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14 September 1999

NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS NAMES KIRBY IKIN CHAIR

The National Space Society (NSS) has named Kirby Ikin, Chair of the Board of Directors replacing Buzz Aldrin who stepped down after holding the position for 10 years. Dr. Aldrin has accepted a seat on the NSS Board of Governors. Mr. Ikin is the first foreign national to hold this role, reflecting the increasingly international membership and reach of NSS.

Mr. Ikin is the General Manager at GIO Space in Sydney Australia, where he runs a space insurance business worth more than $100M per year. This role includes technical risk analysis and new business development. He was instrumental in founding the National Space Society of Australia and has served as Chairman of the Board of NSSA. He is responsible for the establishment of, and acts as Chairman of, the Australian Space Industry Chamber of Commerce, designed to promote commercial space opportunities, and has chaired five Australian Space Development Conferences.

Mr. Ikin brings expertise in space business management and insights into the intricacies of commercializing space enterprise to the NSS leadership team. During Mr. Ikins tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors, NSS will vigorously promote the commercial development of space, specifically through active support of a revision of the regulatory environment, enabling legislation and policies that promote government purchase of commercial space services and products.

Specifically, NSS advocates early modernization of existing launch ranges to support launch demand and commercial sector activities and the Society strongly encourages the development of additional spaceports to help meet market demand for a wide variety of launch capabilities. Mr. Ikin has advocated reform in the international regulatory environment.

With respect to the current U.S. export issue, he feels there is a failure to recognize the international aspect of space business and the multinational nature of many of our most successful space businesses, particularly space insurance. The degree of international networking in space business from components to financing to insurance requires a new regulatory framework to avoid serious damage to world economic performance in this fastest growing business sector. New regulatory and export legislation is needed to unharness the potential of space business.

Mr. Ikin has pledged to energize the NSS membership to call for legislation at home. The NSS leadership will work intensively on the international front to revise anachronistic statutes (such as the Moon Treaty of 1979) and introduce new laws and treaties to provide a framework for the commercial space development needs of the future. Current legislation is a disincentive to innovators who would take the lead in space business development (viz, Kistler Aerospace plans to test in Australia because Congress was too slow to act on legislation to provide for return of a reusable space vehicle in the U.S).

The National Space Society, celebrating 25 years of space education and advocacy, is an independent, non-profit space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 20,000 members worldwide actively promote the development of a spacefaring civilization. For additional information on NSS and space exploration, visit the NSS website at http://www.nss.org or call 202-543-1900.


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