John Strickland Biography

John Strickland

Assistant Treasurer
National Space Society Board of Directors

Mr. Strickland has been an active member of space and science-related organizations since 1961, when he joined the American Rocket Society as a student member. In 1976 he joined both the National Space Institute and the L-5 Society, the “parents” of NSS. He was the founder of the Austin Space Frontier Society and has served as its chairman from 1981 to the present.

He created the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award for the National Space Society in 1988, (shortly after the author’s death), and has managed the award from its inception. He chairs the NSS Awards Committee and the NSS Roadmap Committee. In 1988, Mr. Strickland was a founder of the NSS Chapters Assembly, and served as one of its officers. His involvement with both Austin environmental groups and CSI, ­ a national group working for better science coverage, and less pseudo-science in the mass media ­ has given him a unique perspective on such controversial issues as energy vs. environment.

Since 1976, Mr. Strickland has produced articles for The Space ReviewNASAWatchL5 NewsAd AstraSpace NewsThe Humanist, and other local and regional publications. His articles focus primarily on national space policy, access to space, space infrastructure and space solar power. His creation of a slide show and talk in 1990, explaining and promoting space solar power to non-technical audiences, led to the publication of his first technical SPS article in 1995, and a second in 1996.

He served as the director for science and space programming (about 50 events) at the 1997 LoneStarCon World Science Fiction Convention. He contributed a comprehensive chapter on energy systems in the book, Solar Power Satellites – A Space Energy System for Earth, edited by Dr. Peter Glaser et al., and published by Wiley-Praxis in 1998. In 2005 he also contributed the chapter “Access to Luna” to the 2005 book Return to the Moon. He since has contributed many technical papers and presentations to the annual NSS conventions, to the Mars Society’s conventions, the Wireless Power Transmission Conference of 2001, the Houston World Space Congress in 2002, and the Toronto Space Solar Power Symposium in 2009.

Mr. Strickland lived for 30 years in western New York before moving to Austin, Texas in 1976. He received a B. A. in Anthropology with a minor in Biology from SUNY at Buffalo in 1967, and a second B.A. in Computer Science from St. Edwards University in Austin in 1986. He also earned graduate credits in both Anthropology and Biology. He worked as a professional programmer and analyst from 1980, and worked as a Senior Programmer/Analyst for the State of Texas in Austin from July, 1989 until June 2009.

In April 2021, John Strickland and Sam Spencer worked with Apogee Books to publish two large books covering the human future in space. The two books, Developing Space and Settling Space, total almost 800 pages with much custom, rendered art by Anna Nesterova. For information, see

Selected online publications by John Strickland:

The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of the National Space Society.



Launch Vehicles

Space Architecture

Energy and Environment

Space Policy