We are making progress…

NSS Executive Vice President Dale Skran writes:

In the current April 20-26 print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, one of the top three business magazines in the country (along with Fortune and Forbes), the lead editorial is about when to get into the asteroid market. You can read it yourself at:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-08/get-yourself-some-moon-rocks

The article is respectful and constructive, offering a serious proposal on how to handle asteroid mining rights. It reminds me quite a bit of the sort of articles you might see in the L5 News during the late 70s and early 80s.

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National Space Society Calls SpaceX Launch Success a Step Toward Future Space Stations

The Falcon 9 launch by SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 14th highlights the importance of the ISS in furthering space development and settlement. For example, Commercial Resupply Services 6 (CRS-6) lofted the Planetary Resources test spacecraft, the Arkyd 3, which will be launched from the ISS, and marks a significant step on a long road to mining the asteroids. However, the ISS is scheduled for destruction in 2024. If that time comes with no replacement, America’s and humanity’s hard-won foothold in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will be lost.

The National Space Society (NSS) has released policy recommendations to extend and expand this foothold in space. The full paper is available at:

www.nss.org/legislative/positions/NSS_Position_Paper_Next_Generation_Space_Stations_2015.pdf.

NSS does not suggest that the ISS be replaced by a single, large, government owned and operated facility. Instead, NSS proposes a program structured much like the successful Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) which led to the current CRS program and Commercial Crew (CCDev) programs where NASA helps develop multiple, privately owned, commercially operated space stations and then becomes an anchor tenant. The US ISS National Laboratory could continue to operate using these new space stations.

Additionally, NSS urges that NASA continue the existing CRS cargo and crew transportation arrangements for both up and down access to the new stations. Current international ISS partners and potential future partners would be invited to join the effort based on new partnership agreements, thus ensuring the continued international flavor of humanity’s LEO outposts.

Without adequate planning now, the end of the ISS program will result in the loss of a host of valuable capabilities and activities that promote commerce, science, space operations, and space settlement. Both Russia and China have said they will build stations of their own in the relatively near future. It seems self-evident that the USA will suffer a considerable blow in terms of prestige when the Russians and Chinese can offer stays on their LEO space stations to other nations while the U.S. offers nothing comparable.

NSS Executive Vice-President Dale Skran said, “We congratulate SpaceX on another successful launch demonstrating the efficacy of the COTS approach to developing significant space capabilities at low cost and urge NASA to adopt a similar approach to ensure a gapless transition beyond the ISS.”

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Renowned Astronauts & Space Experts On-Board for 2015 International Space Development Conference® in Toronto

Moon Walker Buzz Aldrin leads stellar list of guest speakers

The 34th annual International Space Development Conference® (ISDC® 2015) is set for May 20-24, 2015 at the downtown Hyatt Regency in Toronto, Canada. The event is this year’s best opportunity to meet and learn from leaders on the cutting edge of concepts shaping the future of life on Earth and in space.

ISDC® is the yearly conference of the National Space Society, a nonprofit organization that has hosted the gathering since 1982. The Canadian Space Commerce Association is hosting ISDC® 2015. The International Space Development Conference® is unique in bringing together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

An exciting array of distinguished guest speakers is set to share their experiences and insights with conference attendees, led by Apollo 11 astronaut and ShareSpace Foundation founder Buzz Aldrin. The second man to walk on the Moon, Aldrin also serves on the National Space Society’s Board of Governors.

A still-growing list of featured speakers at ISDC® 2015 includes:

  • Christopher J. Ferguson, former NASA astronaut and veteran of three space shuttle missions.
  • Marc Garneau, Member of the Canadian Parliament and the first Canadian Astronaut in space.
  • Lori Garver, General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association and former NASA Deputy Administrator.
  • Li Ming, Vice President of the China Academy of Space Technology.
  • Geoff Notkin, world-renowned meteorite expert and star of TV’s Meteorite Men.
  • George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, a U.S. commercial spaceflight company.

ISDC speakers

I'm Going

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NSS POLITICAL ACTION NETWORK ALERT: The Space Exploration, Development and Settlement Act of 2015

From Dale Skran, Chair, NSS Policy Committee

We need your help! The Space Exploration, Development and Settlement (SEDS) Act is about to be introduced in Congress. The purpose of the SEDS Act is to authorize and instruct NASA to pursue permanent human settlements in outer space as well as the development of space in general.  We need you to call your member of Congress (to be clear – your Representative, not your Senators) by April 17th and ask him or her to be an original co-sponsor of the Space Exploration, Development and Settlement (SEDS) Act.  Representative Dana Rohrabacher’s office will introduce the bill.

If this is your first PAN alert, or if you are uncertain who your Representative is, please look at this instruction guide: http://www.nss.org/legislative/congress.htm.

