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.

Dr. Abdul Kalam to Receive Von Braun Award at ISDC 2013

The National Space Society’s prestigious Wernher von Braun Memorial Award will be presented to Dr. Abdul Kalam on Friday, May 24 at the 2013 International Space Development Conference (ISDC). Held at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine Hotel in San Diego, CA, the ISDC will run from May 23-27, 2013.

Dr. Kalam will receive the award and be the Keynote speaker during Friday’s Gala and Governors Dinner, speaking on the subject SPACE SOLAR POWER: KEY TO A LIVEABLE PLANET EARTH. The National Space Society is honoring Dr. Kalam for his long-time work in and support of India’s space program, and his support for space development. Dr. Kalam’s life’s work parallels that of Dr. Wernher von Braun in many ways. India first developed rockets for military use, but Kalam, like von Braun, has been in the forefront of “turning missiles into space launch vehicles.” Gala tickets to hear Dr. Kalam’s keynote are available through the ISDC website.

India is now one of the world leaders in space research. In particular, NSS appreciates Dr. Kalam’s steadfast support for space based solar power, which is attracting attention as a potential major global energy and electricity source. An entire track at ISDC 2013 will highlight space solar power developments and initiatives.

About Dr. Abdul Kalam: Dr. Kalam was born in 1931 and raised in Rameswaram in the state of Tamil Nadu. He studied physics at St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchirappalli, and aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology (India’s MIT), in Chennai. Before his term as President, he worked as an aerospace engineer with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization and the Indian Space Research Organization. In his book, India 2020, Dr. Kalam advocated plans to foster India’s growth into a developed nation by 2020. He has also been involved in development of a coronary stent and a rugged tablet PC for use in rural areas.

After his term as 11th President of India (2002-2007), he continued to promote practical initiatives in space and on the ground. His work with students is especially important to India’s future. His support of both the Indian space program and specific space policies and agendas in the global sense, such as re-usable and advanced space launch systems, is rational, practical, and helps advance mankind’s unlimited future in space. Read more about Dr. Kalam at his web site.

About the Wernher von Braun Memorial Award: This 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 that he or she has created. 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.

Over 20 Exhibitors to Present at International Space Development Conference

Space advocacy organizations, educational institutions and companies from around the world are among the 22 groups which will be presenting as exhibitors at this year’s International Space Development Conference. The 2013 ISDC, the annual conference of the National Space Society and a premier event for space leaders and enthusiasts, will be held from May 23 – 27 at the La Jolla Hyatt Regency in San Diego, California.

The list of registered exhibitors includes:

  • International Space University, a graduate-level institution which has provided education and training to future leaders of the emerging global space community since 1987
  • Janet’s Planet, an Emmy-award-winning children’s educational television show airing on more than 140 public television stations nationwide
  • Space Micro, a San Diego-based company which provides radiation-hardened space electronics products to NASA, the US Air Force, and other space groups
  • Yuri’s Night, a global non-profit which celebrates humanity’s past, present and future in space each April at hundreds of parties and events around the world
  • Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), a student-run organization with over 30 chapters that uses education and outreach to promote space exploration
  • Nanosatisfi, a Bay Area space startup which offers convenient, affordable, on-demand access to space via shared satellites

“We’re very excited that such a diverse set of organizations will be presenting to the world at this year’s ISDC,” said ISDC Exhibits Coordinator Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto. “We’ve completely filled up our exhibitor hall, and we’re looking forward to seeing everybody in San Diego later this month.”

Registration for the International Space Development Conference, which includes astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as confirmed speakers, is available at isdc.nss.org/2013/register.shtml.

National Space Society Adds to Its Leadership Team

The National Space Society announces the selection of four new additions to its leadership team:  Dr. Stanley G. Rosen to the newly created position of Vice Chairman of the Society’s Board of Directors, Bruce Pittman as Senior Vice President and Senior Operating Officer, Dr. Paul Werbos as Executive Vice President and Chair of the Policy Committee, and Craig Andrew Max IV as Assistant Secretary.

In announcing the appointments, Kirby Ikin, Chairman of the Board, welcomed the experience these officers will bring to the Society, stating “The appointments will enable NSS to operate more efficiently and be better able to carry out its mission of providing grass roots support for space exploration, space settlement, and utilization of space resources down on Earth.”

