Join the NSS Leadership Team — Apply by December 31

The National Space Society (NSS) is an open, democratic, grassroots organization where its members are directly involved in NSS operations and thus help shape the future.  You are not only the heart and soul, but the legs and arms, of NSS.  Apply now to become an active part of the Space Movement via any of our various committee or officer positions.  We want you to be a part of the NSS leadership team.  Help make the future happen.

NSS Officers and their operating committees work as necessary with staff, volunteers, Chapters, and contract services to further the Vision, Mission, and Objectives of the Society, as outlined in the Strategic Plan and related corporate documents.

In order to ensure that the Society finds the best people to join the NSS Leadership Team, the NSS Executive Committee has established a 2014 Leadership Search Committee.  Its purpose is to seek out, from throughout the community of NSS members and those who share our vision, those individuals with the qualifications, abilities, and desire to serve a two-year term as an Operating Committee member or Chair, or NSS Officer.

This is your chance to join the leadership of NSS and shape the future of space settlement!  Our goal is to engage every interested NSS member at some level in Society activities.

The Leadership Search Committee is seeking volunteer candidates with the time, talent, and motivation to serve as a member, Secretary, or Chair on one or more of the following committees (click links for descriptions):

Superior candidates will also be considered for the following Officer positions (click links for descriptions):

NSS Officers and Committee members and Chairs are unpaid, volunteer positions, serving two-year terms.  Most positions come with voting privileges.  Some out-of-pocket expenses for volunteer leaders may be tax deductible.  See IRS Publication 526 for more details.

If you are motivated to become a part of the exciting new developments in space and have the right stuff to help make NSS the premier voice for space advocates and enthusiasts, then now is the time to join the NSS leadership team!

Please send a resume or bio and cover letter or message listing position(s) of interest to the email address leadership-2014@nss.org by Wednesday, December 31 to be considered for nomination by the NSS Executive Committee in January.

Note for existing NSS volunteers:  Feel free to use this solicitation to supplement the knowledge we have from your years of service to the Society.  There is a good chance that you have more skills and interests than we know about, especially if you have an interest in expanding your horizons and serving the Society in a different capacity.  What makes NSS great is its ability to help members to grow into leaders of the space movement.

Thank you for all you do to advance the space movement.  Ad Astra!

— The NSS 2014 Leadership Search Committee

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Once the Officer Elections are completed in February, a follow-up notice will be released that will focus on seeking additional candidates for NSS committee positions.

People interested in serving in a leadership capacity are encouraged to join a local NSS chapter and/or to attend the NSS annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC).  ISDC 2015 will be held from May 20 to 24 in Toronto, Ontario.

National Space Society Highlights Contribution of Japanese Hayabusa 2 Asteroid Mission to Space Settlement

The National Space Society (NSS) congratulates the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful launch of Hayabusa 2 December 2, 2014, at 11:22 PM EST on the Japanese H-IIA booster. Hayabusa 2 is planned to arrive at asteroid 1999 JU3 in July 2018, gather samples for about a year and one half, and return those samples to the Earth in 2020. The first Hayabusa craft gathered samples from the Asteroid Itokawa in September 2006 and returned them to Earth in 2010. Hayabusa 2 sports many improvements over the first probe, and carries a MASCOT Lander and three MINERVA Rovers.

Asteroid Itokawa is an S-type asteroid, meaning that it was of stony composition. A sample return from Asteroid 1999 JU3, a C-type (carbonaceous) asteroid, represents a major advance in our understanding of the availability and distribution of resources in the solar system. C-type asteroids are dark relative to other asteroids, and are believed to contain sources of water. Water can be used both to sustain human life in space, as well as to provide rocket fuel and store energy for later generation of electricity via fuel cells.

The utilization of asteroidal resources is a key step toward space settlement as described in the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement which can be found at: nss.org/settlement/roadmap. The success of the Hayabusa 2 will represent a significant step toward the realization of the NSS Roadmap, and will help allow asteroid mining companies such as Planetary Resources (planetaryresources.com) and Deep Space Industries (deepspaceindustries.com) to advance their plans more quickly.

