Planetary Society, NSS Call for Full Funding for NEO Surveyor Asteroid Hunter

NEO Surveyor is a new mission proposal designed to discover and characterize most of the potentially hazardous asteroids that are near the Earth. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A joint-letter in Support of NEO Surveyor
National Space Society
The Planetary Society

As part of our ongoing support for the asteroid-hunting space telescope NEO Surveyor, The Planetary Society recently partnered with the National Space Society to urge Congress to reject cuts to this critical mission.

The project is facing a $130 million cut from its planned FY 2023 budget, which would seriously delay and disrupt the mission.

This letter to Congress reflects the high regard for NEO Surveyor shared by the two largest member-supported space organizations in the world.

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This week on The Space Show

This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

Tuesday, April 26 — 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT): We welcome back ROD PYLE and AGGIE KOBRIN re ISDC, NSS andl lots more. 

Wednesday, April 27 — Hotel Mars pre-recorded. See the Upcoming Show Menu at www.thespaceshow.com for details.

Friday, April 29 — 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM- 1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT: No program due to move to Nevada.

Sunday, May 1 — 12-1:30 PM PDT, (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): No program due to move to Nevada.

Space Organizations Urge FAA to Approve Boca Chica Site for Super Heavy/Starship Flight Tests

The purple line surrounds parts of SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility that has been developed. Additional facilities would be added below that area. The dotted line delineates SpaceX’s property line. The orange areas are unvegetated salt flats. The green areas are high marsh areas. (Credit: SpaceX)

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (Mars Society PR) — A group of 14 space advocacy organizations today published a joint statement urging rapid U.S. government approval of SpaceX’s Starship test flights.

Commenting on the initiative, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin said: “The organizations that have come together to make this statement represent every point of view within the space community. Whether one’s priority is settling Mars, developing space commerce, exploring the Moon, assuring national security, or gaining new knowledge of the Earth, the planets, or the universe, we all agree that it is vital that this program be allowed to move forward. There may be many more hurdles like this that SpaceX and others seeking to open the space frontier will face, but this statement shows that the often-fractured movement of space advocates can come together to help when it really counts.” 

The statement and its signatories are shown below. 

The SpaceX Starship offers extraordinary potential benefits for the exploration and development of space by both the public and private sectors. It will enable many new commercial space ventures as well as dramatically lower the costs and raise the frequency of scientific missions that will provide amazing new knowledge about our universe and home planet.

Its relatively clean environmental footprint, the large savings it offers U.S. taxpayers as a means of transport for government programs and missions and its ability to rapidly and regularly deliver satellite constellations and payloads to orbit will enhance national security, increase high paying jobs in the space sector, and propel American space leadership far ahead of any global competitors.

Therefore we, the undersigned organizations, strongly urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other federal agencies to provide full approval to SpaceX to begin orbital test flights of the Starship at the earliest possible date.
 

Approved by:

The Mars Society
National Space Society
Earthlight Foundation
Alliance for Space Development
Space Development Foundation
Space Development Network
The Moon Society
The Mars Foundation
Space for Humanity
Tea Party in Space
For All Moonkind
The Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration
The Space Resources Roundtable
The Space Development Steering Committee

NSS Presents Gwynne Shotwell Top Award at the Online 2021 International Space Development Conference

Gwynne Shotwell

This Year’s Virtual Conference Streams Free to All Starting Today

WASHINGTON, DC (NSS PR) — The National Space Society is proud to announce the presentation of the prestigious Wernher von Braun Memorial Award to SpaceX President and CEO Gwynne Shotwell at its annual International Space Development Conference®, which will be held virtually this year from June 24 through the 27th. Ms. Shotwell will speak on the future of SpaceX’s endeavors and on the development and exploration of cislunar space.

Shotwell joined SpaceX in 2002 when the company was in its earliest stages. She was promoted to president of the company in 2008 following her successful negotiation with NASA for the Commercial Resupply Services contract. Her responsibilities have included building the launch manifest of the company’s revolutionary Falcon 9 rocket, which has captured a large portion of global launch contracts. Shotwell was also integral to SpaceX’s successful bid to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station, which the company accomplished in 2020.

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NSS Delays Annual Conference

WASHINGTON (NSS PR) — The National Space Society has announced that its annual International Space Development Conference (NSS ISDC®), formerly scheduled for May 28-31 in Frisco, Texas, will not be held as planned. The organization is working with its partners to review its options and make plans to support the conference moving ahead.

“The NSS is no longer holding its ISDC in May 2020, but conditions allowing, will investigate, with its partners and sponsors, the possibility of ISDC activities of different kinds later in 2020,” said Dale Skran, Chair of the NSS Executive Committee. “The health and welfare of our members and attendees is our priority.”

The ISDC is the premiere conference of its kind, bringing together well over 1000 people from around the globe each year to learn about and celebrate developments in the opening and settlement of the space frontier.

“Looking ahead to next year, we are preparing to present ISDC 2021 in Los Angeles and to welcome everyone there, and at all our upcoming events. In the meantime, we ask everyone to follow professional medical and government instructions to help maintain their health in the coming weeks and months,” Skran said.

Please visit the ISDC 2020 website at isdc2020.nss.org for updates as events develop. Information on refund status and applicability to future events will be forthcoming shortly.