Dr. Rosen, whose special role will be to coordinate the efforts of NSS senior leaders, is currently a Professor at the Department of Defense’s Defense Acquisition University.  Formerly be was a consultant with Toffler Associates, Director of Strategic Development and Integration for Boeing Satellite Systems, and Strategic Planning Director for the Hughes Defense Systems and Hughes Space and Communications organizations.  His previous work included scientific, engineering, program management, and strategy and policy development positions with the U.S. Air Force, and time on the staff of the Committee on Science and Astronautics of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bruce Pittman currently serves as Director of Flight Projects and Chief System Engineer at the Space Portal at NASA Ames Research Center.  In 2011, NASA awarded him the Exceptional Public Service Medal for “exceptional leadership in pioneering the development of commercial space for public benefit.”  He was a founder and member of the startup team in a number of early growth companies including Space Hab, Kistler Aerospace, New Focus, Product Factory, Prometheus II Ltd., and Industrial Sound and Motion.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Space Investment Summit Coalition.

Dr. Werbos is the Program Director in the Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research & Innovation at the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Since 1988, he has also led research in a variety of other NSF areas, including fuel cell and electric vehicles, emerging technologies, cyber systems, and the sustainability part of NSF Interdisciplinary Research.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) and the International Neural Network Society (INNS).  He is a winner of the IEEE’s Neural Networks Pioneer Award and of the INNS’s 2011 Hebb Award.  He is also serving on boards of NSS, Millennium Project, Lifeboat Foundation, and IEEE Energy Policy Committee.

Craig Max is an attorney with the law firm of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C., with offices in Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Woodbridge,Virginia.  Specializing in tax planning, including working with nonprofits, he also is a Certified Public Accountant and Board-certified as a Trust and Estate Practitioner by the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.  He has been designated a Fellow of the American Academy of Financial Management and named a Top Attorney by Northern Virginia magazine; a SmartCPA and a LegalElite by SmartCEO magazine; and a SmartCPA and a Legal Elite by Virginia Business magazine.  He is the author of numerous legal and accounting publications and holds an appointment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.

Fuller biographies of these and other NSS officers may be found on the NSS website at www.nss.org/about/leadership.html.

National Space Society Applauds NASA Asteroid Capture Plan

The National Space Society (NSS) applauds the new NASA budget item that would provide close to $100 million for a mission to rendezvous with a small asteroid and move it into orbit around the Moon where it could later be visited by astronauts.

“An asteroid capture mission is a tremendously important mission, and one that could not be more relevant to the challenges our civilization faces today,” said Mark Hopkins, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee. “Robotic asteroid capture is the first step to exploiting the vast material resources of the solar system for a hopeful and prosperous future for mankind.”

Notes NSS Executive Vice President Paul Werbos, “Even small asteroids contain tremendous wealth—precious metals, rare strategic metals important for sustainable development, raw materials for in-space construction, and volatiles for life support and propulsion in space.”

This mission is an important precursor to enable private industry to access such resources for the benefit of all mankind and return wealth to our world economy. One medium sized asteroid, 3554 Anum, is estimated to contain $20 trillion of platinum group metals.

Robotic asteroid capture is also a key step toward an effective planetary defense. The mission will mature our ability to capture and deflect a hazardous asteroid—protecting civilization from suffering the same fate as the dinosaurs. The search for suitable targets will find huge numbers of smaller, currently unknown asteroids which pose a very real meteor threat to cities as evidenced by the explosion last month over Chelyabinsk, Russia that injured over 1000 people.

The mission also involves development of cost-effective new technologies of crucial value both to public and private activities in space. Robotic asteroid capture will drive improvements to Solar Electric Propulsion, a critical enabler of cost-effective transportation in Earth-Lunar space and the inner solar system akin to the development of large ocean faring vessels—opening up possibilities for even more ambitious missions in the future.

“The National Space Society has been advocating the capture of asteroid resources for decades (see our Roadmap and Statement of Philosophy), and is most gratified to see this important step toward the NSS Vision of people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity,” said Hopkins.

ISDC 2013 Will Be the ‘Must-Attend’ Space Event This Year!

Register now! Prices go up after April 12!

NSS members know that the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) is the foremost space conference that brings together all subsets of the space community: the traditional and commercial aerospace industries, NASA and space activists from around the world. And this year, ISDC goes to the west coast to San Diego, California!

The theme of this year’s conference, Global Collaboration in 21st Century Space, relates directly to the NSS vision of globally bringing together “people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.” Global Collaboration in 21st Century Space reflects our need to strive for renewed emphasis on collaborative efforts that engage global space exploration and development in the post-Shuttle era and help leverage NASA’s efforts due to current budgetary challenges.