Hayabusa’s characterization of a C-type asteroid will also aid in deflecting similar asteroids should one threaten Earth.  The data gathered will help understand the structure of such asteroids which is key to choosing a deflection technology.  This contributes to the goals of the NSS policy on defense from cosmic threats described in the position paper at tinyurl.com/planetarydefense.

NSS Executive Vice President Paul Werbos summed up the situation: “We congratulate JAXA on the successful launch of Hayabusa 2, and wish them much success on this vital mission. Japan is to be commended for a steady focus on challenging robotic asteroid missions that are helping to bring the human settlement of space a bit closer.” Paul Werbos’ biography can be found at nss.org/about/bios/werbos.html.

Astronaut Lunar Ambassadors 45th Anniversary Splashdowns

The 45th anniversaries of the Apollo lunar missions are now upon us and the National Space Society (NSS) is honoring the heroic accomplishments of these brave lunar astronauts. Monday, November 24, 2014, is the 45th anniversary of the return-to-Earth splashdown of Apollo 12, the second mission to land people on the Moon.

Apollo 12 splashdown
Apollo 12 splashdown, November 24, 1969

NSS hereby announces that it is granting the title of “Lunar Ambassador” to the crew members of the first two Apollo lunar landing missions. NSS, the leading nonprofit organization promoting space development and settlement, has taken this step to remind the world of the significance of humans reaching the Moon.

Apollo 11 and 12 patches

“NSS is proud to extend this honor to our pioneering Apollo astronauts who have led humanity’s advance into space,” said Mark Hopkins, chair of the NSS Executive Committee.

NSS intends to confer the title of “Lunar Ambassador” on the members of the remaining Apollo crews as they reach the 45th anniversaries of their flights. All of these are steps leading to the historic 50th anniversary, July 20, 2019, of mankind’s first human Moon landing.

The Apollo missions were the result of a commitment by President John F. Kennedy to land a man on the Moon and return him safely before the end of the sixties. A similar presidential commitment would be very appropriate on the historic 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon.

National Space Society Encourages Virgin Galactic to Press On

The National Space Society (NSS) extends its support to Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites over the tragic loss of SpaceShipTwo and offers its heartfelt sympathy to the families involved and to everyone who worked on that program.

“We are extremely honored that Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides served on the NSS team as our Executive Director and we all stand by him in this time of difficulty,” said Mark Hopkins, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee. “We expect that the cause of the accident will be found and fixed so that the Virgin Galactic dream of ‘opening space to tens of thousands of people’ can become a reality.”

NSS encourages Virgin Galactic to continue moving forward. NSS has been a consistent supporter of private efforts to develop space commercially, including both orbital and sub-orbital tourism. Economic returns from spaceflight are necessary for humanity’s long-term future in space.

NSS notes that fatal accidents during both the testing of aircraft and their operation were relatively common during the early days of commercial aviation, and now it has happened in commercial space flight. America was always built on the courage of those who dared to explore new frontiers. From Lewis and Clark to the Apollo astronauts, great men and women have tested themselves against the frontiers of their age.

The frontier of space is far from tamed. The men and women of Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites are engaged in one of the great efforts of our time: opening space for all humanity. That is a noble pursuit and we are all thankful for their work and for their sacrifice.

NSS Executive Vice President Paul Werbos sums up: “This is a sad moment for the space tourism industry and the families of the pilots. The Scaled Composites pilots are true heroes who risked their lives to blaze a trail to a better future for everyone.”

National Space Society Launches “Enterprise In Space”

The National Space Society (NSS) is launching a new project called “Enterprise In Space” (EIS).  This project will design, build, launch, orbit, re-enter, tour, and display a science-fiction-inspired satellite as a science education and technology demonstration project for all ages and as a tribute to the great visionaries of science and science fiction.

Inspired by the classic science fiction writers of the 20th century including Heinlein, Clark and Roddenberry, the EIS project is a grassroots effort by a dedicated team of aerospace, information technology, and education veterans. The goal of the EIS project is to launch an orbital mission by 2019 that will carry 100 or more competitively selected student experiments from around the globe, and to test out new space technology. This is an opportunity for people to directly support something truly historic. EIS will reach out to people with interests in space, science, education, astronomy, cosmology, and science fiction.

A three-minute video explains the entire idea at the Enterprise in Space website (www.enterpriseinspace.org).

