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!
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.
Roadmap to Space Settlement 2015 International Student Art Contest
NSS is looking for student artists ages 13-25 to create original illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should realistically illustrate this year's theme: People Living and Working in Space Settlements. Deadline for the 2015 contest is March 16. See our contest page for complete details.
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.
February Legislative Blitz and March Storm
Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) 2015 Legislative Blitz
NSS will be participating in the Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) 2015 Legislative Blitz. During the SEA Blitz teams of up to four space advocates from various organizations visit Congressional offices in Washington, DC. NSS encourages all members to sign up for and participate in the SEA Blitz as described at www.spaceexplorationalliance.org/blitz. When registering for the SEA Blitz we request that you answer the last question by saying that you will represent NSS.
We are currently planning on holding a special dinner training session for NSS members only on the evening of Sunday, February 22nd, following the SEA training session. Dale Skran, Deputy Chair of the NSS Policy Committee will be coordinating NSS members. Please send him a short email message at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating you plan to participate in the Blitz and whether you will be attending the Sunday evening NSS-only session.
SEA includes groups ranging from NSS and Explore Mars to AIAA, the Moon Society, the Mars Society, the Planetary Society, the National Society of Black Engineers, SEDS, and Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation. The major goal of the SEA Blitz from an NSS perspective will be to provide as much support for the NASA budget as possible during these difficult budgetary times. Now is the time to stand up for space and be counted.
If February in Washington DC is too cold for you, consider joining the March Storm Congressional action event organized by the Space Frontier Foundation March 15-19. The March Storm focuses more narrowly on space development than the SEA Blitz. You can expect topics being pushed to include a Low Cost Access to Space Prize, full funding for Commercial Crew, and increased funding for commercial research on the ISS. The basic commitment is to a training session on Sunday, March 15, and to one day on the Hill on March 16th. Supporters with more time can join additional Congressional visits on March 17/18/19. If you are interested, register at joshuajenkins.wix.com/marchstorm2015 with an email to email@example.com.
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.
Indian Space Research Organization Mars Orbiter Programme Team Wins NSS Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering
(Washington, D.C., January 12) The National Space Society takes great pleasure in announcing that its 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the Science and Engineering category has been won by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Programme Team. This award will be presented to an ISRO representative during the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference in Toronto.
See full press release.
NSS Highlights Contribution of Japanese Hayabusa 2 Asteroid Mission to Space Settlement
(Washington, D.C., December 3) NSS congratulates the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful launch of Hayabusa 2 on December 2, 2014, at 11:22 PM EST. 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. Hayabusa 2 sports many improvements over the first Hayabusa probe, and carries a MASCOT Lander and three MINERVA Rovers.
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 believed to contain sources of water, which 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.
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.”
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.