While the primary focus of the conference will be looking at advances in space exploration, development and settlement, we will also highlight our global efforts at the Governors Dinner & Gala on Friday evening, at which we will honor the work of India’s former President and a leading aerospace scientist/engineer – Dr. Abdul Kalam – with the National Space Society’s prestigious Von Braun Memorial Award.  Participants can also look forward to meeting science and engineering team members from the successful GRAIL Moon gravity mapping mission, X-37 B space plane, and the inspiring “seven minutes of terror” CURIOUSITY Mars landing team.  Saturday night’s dinner banquet will honor the Women of Space – women engineers and astronauts.

The ISDC 2013 Planning Committee has put together an impressive list of confirmed speakers and presenters and a comprehensive program. Confirmed speakers and VIPs include: Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, last space shuttle Commander Christopher Ferguson, shuttle astronaut and director of the “100 Year Starship” project Dr. Mae Jemison, Congressman Dana Robrabacher of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Ian O’Neill from Discovery News, Planetary Resources Chris Lewicki, and Deep Space Industries’ Rick Tumlinson.

Programming includes sessions and tracks on everything from current Administration initiatives and outlook on the U.S. space program after the shuttle, to the exciting developments coming from commercial aerospace companies aimed at closing the current manned spaceflight gap; from Mars, Moon, asteroid and exoplanet exploration and development to the latest technological advances that will enable a longer-term and, eventually, permanent human presence in space.

Be sure to visit the official ISDC website for all of the latest information and to register today!

# # #

Gain Visibility at ISDC – Become a Sponsor Today!

ISDC provides an excellent marketing opportunity for your company or organization through our sponsorship program. This year, we have general conference sponsorships and specific Gala sponsorships. Whether you just want an ad in the program book or if you want all of the perks that come with being the presenting sponsor for either the Conference or the Gala, there is something for every budget.

Among the perks offered for various levels of sponsorship are: ads in the conference and/or Gala programs, complimentary professional registrations to the conference, exhibit booth space, placement of literature in the registration bags, VIP Gala tickets, recognition of your sponsorship on signage throughout the Conference function space at the hotel and Gala, and much more.

In addition, there are opportunities to have your company’s or organization’s logo on a variety of conference materials and goodies, including the conference bags, hotel key cards, name badge lanyards, etc.

Or perhaps you would like to be a function sponsor for anything from a single program track to a lunch or a dinner. Meal event sponsors could also receive a speaking opportunity at the meal they sponsor. Click here for more information.

National Space Society Officer and Director to Receive Prestigious National Space Educator Award

Lynne F. Zielinski, National Space Society (NSS) officer and director has been selected by the National Space Club as the 2013 recipient of the National Space Educator Award. This prestigious award will be presented this Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at the 56th annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Since 1982, the award has been given annually to secondary school teachers who mentor students in the field of space, science, and technology. Recipients are also given a $1,500 grant and a plaque for their respective school.

“Lynne Zielinski is the first two-time winner in the thirty year history of the National Space Club National Space Educator Award. After being selected in 1988 for exemplary work motivating students to do research by planning and flying experiments on the Space Shuttle, she did not rest on her laurels,” said National Space Club Award Chairman Kerry Joels.

“She spent the next quarter century expanding her students’ opportunities to participate in space science research, encouraged dozens to pursue science and engineering degrees, and expanded community awareness of space science. Her career is an impressive and exceptional model for a space educator,” he added.

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.

“We are pleased to join the National Space Club in honoring such a deserving and forward-thinking educator with the National Space Educator Award,” said Mark Hopkins, NSS Executive Committee Chairman. “We are especially proud that Zielinski was selected for her over 30 years of noteworthy accomplishments in bringing science and math to life for thousands of students and teachers through space and technology.”

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 visit www.nss.org/about/bios/zielinski.html.

Past recipients of the award include Teacher in Space educator astronaut Barbara Morgan and Challenger Center founding chair Dr. June Scobee Rogers.

National Space Society Launches “Our Future in Space” Kickstarter Campaign

The National Space Society (NSS) has just launched a campaign on the popular Kickstarter internet platform for the creation of a cutting-edge film about the ways in which all of humanity benefits from the expansion of space exploration and development. This ground-breaking education initiative, entitled “Our Future in Space” is designed to bring NSS’s vision of human beings living and working in space to a broader audience.

The campaign can be accessed at our Kickstarter web page. It not only provides an opportunity to help fund and support the film’s development, but also to use the completed video to help promote the Society’s mission.

“We’re very excited to be undertaking this video project,” noted Paul E. Damphousse, NSS Executive Director. “It’s a chance to create media that accurately and compellingly conveys why the space industry is so important for the U.S. and the world.”

NSS has gathered a stellar team of creative experts to bring the video to life, including Oscar-nominated producer Jeffrey Marvin. Members of the team have worked with some of the biggest stars in film and TV in both the U.S. and Europe, and have a history of space-themed movie creation.