Bruce Pittman“The National Space Society is proud to launch the Enterprise in Space project to the world,” said National Space Society Senior Vice President Bruce Pittman. “This is an opportunity for people worldwide to come together to help transform this exciting concept into a remarkable reality. EIS is yet another example of the burgeoning free enterprise use of space.”

Shawn CaseWhat began as a dream by Oregonian science fiction and space enthusiast Shawn Case four years ago is now a major NSS project. Case and his team have prepared a well-defined project plan to launch an orbiter dubbed “NSS Enterprise,” with its artistic design to be conceived by a public competition. The spacecraft will re-enter from orbit for retrieval, go on a tour along with the results of the student experiments, and ultimately be displayed in a major museum along with the names of all who helped fund it.

Case has assembled a professional team skilled in project management, aerospace, social media, and education to carry out the project. Case believes that giving each donor the opportunity to be a virtual crew member and get his or her name on an electronic chip to be carried aloft on this historic flight will greatly increase interest in the project and in space exploration.

Buzz AldrinFamed Apollo 11 moonwalker and NSS Governor Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin endorses EIS: “There’s an exciting new project called Enterprise In Space that I want to tell you about. Together with the National Space Society, the Enterprise In Space project will launch an eight-foot Enterprise satellite into orbit and bring it back to Earth. This is an educational and inspirational tribute to all Enterprise ships in history, to science visionaries, and to the vision of the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself, Gene Roddenberry. My name has been to space and back. Now it’s your turn. Rendezvous with me and support the Enterprise in Space project. Help make history all over again.”

Lynne ZielinskiProposals for experiments to be flown on the orbiter will be sought from students of all nations and ages, from kindergarten through university. Lynne F. Zielinski, a national award-winning educator, NSS Director and Vice President of Public Affairs, will head the EIS education team. “In my 32 years of teaching, I have worked with hundreds of students to send experiments aboard six space shuttle and nine NASA sub-orbital rocket flights,” Zielinski said.  “Students really have a lot to offer. I’ve seen the potential of students when they’re excited about being a real part of space flight exploration. Age is no barrier. They quickly adopt cutting-edge ideas and technology.”

The project’s appeal to those interested in space, science, and education goes hand-in-hand with its appeal to science fiction fans, many of whom have a naturally optimistic view of the future and of humans living and working in space–the goals that NSS has promoted since its founding.

Great visionary science fiction writers created hopes that people would be on the Moon and on the way to Mars by now. Let’s help to turn science fiction into science reality, bridging the conceptual gap through education, imagination, and inspiration. Through real-world enterprise, the people of Earth will contribute to the vision of Enterprise In Space.

enterpriseinspace.org
facebook.com/EnterpriseInSpace
twitter.com/EnterpriseSat

National Space Society Praises Inclusion of Competition in NASA’s Commercial Crew Decision

The Washington DC-based National Space Society (NSS) has been a consistent supporter of competition in NASA’s Commercial Crew program to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). NSS today congratulates the winners of the Commercial Crew competition, Boeing and SpaceX. NSS also thanks NASA for its diligent efforts to maintain real competition in the Commercial Crew program.

The selection of Boeing and SpaceX represents a major milestone toward ending US dependence on the Russian Soyuz to put American Astronauts into space. NSS urges that Congress fully fund this program with full competition at the amounts requested by NASA so that both companies can move forward with dispatch. Further, the continued operation of the International Space Station needs to be funded by Congress to 2024 as requested by the Administration and as far beyond that as practical to enable the full exploitation of the opportunities for commercial research offered by the ISS. A key element of any effort to create more return from the ISS will be the ability of both the Boeing and SpaceX craft to carry up to seven astronauts, potentially allowing the ISS to support a permanent crew of up to 14.

Commercial Crew
Image courtesy NASA

NSS believes that the selection of two Commercial Crew providers is also an essential first step toward the non-governmental development of the resources of Low Earth Orbit (LEO). We look forward to both Boeing and SpaceX supporting Bigelow private space stations in the near future. It is also the hope of NSS that Sierra Nevada will find non-NASA funds to continue the development of its Dream Chaser lifting body.

