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.

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!

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NSS Pays Tribute to Late NSS Governor Dr. Marvin Minsky, A Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence

The National Space Society pays tribute to Dr. Marvin Minsky, who was very involved in early NSS activities and was part of many NSS space policy projects such as the 1981 “Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy.” He died on January 14 in Boston from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 88. Hugh Downs, Chair of the NSS Board of Governors, said, “Marvin Minsky was a bright light in the arena of accelerating knowledge in modern physics. Where many of us plodded along to keep up with these changes, he seemed to always manage to be even with them. He will be sorely missed by those who worked with him and knew him well.” See full press release.

National Space Society 35th annual International Space Development Conference ISDC2016

The Puerto Rico National Space Society Chapter (NSS-PR) invites you to the National Space Society 35th annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC): “Space Beyond Borders” to be held at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino from Wednesday, May 18th to Sunday, May 22nd, 2016.

You will have the opportunity to tour the world’s largest radio telescope, the Arecibo Observatory and embark in the exploration of the Camuy Caves carved out by the third largest underground river in the world. We invite you to visit our website for more information and registration: isdc2016.nss.org.

ISDC 2016: “Space Beyond Borders” presents current space programs, cutting-edge aerospace technology and innovative projects and features astronauts and other space pioneers. It brings together aerospace industry leaders, engineers, startups, space exploration pioneers, academic thought leaders, and space supporters young and old – all united by a common goal to explore and develop space for the benefit of humankind. ISDC will host tracks on different topics pertaining to Planetary Defense, Energy, Space Access, Space Resources, Deep Space Exploration, Commercial Space, Space Settlement besides others. Special speakers include Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Director at Johnson Space Center Ellen Ochoa, and serial astropreneur Rick Tumlinson among many others.

ISDC 2016 will host receptions every day. On Friday, May 20 join Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Mission to Pluto at the Governor’s Dinner and on Saturday, May 21 join Dr. Ling Ming, Vice President of the China Academy of Space Technology at the Gala Dinner.

Settling Space Is the Only Sustainable Reason for Humans to Be in Space

(Washington, DC -- February 1, 2016)  Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President, has published the following article in The Space Review:

As robotic and artificial intelligence technologies improve and enable increasingly robust exploration without a human presence, eventually there will be only one sustainable reason for humans to be in space: settlement. Research into the recycling technology required for long-term off-Earth settlements will directly benefit terrestrial sustainability. Actively working toward developing and settling space will make available mineral and energy resources for use on Earth on a vast scale. Finally, space settlement offers the hope of long-term species survival that remaining on Earth does not. SEE FULL ARTICLE.

National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin on First Reflight of New Shepard Rocket

(Washington, DC -- January 23, 2016)  On January 22, 2016, two months after Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket first successfully flew to the edge of space and returned to its launch site intact, Blue Origin again made history by re-flying the same vehicle. Jeff Bezos stated “Though wings and parachutes have their adherents and their advantages, I’m a huge fan of rocket-powered vertical landing. Why? Because—to achieve our vision of millions of people living and working in space—we will need to build very large rocket boosters. And the vertical landing architecture scales extraordinarily well.”

“Blue Origin’s successful re-use of the New Shepard booster after reaching the edge of space represents a major step toward a fully re-usable sub-orbital vehicle,” said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. SEE FULL PRESS RELEASE AND VIDEO on the NSS Blog.

National Space Society Awards to be Presented at International Space Development Conference in Puerto Rico May 18-22

The New Horizons Team wins the 2016 NSS Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering for their highly successful journey to Pluto. Accepting the award on May 20 will be Principal Investigator Dr. Alan Stern and two other key members of the mission team. See full press release.

National Space Society Applauds Selection of Dream Chaser, Dragon 2, and Cygnus for ISS Cargo Services

Dream Chaser(Washington, DC -- January 16, 2016)  NSS congratulates Orbital ATK (Cygnus), Sierra Nevada (Dream Chaser), and SpaceX (Dragon 2) for being selected to provide cargo services to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. The CRS contract covers the delivery of supplies to the ISS, disposal of ISS waste, and the return of scientific samples from the ISS. The new contract provides a minimum of six missions to each of the three winners during the period 2019-2024. A NASA spokesperson said, “NASA’s service contracts to resupply the space station have changed the way the agency does business in low-Earth orbit. With these contracts, NASA continues to advance commercial spaceflight and the American jobs it creates.”

“This announcement represents a major forward advance for NASA and the CRS program,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. “Both Orbital ATK and SpaceX added significant new capabilities over the first contract. In the new contract, the up-sized Cygnus with new solar panels will be used, and the Dragon 2 offers options for both berthing and docking, along with a rapid return to Earth capacity via propulsive landing. However, the selection of Sierra Nevada and the Dream Chaser means that for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle reusable winged vehicles will be returning from space and landing at Kennedy Space Center.”

“NSS congratulates NASA on adding a third CRS provider,” said Mark Hopkins, Chair of the NSS Executive Committee. “The CRS-2 program now has triple redundancy in both orbital components and launch vehicles. NSS members look forward to the Dream Chaser’s first return from space.” See full press release.