At a time when so many are uncertain about our space future, “Our Future in Space” will show how the work of NASA and private industry can lead to a more prosperous future for the United States and the world. Drawing from decades of research and the latest film-making technology, the final product will present a compelling and motivating glimpse of what should be.

Here are the steps you can take to support this campaign:

1. Become a “Backer” — visit the Kickstarter web page to pledge your support;

2. Spread the Word through Social Media — share your support across all of your social media accounts;

3. Email Everyone on Your Contact List — ask everyone you know to participate; and

4. Engage Your NSS Chapter and/or Other Organizations — there’s strength in numbers — bring in group support.

Note that this shorter URL can also be used to access the NSS Kickstarter web page:

tinyurl.com/nsskickstart

We have the potential to reach thousands of new people through this campaign and the successful production and distribution of this film. We know we can count on you to help and we thank you for your support in making “Our Future in Space” a reality!

NSS Comment on NASA FY 2010 Budget

The National Space Society (NSS) was informed that President Obama has requested $18.7 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for Fiscal Year 2010, an increase of $900 million over the current year’s budget. The Recovery Act (stimulus bill) passed earlier this month provided an additional $1 billion to NASA.

“We are pleased that one of the four budget priorities for NASA includes returning Americans to the Moon,” Greg Allison, NSS Executive Vice President, said. “This is a worthy goal for the world’s leading space agency. It will challenge a new generation of American scientists and engineers, open vast new resources for economic development, and drive improvements in technology.”

Other areas highlighted in the budget were climate change research and monitoring, aeronautic research, and completion and utilization of the International Space Station. “We agree with the Administration’s decision to stick with the plan to retire the shuttle by the end of 2010,” Allison added. “This is necessary to keep new launch vehicle development on schedule.” The Ares launch system is not expected to be ready until 2015, requiring the United States to purchase rides to space from the Russians in the interim.

No details were yet available regarding programs such as additional funds for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) to provide cargo to the International Space Station, or funds for research into Space Solar Power. NSS members expressed their support for these programs to their members of Congress during the NSS and Space Exploration Alliance Blitz on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

“Both of these programs are vital to the long-term economic health of our nation,” Allison said. “COTS is needed to spur the development of less-expensive launch vehicles by the private sector, and research into space solar power now will allow the United States to reap the long-term rewards of an endless supply of clean energy.”

Media contact:
Brett Silcox
Phone: (202) 429-1600
E-mail: nsshq@nss.org

About National Space Society

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and more than 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, visit http://www.nss.org/.

Remembering Space Pioneer Konrad K. Dannenberg

Space pioneer Konrad K. Dannenberg passed away on the 16th of February 2009 at the age of 96. He was not only one of the last of Wernher Von Braun’s original rocket team, but one of the most active publicly. In the 1920’s Dannenberg began his rocketry career developing mail rockets after a lecture by Max Valier inspired his interest in space. Mr. Dannenberg designed the injectors for the A4 “V-2” rocket. Dannenberg went to Ft. Bliss Texas as part of Operation Paper Clip to advance US Army missile development. Later he transferred with the rest of the German Rocket Team to Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville Alabama where he became a manager on the US Army’s Jupiter and Redstone missiles. He joined NASA when the Marshall Space Flight Center was formed and became a key member of America’s first program to land people on the Moon. Mr. Dannenberg rose to the position of deputy director of the Saturn V Program, developing the largest rocket ever flown. This earned him NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal.

After retiring from NASA in 1973 Dannenberg worked extensively with young people to foster their interest in space. He was an instructor at the US Space Camp, and led the way for student flight experiments on space shuttle Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters. As a man of vision, Dannenberg was active in the World Future Society. He was a charter member and served on the Board of Directors of the L5 Society, one of the parent societies to the National Space Society. Mr. Dannenberg played a critical role in starting Huntsville’s chapter, the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5). He called HAL5’s first meeting.

Dannenberg was a major advocate for Newspace. He was an advisor to the Canadian X-Prize Team that sought to build an uprated manned V-2. He was there in the Mojave when Burt Rutan’s team won the X-Prize and later presented NSS’s Von Braun award to Rutan. Dannenberg’s career spanned the entire space age. He inspired many young people to seek careers in space, science, and engineering. Many engineers were inspired to excellence by the example Dannenberg established both in his areas of technology development and public service. Konrad Dannenberg set the bar that we should all strive to meet. Those of us that were honored to know Konrad will dearly miss him.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that people donate to the Skylab Restoration Fund at the US Space and Rocket Center Foundation. For more information, see www.spacecamp.com or call 256-837-3400.