NSS Executive Vice President Paul Werbos summed up the situation: “This is a great moment for Boeing, SpaceX, and NASA. The door to the American future in space is opening wider, and we need to ensure that Commercial Crew is fully funded to keep it that way.”

National Space Society Calls for Less U.S. Dependence on Russian Space Technology

The Washington DC-based National Space Society (NSS) strongly recommends in a position paper issued today that Congress should fully support the Commercial Crew program in order to restore independent access to the International Space Station (ISS), prepare to operate the ISS without Russian support, again make low-cost access to space a primary goal of U.S. space policy, and avoid replacing the RD-180 engine manufactured in Russia with a single new engine funded via cost-plus development.

NSS recommends that Congress should maintain competition among Commercial Crew providers while avoiding the imposition of additional contractual obstacles to this program. The U.S. must be self-sufficient in rocket engines for critical functions, both civilian and military. If Congress and the Administration decide a new rocket engine program is justified to replace the RD-180 (currently used in the Atlas V), it must result in multiple prototype liquid fueled hydrocarbon rocket engine development winners to promote competition and innovation and stimulate the entire U.S. aerospace industrial base. To increase affordability, to promote risk-sharing and to incentivize results instead of effort, the United States Government might use “other transactions authority” methods that were used to successfully develop the RS-68 and Merlin rocket engines.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has threatened to pull out of the ISS in 2020, after which the U.S. portion of the ISS would fall to Earth and be destroyed. Having been warned 6 years in advance, the United States should move systematically but immediately to develop commercial U.S. habitation and re-fuelable propulsion modules or other means of reboosting the ISS before 2020.

Paul Werbos, NSS Executive Vice President, said “The U.S. space program has become far too dependent on Russian technology. It is long past time to change that situation.”

See the NSS Position Paper on U.S. Dependence on Russian Technology.

In Memoriam: Frederick I. Ordway III (1927-2014)

The National Space Society is mourning the passing today of NSS Board of Governors member Frederick I. Ordway III.

Frederick I. Ordway III
Fred Ordway at a book signing at the 2011 NSS International Space Development Conference

Frederick Ira Ordway III was an educator, consultant, researcher, and author on space flight and energy programs. His career began in various geological and engineering positions for Mene Grande Oil Company in San Tome, Venezuela in 1949. Five years later he was in the guided missiles division of the Republic Aviation Corporation. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s he held positions with the General Aeronautics Research Corporation, the National Research and Development Corporation, and Saturn Systems office at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, where he developed a long-time association with Wernher von Braun. From 1960-64 he was Chief of Space Information Systems at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Next came a period of consulting: 1965-66 for Paramount Pictures The Adventurer’s; and 1968-69 for the Encyclopedia Britannica, the American College Dictionary of the English Language, and Stanley Kubrick at MGM for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Throughout the 1970’s he was in various positions at the Department of Energy; during 1975-77 he was Assistant to the Administrator of ERDA and during 1977-1994 he was Policy and International Affairs director in the special projects office.

Ordway was the author of numerous books including Visions of Spaceflight: Images from the Ordway Collection, The Rocket Team: From the V-2 to the Saturn Moon Rocket, and (with Wernher von Braun) History of Rocketry and Space Travel.

Fred was the recipient of the 2012 National Space Society Space Pioneer Award for a Lifetime of Service to the Space Community as well as the recipient of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In Memoriam: Peter E. Glaser (1923-2014)

The National Space Society is mourning the passing of NSS Board of Governors member Peter E. Glaser on May 29, 2014.

Peter E. GlaserDr. Peter E. Glaser was Vice President for Advanced Technology at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, MA, a company that he was associated with from 1955-1994. After his retirement in 1994, he continued to serve as a consultant to the company for many years.

Dr. Glaser is best known as the inventor of the Solar Power Satellite concept, which he first presented in the journal Science for November 22, 1968 (“Power from the Sun: It’s Future”). In 1973 he was granted a U.S. patent on the Solar Power Satellite to supply power from space for use on the Earth.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Glaser was a survivor of the Holocaust who came to the United States in 1948 and earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Columbia University.