As an advocate for space, you know that NASA needs a big goal that can excite the public imagination and give clear direction to the human space flight program. The Space Exploration, Development and Settlement Act will make human settlement of space a long-term goal of the United States. By setting such a bold goal, Congress will assure U.S. predominance in outer space for decades, reinvigorate STEM education, catalyze massive economic growth, and energize public support for the space program.  The bill does not advocate for a specific destination, launch vehicle or contractual arrangement, nor does it calls for the expenditure of additional funds. It is a short, simple bill and is intended to give NASA clear guidance: get humans into space, this time to stay.

Please contact your member of Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor the Space Exploration, Development and Settlement Act.

Once you’ve contacted your Member of Congress please let us know so we can follow up with them.  You can do so by emailing dale.skran@nss.org.  You can also email any questions you may have at the same address.

[Copy of the Act in PDF]

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National Space Society Awards Physicist Kip Thorne Its Mass Media Space Pioneer Award

The National Space Society announces that physicist Dr. Kip Thorne is the recipient 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 Dr. Kip Thorne

Kip ThorneDr. Thorne has had a very long and distinguished career as a physicist, Caltech physics professor, and author. Physics is the bedrock of space science, and what he has taught is vital to professionals working in the space community. Dr. Throne co-authored the landmark physics textbook Gravitation. He held the position of the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech from 1991 to 2009, when he left the position to work outside of the university. His work in Interstellar is one of the results. Dr. Thorne is good friends with world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking, prior recipient of the National Space Society’s prestigious Heinlein Award.

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NASA’S International Space Apps Challenge

NSS Sacramento Chapter is Participating April 11-12, 2015

Mark your calendar for this free and engaging weekend of fun for all ages! For the first time the NASA Space Apps Challenge comes to Sacramento with dozens of challenges on the themes of Earth, Outer Space, Humans and Robotics. Tell your friends and colleagues – we want all techies, artists, scientists, designers, makers, space nerds – come with your ideas, create or join a team and make the future happen!

WHEN: On April 10-12 people in over 100 cities around the globe are participating in the largest Space Apps Challenge in history to design innovative solutions to global challenges.

WHERE: Entrepreneurs Campus, 909 Mormon Street, Folsom, CA 95630

More information on the NASA Space Apps Challenge:

The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place over 48-hours in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. This year has over 25 challenges in four areas: Earth, Outer Space, Humans and Robotics. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of government collaborators and over 100 local organizing teams across the globe.

  • 2014 had 8,000 participants in 46 countries in 95 cities and had 671 projects on the most popular “Challenges” – Growing Food for a Martian Table, Astronaut Wearables, Robot of ExoMars Rover for Education, Game or App Creation of Satellite Images.
  • Opportunity to create relationships with regional makers, designers, technologists, videographers, academics, students, scientists, investors and entrepreneurs
  • Join a creative team and solve world problems using publicly available NASA data to create open source solutions.
  • Prizes and awards to be announced…top winners get judged by NASA.

BONUS: NASA is placing a special emphasis on women in data this year. Participate in the first NASA Bootcamp streamed live from NYC to improve skills with code, data and project advocacy on Friday, April 10th.  Join the Sacramento Chapter for this live event at the Entrepreneurs Campus location given above.

You must register for the NASA Space Apps Challenge to attend any of the events around the world (it’s free). You can use this link specifically for Sacramento. For more information about the Sacramento events, contact Ingrid.Rosten@gmail.com or (408) 691-4784.

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Who Ya Gonna Call? The Oklahoma Space Alliance

From Dale Skran, Chair, NSS Policy Committee:

NSS members often associate Congressional visits with events like the SEA Blitz, the March Storm, and the August Home District Blitz. Even so, the great majority of these visits are with staff, not the Senators/Congress members themselves.

Hence, it was with considerable surprise when the office of Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK District 1) called Steve Swift, the President of the local NSS Chapter (the Oklahoma Space Alliance) requesting a briefing on space matters. Bridentstine is on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and is Chair of the Subcommittee on Environment.

Steve and members of the Oklahoma Space Alliance ended up talking with the Congressman himself for 1-½ hours on February 18, 2015!  To prepare for this important meeting, the chapter prepared a four-page document of talking points. Although this document is localized to the situation in Oklahoma, it is a good model for any NSS Chapter to follow. Please join me in congratulating Steve and the Oklahoma Space Alliance on this significant achievement!!!

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Anousheh Ansari Wins the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for “Service to the Space Community”

The National Space Society announces that serial entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari is the winner of its 2015 Space Pioneer Award for “Service to the Space Community.” 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 Anousheh Ansari

Anousheh AnsariAnousheh Ansari has been a major contributor to the X-Prize Foundation which made her a driving force in the commercialization of the space sector. She is the first female private space explorer, providing an inspirational story that has made her mark in history. Ansari’s accomplishments as a serial entrepreneur, innovator, and humanitarian have been an inspiration to communities and individuals across the globe, especially young girls. Ansari acts as a Space Ambassador promoting the benefits of space exploration to humankind, and also as a role model for global causes including social entrepreneurship, peace and understanding among nations, and inspiring the young generation to pursue their dreams and build a better future for all.

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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.

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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.

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