NSS Mission & History

NSS Vision NSS Mission NSS History

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, nonpartisan, educational, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. For more details on what NSS stands for, please read our Statement of Philosophy or download a PDF version.

Our Mission

“To promote social, economic, technological, and political change in order to expand civilization beyond Earth, to settle space and to use the resulting resources to build a hopeful and prosperous future for humanity.”

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.”

Our History

NSS was originally founded as the National Space Institute in 1974 and the L5 Society in 1975.

NSS Rationale

Why Our Mission is Important: Survival, Growth, Prosperity, and Curiosity.

NSS Principles

What Does NSS Stand For?

NSS Beliefs

What Does NSS Support?

For U.S. tax purposes, NSS is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) educational, non-profit corporation. All donations to NSS are fully tax deductible (as allowed by your local laws). NSS’ grassroots political activities are governed by the 501(h) election, which permits a limited amount of activity aimed at influencing U.S. legislation.

To better understand in a concrete fashion what NSS is all about, reading the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement may be helpful:

Our history

Years of Journey


First Founded

NSS was originally founded as the

National Space Institute


(based on the leadership of Wernher von Braun)

And the L5 Society

and NSS was founded as the

L5 Society


(based on the ideas of Princeton physicist Gerard K. O’Neill)


The two organizations merged to form NSS in 1987 (See merger proclamation) and NSS Chapters


Widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space, NSS has chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space, and organizes the annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC)®.

Featured Articles

The following articles from Ad Astra Magazine may be helpful in understanding NSS and how NSS fits in the context of the “Space Movement”