Dr. Glaser was project manager for the Apollo 11 Laser Ranging Retroreflecter Array installed on the lunar surface of July 20, 1969, and two other arrays installed on subsequent missions — the only science experiments still in operation on the Moon. He also was responsible for the Lunar Heat Flow Probes and the Lunar Gravimeter which were operational during the Apollo program, and the Initial Blood Storage Experiment flown on the NASA shuttle Columbia (STS-61-C) in January 1986, to explore gravitational effects on human blood cells.

Dr. Glaser served on several NASA Committees including Task Force on Space Goals, NASA Advisory Council (1984-1989), and Lunar Enterprise Case Study (1988-89). He formed the SUNSAT Energy Council in 1978; an NGO associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and currently serves as its Chairman. He also chaired the Space Power Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (1984-89). He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the Office of Technology Assessment of the United States Congress.

Dr. Glaser was President of the International Solar Energy Society (1968-69), and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Solar Energy (1971-1984). Dr. Glaser received the Farrington Daniels Award from the International Solar Energy Society in 1983.

He is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics. In 1993 the International Astronautical Federation established the Peter Glaser Plenary Lecture to be given at the Annual Congresses. He was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame of the United States Space Foundation in 1996. Dr. Glaser has published more than 300 technical papers and books. His personal collection, the Peter E. Glaser Papers, have been donated to the MIT Archives and Special Collections.

National Space Society Officer and Director Lynne Zielinski Receives Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

Lynne F. Zielinski, National Space Society (NSS) officer and director has been selected by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Space Foundation as recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award.  This prestigious award will be presented on Monday, May 19th, 2014 at the 30th Space Symposium Opening Ceremony at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

Lynne
Lynne Zielinski (center) with NASA astronauts Mark Polansky and Sandra Magnus, Ph.D., at Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Lynne F. Zielinski, a retired physics, astronomy and space science teacher from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Ill., was selected for the award for her work with the Glenbrook Aerospace Development Get-away Experiment Team (GADGET) program, which she founded 22 years ago. The program enables students to design and conduct microgravity experiments, initiate and direct aerospace and engineering research, develop spaceflight hardware and design space settlements. The GADGET program flew active experiments on six space shuttle flights, nine NASA Nike-Orion sub-orbital rockets, three Zero-G airplane flights and four high altitude balloon missions.

Read news articles about Zielinski in the Chicago Tribune here and the suburban-Chicago Daily Herald here.

Shepard Award
The Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award shows Alan hitting a golf ball on the Moon.

The Alan Shepard Award is given annually in recognition of creative and innovative use of technology by K-12 educators or district-level education personnel.  Alan Shepard, one of the nation’s original seven Mercury astronauts, was the first American to fly in space, one of only 12 humans who have walked on the Moon and a former AMF board member. The award named after him recognizes excellence, quality and innovation in the development and application of technology in the classroom or to the professional development of teachers. More information about the award is available here.

Zielinski has been a member of NSS’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Education and Outreach Committee since 2006. She also serves on the NSS Executive Committee as Vice President of Public Affairs. She annually organizes the activities that attract hundreds of students to the NSS International Space Development Conference for the NSS/NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Competition.  The 2014 ISDC will be held from May 14-18 in Los Angeles.

GADGET
The Sky is NOT the Limit!

“We are especially proud that Zielinski is being honored for her over 22 years of noteworthy accomplishments with the GADGET program, bringing science and math to life for thousands of students and teachers through space and technology,” said Mark Hopkins, NSS Executive Committee Chairman.  “Lynne’s involvement in our space settlement design contest has been vital to the success of NSS.  We are pleased that the Astronaut Memorial Foundation has chosen to honor such a deserving and forward-thinking educator with the Alan Shepard Award,” he added.

Her 32-year career as a physics, astronomy, and space science teacher at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois has been highlighted with numerous accomplishments, including participation in the Teacher In Space program.  For Zielinski’s full biography, please click here.

About the Astronaut Memorial Foundation:  AMF, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, honors and memorializes astronauts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program by sponsoring the national Space Mirror Memorial and by implementing innovative educational technology programs. AMF partners with NASA to provide technology training to educators throughout the nation with emphasis on space-related technology. In addition, at The Center for Space Education, AMF offers space-related educational opportunities for individuals to improve the quality of the workforce in the space industry. 

About the Space Foundation:  Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, all in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.”