Our Vision: 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.
The Society publishes Ad Astra magazine and maintains an active global network of volunteers and local chapters. Membership and participation are open to all. Join the space movement, and help build a positive future for humanity!
National Space Society Issues Position Statement on Next Generation 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. 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.
NSS has released policy recommendations to extend and expand this foothold in space. 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. See full press release.
Renowned Astronauts & Space Experts On-Board for 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto
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.
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. See full press release for a still-growing list of featured speakers at ISDC 2015.
NSS POLITICAL ACTION NETWORK ALERT:
The Space Exploration, Development and Settlement Act of 2015
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.
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. [Copy of the Act in PDF]
Kip Thorne Wins the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for “Mass Media”
(Washington, D.C., March 4) 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 in Toronto. See full press release.
NSS Sacramento Chapter Participates in NASA'S International Space Apps Challenge April 11-12
(Washington, D.C., March 23) The NASA 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. For specific information about the NSS Sacramento event, see the NSS Blog.
Anousheh Ansari Wins the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for “Service to the Space Community”
(Washington, D.C., March 4) 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 in Toronto. See full press release.
National Space Society and Space Frontier Foundation announce the formation of the Alliance for Space Development
(Washington, D.C., February 25) 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.
See Space News article: New Alliance to Promote Space Development and Settlement Policies.
Rosetta Team Wins the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering
(Washington, D.C., February 23) The National Space Society announces that the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission team is the winner of its 2015 Space Pioneer Award for science and engineering. NSS recognizes the achievements of the Rosetta team, which include the construction, launch and operation of the spacecraft. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto. See full press release.
Jay Barbree Wins the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media
(Washington, D.C., February 17) The National Space Society announces that NBC space news correspondent Jay Barbree is the winner 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 in Toronto. See full press release.
Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Rover and Science Team Wins the NSS von Braun Award
(Washington, D.C., February 10) The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Rover and Science Team is the winner of the National Space Society’s Wernher von Braun Memorial Award. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto. See full press release.
Lori Garver Wins the National Space Society’s Non-Legislative Government Service Space Pioneer Award
(Washington, D.C., February 5) The National Space Society announces that former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver is the winner of its 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the non-legislative Government Service category. This award will be presented at the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto. See full press release.
Enterprise In Space Announces Orbiter Design Contest Winners
Enterprise In Space (EIS), a project of the National Space Society, is excited to announce the winners of the Enterprise in Space Orbiter Design Contest. The EIS project will take the Grand Prize winning design, which is a visualization of a science fiction concept, and make it science fact. EIS will do this by building the winning design and sending it into Earth orbit as the first real spacecraft bearing the name Enterprise. This mission is also unique in that it will carry more than 100 student experiments into space and back.
The Grand Prize winning entry was submitted by Stanley Von Medvey, a concept artist who grew up in Chicago and currently resides in California's San Francisco Bay Area. The winning designs can be seen at www.enterpriseinspace.org/winner.
NSS Applauds Milestone on the Road to Space Settlement: First Precision Return of a Falcon 9 First Stage to an Ocean Platform
(Washington, D.C., January 12) The recent launch of NASA's Commercial Resupply Services 5 (CRS-5) on January 10th represents a major step towards space settlement, according to the National Space Society (NSS). CRS-5 marked a major step forward for SpaceX's efforts to develop reusable rocket technology. Such technology is called for in Milestone 2 of the NSS Space Settlement Roadmap, titled "Higher Commercial Launch Rates and Lower Cost to Orbit" based on, among other things, "re-usable vehicles." For the first time ever, SpaceX attempted to land a returning first stage on an ocean-going platform. The stage impacted the platform "hard" according to Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO. The ocean platform measures 300-ft by 170-ft, and achieving this level of precision on first stage return represents a significant milestone toward a reusable launcher. CRS-5 also utilized for the first time hydraulic grid fins to control the descent. Musk stated that the "grid fins worked extremely well...but ran out of hydraulic fluid right before landing." The next Falcon 9 flight will increase the amount of hydraulic fluid by 50%, raising the chance of a successful landing that will lead to ultimate re-use of the first stage and a significant drop in the cost of flying to space.
See full press release.
National Space Society Encourages Virgin Galactic To Press On
(Washington, D.C., October 31) 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.”
See full press release.
National Space Society Launches “Enterprise In Space”
(Washington, D.C., September 29) 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.
Famed 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.”
See full press release.