Mixed Reaction to House’s NASA Authorization Bill

There have been sharply differing reaction from industry and advocacy groups to the House draft of a NASA authorization act that largely rejects the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 and establish a permanent presence there. Instead, a moon landing would be used as an interim step to sending astronauts to Mars. Commercial participation in these missions would be limited.

[See House NASA Authorization Bill Focuses on Sending Astronauts to Mars; Moon Seen as Interim Step and NASA Authorization Bill Introduced in House for details.]

Below are statements by the Aerospace Industries Association, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and National Space Society.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has also weighed in here.

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NSS to Honor Apollo Astronaut Al Worden at Annual Conference

Astronaut Al Worden

WASHINGTON (NSS PR) — The National Space Society (NSS) has named astronaut Al Worden the 2019 recipient of NSS’ Space Pioneer Award for Historic Space Achievement. Worden flew to the Moon on Apollo 15.

The prestigious award will be presented to Mr. Worden at the Society’s 38th annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC®), to be held in the Washington DC area at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel from June 6-9, 2019. NSS invites the public to come meet, interact and learn from Al Worden and attend his award ceremony.

For more information, see: isdc2019.nss.org.

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Space Solar Power Being Considered at High Level

nss_logoWASHINGTON, DC (NSS PR) — The National Space Society (NSS) congratulates the “Space Solar Power D3” team on making it to the winners circle in a Department of Defense (DOD) competition to find promising new technology ideas that could simultaneously advance diplomacy, development and defense. Space Solar Power (SSP) is among only six winners out of 500 entries for the DOD’s first innovation challenge for the D3 (Diplomacy, Development, Defense) Summit.

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Space Development Alliance Lays Out Ambitious Agenda

earth_from_space
The new Alliance for Space Development (ASD) has set out an ambitious agenda for itself, with a set of objectives that include radically reducing the cost of getting to orbit and expanding NASA’s purpose to support the settlement of humanity off the Earth.

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NSS, Space Frontier to Announce Formation of New Space Development Alliance

sff_logoWASHINGTON, D.C. (SFF PR) — The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) and the National Space Society (NSS) will announce the formation of the Alliance for Space Development (ASD) at a media event on February 25th in Washington, D.C. 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. The ASD (https://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 joined the ASD.

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FSDC Membership Elects New President, Officers

Jillianne Pierce
Jillianne Pierce

FSDC PR, June 4, 2014 — Jillianne Pierce of Orlando has been elected to serve as president of the Florida Space Development Council (FSDC), replacing Laura Seward who held the position since the National Space Society chapter was re-activated in January 2013. A short bio for Ms. Pierce is available here.

Also elected to the FSDC board are Edward Ellegood (vice president); William Allen (secretary); and Randy Pruitt (treasurer).

Jillianne is a lawyer, government relations professional, and self-described “space nerd.” She is Co-Editor of the Space Law Newsletter for the American Bar Association’s Section on Science & Technology Law Space Law Committee. Jillianne’s work experience is diverse and includes journalism, law, and public policy practice.

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Shotwell Wins NSS Space Pioneer Award

Gwynne Shotwell
Gwynne Shotwell

WASHINGTON (NSS PR) — The National Space Society has awarded its 2014 Space Pioneer Award for the Entrepreneurial Business category to SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne R. Shotwell.

NSS will present the Space Pioneer Award to Mrs. Shotwell on Saturday May 16, at NSS’s annual conference, the 2014 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).  The conference will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, and will run from May 14-18, 2014.
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NSS to Honor Elon Musk with Robert Heinlein Award

elon_musk_control_panel
Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

WASHINGTON (NSS PR) — The National Space Society takes great pleasure in announcing that its 2014 Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award has been won by acclaimed space entrepreneur Elon Musk, the Chief Designer and CEO of SpaceX. In the last decade, SpaceX, under the leadership of Elon Musk, has been moving directly toward accomplishing goals that many of us in NSS think are of utmost importance, such as forcing a drastic reduction in launch costs by doing the very hard task which no one else in the world has been willing and able to tackle: working to create a family of commercially successful and reusable rocket boosters and reusable spacecraft.

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Greetings from ISDC in La Jolla

nss_logoGreetings from the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in sunny La Jolla, Calif. I’m coming to you somewhat live from the upscale Hyatt Regency La Jolla.

Yes, I have made it out of the Mojave Desert for a few days — far away from the big bad winds that threaten to blow my house down, the dust storms that clog up my sinuses, and the suicidal rabbits that jump in front of my car. (I’m serious; it’s the most disturbing thing about that place. That…and all the meth labs.)

But, I digress.

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Need a Job? NSS is Hiring

nss_logoThe National Space Society is once again looking for an new Executive Director following the resignation of Paul Damphousse, who led the non-profit advocacy group for just over a year.

In a letter to the NSS Board of Directors, the former Marine pilot indicated he had unspecified conflicts with members of the governing structure, Space News reports.

“During the last year in this role it has become abundantly clear, however, that as long as elements of the existing leadership of the NSS continue to pursue courses of action — and perpetuate an atmosphere — that are not in the best interests of the Society, the challenges the organization face will become insurmountable,” Damphousse wrote. “For both professional and personal reasons, I have decided to pursue other opportunities.”