education. Discussions about space business and policy rounded out the agenda.

The conference was host to the world’s premier international forum on use of satellites to collect and beam energy to Earth, to provide clean, continuous electricity. This concept has been thoroughly studied for many years as an answer to the Earth’s long-term energy needs.

There was also an innovative set of presentations on the topic of how transhumanism can impact space settlement in the long term, by altering human beings to better survive and thrive in the space environment.

NSS took this occasion to formally release its latest Roadmap for Space Settlement and Development, a document that puts practically all space-related activities in context and explains how humanity can overcome the major expected barriers to growing our civilization into space.

A number of revolutionary developments were announced at the conference, including startling recent advances in growing stem cells in space and how they can be used.

A highlight of the Conference was a presentation by Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, that proposed a multinational research program for a Livable World, with a focus on producing electricity in space from sunlight and beaming it back to Earth.  His speech is available here.

Another key element was a discussion by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin of innovative approaches to lunar and Martian human exploration and development, including new insights into concepts for interplanetary space travel.

A focus on the next generation was the reason the conference hosted the winners of a major international student design competition.  Student teams from many nations presented their designs for future space settlements and an international student space art contest. The students reveled in meeting their heroes and role models in the space community.

Achievements in space activity were recognized by the presentation of NSS Space Pioneer awards to Dr. Mae Jemison, Hon. Dana Rohrabacher, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Development team, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Team, and the Mars Science laboratory (Curiosity) Descent and Landing Team. Dr. Kalam received the Society’s prestigious  Werhner von Braun Memorial Award.

Clearly, the ISDC again proved itself to be unique among the world’s space conferences.

The Society plans to hold the 33rd ISDC in Los Angeles from May 23-27, 2014.

Kalam Address at ISDC: Space Solar Power – Key to a Liveable Planet Earth

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, aerospace engineer and former President of India, presented the keynote address at the NSS International Space Development Conference on May 24 in San Diego on the subject Space Solar Power: Key to a Liveable Planet Earth.  The complete address is now available on the NSS website.

Kalam stated: “Considering the magnitude of the looming energy and environmental problems, a strong view has emerged that the situation faced by India warrants consideration of all energy options, including the concept of SSP. ISRO [Indian Space Research Organization] has recently carried out some preliminary concept studies on SSP and examined three SSP configurations. ISRO has also welcomed an International Preliminary Feasibility Study and are aware that this would call for strong and long-term cooperation between institutions in every nation blended into an International R&D programme for SSP.”

Kalam listed the following advantages of SSP:

1. Immensely Scalable. SSP can scale to provide the energy needs of the entire human civilization at well enhanced standards of living. Most other near-term renewable options are strictly limited in scalability.

2. A single kilometre-wide band of geosynchronous Earth orbit experiences enough solar flux in one year to nearly equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today.

3. It is safe and globally available, and can be safely shared with all countries on this planet without proliferation concerns.

4. It is steady & assured, for SSP is a continuous, rather than intermittent, power source. It is not subject to the weather, the seasons, or the day-night cycle.

5. It needs no fundamental breakthroughs in either physics or engineering.

Kalam called for international cooperation in developing space solar power, stating “we shall embark on a path-breaking international mission for space solar power within the ambit of a global vision for space industrialization leading on to a new era of peace, prosperity and abundance for all mankind.”

10-Minute Introduction to Space Solar Power

Creative Visualizations of Space Solar Power. The videos below, totaling 10 minutes, are student productions that have been professionally mentored and peer-reviewed at Ohio University and presented at the National Space Society International Space Development Conference in San Diego in May 2013.

Sol Invictus: The Unconquered Sun – Introduction.

Sol Invictus: The Unconquered Sun – SunSats.

Sol Invictus: The Unconquered Sun – Conclusion.

Electricity is one of the most flexible, cost effective and non-polluting sources of power at the point of use. Energy from Space will be key to achieving and sustaining universal access to this form of power, since all known energy supplies on Earth will be insufficient to keep up with projected world demand for electricity

About 80% of our current energy supply is in the form of fossil fuels. Greater diversification and augmentation of energy sources is needed. To protect our planet, our long-term goal must be to find alternative energy supplies that are clean, renewable, affordable, and available to everyone. Guaranteed access to non-polluting energy is a controlling variable for local and national security, economic and social development and a good quality of life for everyone. Thus, as citizens of Planet Earth, we are fortunate that solar power satellites can now be used to reach up and harvest the abundant energy that is available just outside Earth’s atmosphere.

For more information visit Ohio University’s Online Journal of Space Communication.