Interviews of NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins

Mark HopkinsMark Hopkins, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee, was interviewed on The Space Show on January 4 on the subject of space settlement in general and interstellar space settlement in particular. You can download the 90-minute program here: thespaceshow.com/show/04-jan-2016/broadcast-2617.

You can hear other interviews of Mark conducted by Dr. Karl Hricko on the show “Contours” on member-supported public radio station WNTI operated by Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ: Mark Hopkins interview August 23, 2015 (14 minutes) and Mark Hopkins interview May 28, 2015 (21 minutes).

Mark was also on a special edition of The Space Show in March 2007: thespaceshow.com/show/10-mar-2007/broadcast-683-special-edition.

National Space Society Partners with Voices From L5: A Space Settlement Podcast

Voices from L5(Washington, DC -- January 6, 2016)  The National Space Society is proud to announce its partnership with Voices From L5. This exciting new podcast will open new discussions on space settlement, focusing on the humanities and social sciences, and educate the public on the science of space settlement. Space settlement is the concept of humankind moving our economy into space, with people living and working in space.

NSS vice president for Public Affairs Lynne Zielinski said, “We are thrilled to strengthen our online community and outreach by branching into the vibrant world of podcasts, and we are very excited to be working with Voices From L5. This podcast project will explore topics such as law, art, politics and sociology to generate excitement among a whole new generation of space settlement enthusiasts.”

To learn more about Voices From L5 visit:
https://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5

For previous podcasts visit:
http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/voices-from-l5

THE FALCON HAS LANDED!

EIS winning design(Washington, DC -- December 22, 2015)  “This is a game-changing event,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. “Never before has the entire first stage of an orbital rocket been returned to its launch site for potential re-use. SpaceX has challenges ahead to demonstrate that re-used first stages can significantly lower launch costs, but this could be the beginning of the true age of practical space commerce. NSS thanks the Air Force, Sierra Nevada, ORBCOMM, and the FAA for their essential support of this outstanding SpaceX mission. It was a true team effort.”

“Competition is the key to rapid progress in space,” said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President. “NSS has strongly supported competition in both the NASA Commercial Re-supply Services program and the Commercial Crew program. Today’s success is a direct result of the competitive, commercial nature of these efforts.”

“NSS congratulates SpaceX on this incredible achievement,” said Mark Hopkins, NSS Executive Committee Chairman. “It took enormous courage and confidence to continue forward with rapid technical innovation following a loss of mission incident. The effect of this event, both long and short term, promises to be world-altering. We can now see the NSS vision for our future in space (nss.org/settlement/roadmap) coming ever closer to becoming reality.”

See full press release.

Made In Space Teams with Enterprise In Space to 3D Print First Space-Bound Airframe

(Washington, DC -- December 18, 2015)  Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international project of the non-profit National Space Society, is excited to announce a partnership with Made In Space, Inc. to extensively use 3D printed components in a spacecraft to be launched into Earth orbit. This educational spacecraft will be the first real spacecraft bearing the “Enterprise” name. Once in orbit, the NSS Enterprise will not only be the first 3D printed airframe in space, but it will also carry more than 100 passive and active student experiments into space and back to Earth.

See full press release.

The National Space Society Pays Tribute to Dr. Kalam — One of Our Leading Lights Has Joined the Stars

Dr. Kalam with Mark Hopkins(Washington, DC -- July 31, 2015)  On 27 July 2015, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, eleventh President of India and a friend and inspiration to the National Space Society (NSS), passed away. “NSS would like to convey our condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Kalam, and to all of India. His death is a great loss not only to India, but to the whole of humanity,” said Mark Hopkins, chair of the NSS Executive Committee. “In his honor, a permanent part of the online NSS library will be dedicated to his visionary space legacy.” He was a true friend to NSS — giving his name to our shared Kalam-NSS Space-based Solar Power Initiative.

One of the true statesmen of our generation, Dr. Kalam was regarded as one of the greatest minds, visionaries, and peacemakers of the early 21st century. Dr. Kalam was a towering spacefaring advocate. His passing is a deep loss to NSS. Loved and admired by the masses of India, he was loved and admired by us as well. We were honored to work with him and to present him with our 2013 Wernher von Braun Memorial Award (photo) for leading India into space and for being a global leader in space development. He will be missed terribly by all around the world who share a common vision of humanity’s future in space.

See full press release.

NASA-Funded Study Reduces Cost of Human Missions to Moon and Mars by Factor of Ten

(Washington, DC -- July 20, 2015)  The National Space Society (NSS) and Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) today announced their support for NASA’s funding of the newly released NexGen Space study, illustrating how to cut the cost of human space exploration by a factor of 10. The study, “Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public – Private – Partnerships,” finds public-private partnerships are able to return humans to the Moon for approximately 90% less than the previously estimated $100 billion, allowing the United States to ensure national security in a new space age.

“NSS congratulates NASA for funding the team at NexGen that discovered how such cost reductions are possible,” said NSS Executive Committee Chair, Mark Hopkins. “A factor of ten reduction in cost changes everything.”

See full press release and video of press conference.

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