Space Activism at Home and Abroad
Search for New Executive Director
The National Space Society is currently in the process of hiring a new Executive
Director to take over at NSS HQ in Washington, DC. Pat Dasch left the Society
at the end of 2001, having been Executive Director since 1997. Pat made great
contributions to the continuing mission of the Society and renewing the strength
of our organization. We all wish her the best.
In the interim the NSSs executive committee chairman, Mr. Chris Pancratz,
is acting in the capacity as Executive Director. We all appreciate his willingness
to take up this role. In the meantime a search committee has been formed and has
begun the process of filling the position. The Society expects to have a new Director
in place before our annual meeting, the International Space Development Conference,
23-27 May 2002 in Denver, CO. Watch this space as the process continues.
NASA releases ISS Crew and Visitors Criteria
On 31 January NASA released its eagerly awaited report on the principles regarding
processes and criteria for selection, assignment, training, and certification
of ISS (expedition and visiting) crewmembers.
The Society commends NASA and the ISS partners for persevering in the development
of such a document and we are encouraged that NASA states it is committed to working
with international partners, space tourism companies, and other space advocacy
groups in order to continue to set the standards for safe travel for those participating
in short and long-duration spaceflight. Moving forward, NSS hopes that NASA will
provide further details on the medical and training requirements for spaceflight
candidates in addition to the conduct-related criteria specified in the document,
thereby maximizing the possibility of opening the space frontier to all of us.
For more information visit http://www.nasa.gov/hqpao/isscrewcriteria.pdf
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NASA FY 2003 annual budget rollout briefing held
On 4 February Sean OKeefe, NASA Administrator, outlined the FY 2003 annual
budget in a rollout briefing in Washington, DC. While the budget includes
a minor increase in NASAs 2003 budget, it also proposes serious cuts to
human space flight activities. The overall reductions are approximately $624 million
between the space station and space shuttle programs. The budget cutbacks are
apparently due to the difficulties NASA has experienced in controlling the space
station budget. The current budget includes only four shuttle flights to the ISS
in 2003 and the elimination of the Pluto-Kuiper Belt and Europa Orbiter missions.
The National Space Society agrees that NASA needs to concentrate on the ISS to
ensure that it meets commitments to its international partners; however, the sacrifice
of its exploratory programs is a cause for concern.
NASAs FY2003 Budget Home Page http://www.nasa.gov/budget/budget2003_index.html
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Permanent Observer Status for NSS on UN Outer Space Committee
At its 44th session in June 2001, the UN committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space (COPUOS) voted to grant permanent observer status to the National Space
Society. In December 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution
A/RES/56/51, thus affirming the decision of COPUOS.
NSS is already a non-governmental organization (NGO) in consultative status to
the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Department of Public Information
(DPI). As such, NSS representatives participated in UNISPACE II and III, observed
UN meetings, attended DPI briefings, and even created annual briefings on space-related
topics usually at the UN Headquarters in New York.
With permanent observer status, NSS is now an official NGO member of the Outer
Space Committee. As such, the NSS may attend the meetings of the Committee (the
full Committee, its Legal Subcommittee and the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee)
and make statements and present papers on the agenda topics under consideration.
NSS Member and UN Representative Dr. Amanda L. Moore will make NSSs first
speech as a permanent observer before the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
in Vienna, 25 February-8 March 2002.
United Nations http://www.un.org
UN Office of Outer Space Affairs http://www.oosa.unvienna.org
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