The National Space Society vision is people living and working in space

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.

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International/U.S. Students and Teachers Head to St. Louis for International Space Development Conference®

(Washington, DC -- May 2, 2017)   Every year, the National Space Society (NSS) works with the NASA Ames Research Center to conduct a student competition in which teams from around the world design future orbital space settlements that will house thousands of people. This year the contest received more than 1,500 submissions from an estimated 6,000 students. The Grand Prize for the 2017 Space Settlement Contest went to a small team of two students (grade 10), Shashwat Goel and Ankita Phulia from New Delhi, India. One of two grand prize students along with hundreds of other contest-winning students and teachers from the United States and countries across the globe will converge in St. Louis this month for the National Space Society’s 36th annual International Space Development Conference®. See full press release.

New in the NSS Space Settlement Journal: Orbital Space Settlement Radiation Shielding

(Washington, DC -- April 29, 2017)  Orbital Space Settlement Radiation Shielding, a paper by Al Globus and Joe Strout, has just been published in the NSS Space Settlement Journal. The authors examine the radiation shielding requirements for protecting the inhabitants of orbital space settlements. In a surprising result, radiation measurements on the International Space Station (ISS) and our calculations using OLTARIS, NASA’s online radiation computational tool, indicate that space settlements in Equatorial Low Earth Orbit (ELEO) below about 500 km are likely to meet safety standards with little or no dedicated radiation shielding. This reduces the mass of typical orbital space settlement designs by 95% or more, suggesting that the easiest place to build the first space settlements is in ELEO due to proximity to Earth and relatively low system mass.

Enterprise In Space Program Partners with EXOS Aerospace to Send Experiments into Space

(Washington, DC -- April 27, 2017)   Two experiments will be launched into space as payloads aboard EXOS’ next suborbital rocket launch, slated for late May at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Upon the successful completion of the launch, EXOS will present on its results at the upcoming International Space Development Conference® (ISDC) in St. Louis, MO, May 25-29, 2017. As a capstone event, EXOS will also hand-deliver the space-flown experiment package to the students involved. See full press release.

SPACE Canada and National Space Society Announce Semi-Finalists Selection in First Annual International Space Solar Power Student Competition

(Washington, DC -- April 25, 2017)   The purpose of this new annual competition is to engender new, meaningful and credible student research projects in the broad field of Space Solar Power, and to support the presentation of the best of the various projects by students in an international forum. “The projects proposed and the breadth of students participating is tremendously gratifying,” said George Dietrich, President of SPACE Canada and sponsor of the competition. See full press release.

March Storm 2017: NSS Winds Blow into DC

(Washington, DC -- April 24, 2017)   March Storm is the primary Washington, D.C., legislative blitz for the Alliance for Space Development (ASD) and its two founding member organizations, the National Space Society (NSS) and the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF). During the month of March, a group of unpaid volunteers met in Washington, D.C. to advocate for policies and legislation that support the development and settlement of space. The advocates focused on the ASD’s agenda for the year, and met with as many congressional offices, committee staffers, and other relevant agencies as possible in a four-day period. See full article.

Enterprise In Space Program Announces Finalists for Its Print the Future & Orbital Space Debris Competitions

(Washington, DC -- April 24, 2017)   In order to drive innovation forward in space manufacturing technology and space orbital debris mitigation and remediation, Enterprise In Space (EIS), a non-profit program of the National Space Society (NSS), challenged university students from around the world in two NewSpace competitions. EIS and its partners are now proud to announce the finalists for the Print the Future and Orbital Debris Mitigation competitions. See full press release.

Shark Tank in Space: Space Business Pitch Competition to Be Held May 26 at the International Space Development Conference in St. Louis

(Washington, DC -- April 14, 2017)  National Space Society and The Center for Space Commerce and Finance have announced that this year’s second regional NewSpace Business Plan Competition will be held in conjunction with the 2017 International Space Development Conference (ISDC) on May 26, in St. Louis. Competitors will present their business plan in front of a panel of investors and the ISDC audience, for a chance to win a cash prize and guaranteed entry into the national NewSpace Business Plan Competition in November. See full press release.

National Space Society Hails a New Age of Reusable Rockets

(Washington, DC -- April 3, 2017)  NSS calls on Congress, the Administration, and NASA to immediately begin a review of all current NASA and other spaceflight related programs to consider how the usage of commercially available launch vehicles and spacecraft that are largely reusable can lower costs and/or increase operational capability. Suggestions to guide this review can be found in the NSS position paper "Now Is the Time: A Paradigm Shift in Access to Space". See full press release.

ESA Director Wörner Wins National Space Society’s Prestigious von Braun Award

(Washington, DC -- February 15, 2017)  Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2017 prestigious Wernher von Braun Memorial Award.  This award recognizes Wörner as an effective leader of the European Space Agency and the contributions of ESA to the world space community.  Prof. Wörner will accept the award on Friday, May 26, 2017 at the National Space Society’s 2017 International Space Development Conference® (  See full press release.

Losing the Geomagnetic Shield: A Critical Issue for Space Settlement

Losing the Geomagnetic Shield: A Critical Issue for Space Settlement, a new paper by Philip K. Chapman, has just been published in the NSS Space Settlement Journal.

Abstract. The geomagnetic field seems to be collapsing.  This has happened many times in the deep past, but never since civilization began.  One implication is that the cost of space settlement will increase substantially if we do not expedite deployment of initial facilities in low Earth orbit.  Another implication, less certain but much more damaging, is that the collapse may lead to catastrophic global cooling before the end of this century.  We must establish self-sufficient communities off Earth before that happens.  Read full paper.

National Space Society’s Space Settlement Summit Draws Industry Leaders

(Washington, D.C., February 4, 2017) An enormously successful first annual Space Settlement Summit hosted by the National Space Society occurred on January 10-11, 2017, in Santa Monica, California.  Industry leaders, financial experts, scientists and engineers, and leading space activists were brought together to assess the state of the art driving space settlement.

See full press release.

NSS Award Announcements for the 2017 ISDC

Space Pioneer Award for Special Merit: George Dietrich

Space Pioneer Award for Historic Space Achievement: Thomas P. Stafford

Space Pioneer Award for Special Merit: “MAC’s Old Team”

Space Pioneer Award for Non-Legislative Government Service: William H. Gerstenmaier

Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering: The Kepler-K2 Team

Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media: Eric Berger

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Falcon 9’s Return to Flight

(Washington, DC -- January 19, 2017)  The National Space Society congratulates SpaceX on the return to flight of the Falcon 9 on January 14.  “NSS members are excited to see the F9 return to flight,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President.  “SpaceX has been pushing the envelope to perfect the use of technologies like sub-cooled rocket fuel and first stage recovery.  Companies can only take risks on new technology with the support of customers like Iridium that have the courage to do new things in space.  NSS congratulates SpaceX, Iridium, and Thales Alenia Space on a job well done.” See full press release.

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