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.
The Society publishes Ad Astra magazine and maintains an active global network of volunteers and local chapters. Membership and participation are open to all. Join the space movement, and help build a positive future for humanity!
Roadmap to Space Settlement 2017 International Student Art Contest
In our Roadmap to Space Settlement 2017 International Student Art Contest, the National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create ORIGINAL illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should REALISTICALLY illustrate one of this year’s two themes: (1) People Living and Working in Space Settlements, or (2) Medicine and Medical Manufacturing in Space. All full-time students at any grade level between the ages of 13 and 25 are eligible. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2017. See contest details.
NSS Congratulates Orbital ATK on a Successful Return to Flight for the Antares
On October 17, 2016, the upgraded Orbital ATK Antares rocket returned to flight following an October 14th, 2014 launch accident. The Antares is boosting a Cygnus cargo capsule to the International Space Station loaded with supplies and scientific equipment.
Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President said, “NSS applauds NASA’s support of multiple providers in the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. The successful return to flight of the Antares/Cygnus at a time when the SpaceX Falcon 9 is grounded underscores the value of launch services provided by technologically independent sources.”
Enterprise In Space and Kepler Space Institute Launch Competition for University Teams to 3D Print Aboard the International Space Station
(Washington, DC -- October 13, 2016) Enterprise In Space (EIS), a non-profit program of the National Space Society, and the Kepler Space Institute have partnered with Made In Space (MIS), Sketchfab, 3D Hubs, and Prairie Nanotechnology to launch the “Print the Future” competition. In order to drive innovation forward in space manufacturing technology, EIS and its partners are offering university teams a chance to 3D print a NewSpace experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competition is an exciting STEM Challenge for Kids
(Washington, DC -- October 12, 2016) Everyone agrees—we need to get more kids interested in STEM careers. National Space Society is doing its part by lending support to the Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competition. In this year’s contest, students are gearing up to build and launch a solid-fuel powered rocket. This is a fantastic way to turn kids on to the STEM subjects. Nothing lends itself to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math like a launch. After all—this is rocket science!
Enterprise In Space Partners with Sketchfab and 3D Hubs for NewSpace Education
(Washington, DC -- October 11, 2016) Enterprise In Space (EIS), a non-profit program of the National Space Society (NSS), is thrilled to announce two new partnerships with 3D Hubs and Sketchfab to further develop the world’s first NewSpace education program. Sketchfab is the leading community devoted to 3D modeling and 3D scanning for use in augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D printing, and more. The company will provide professional accounts to educators and students participating in EIS international education competitions. 3D Hubs is the world’s largest distributed network for 3D printing services. For EIS competitions, 3D Hubs will make available its vast network to provide prototyping and 3D printing services on demand to participating students.
National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin for Its Successful In-flight Escape Test of New Shepard
(Washington, DC -- October 5, 2016) On October 5, 2016, for the fifth time, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket successfully flew to the edge of space and returned to its West Texas launch site intact. National Space Society Executive Vice President Dale Skran said, “Blue Origin is to be congratulated for putting together a systematic test program to demonstrate all the features of the New Shepard sub-orbital system. NSS members look forward to the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, and to sub-orbital tourist flights once New Shepard is operational. Additionally, New Shepard will provide expanded low-cost access to micro-gravity for researchers.”
NSS Partners with Cislunar Explorers for Moon Mission
(Washington, DC -- October 3, 2016) We at NSS are part of the NASA CubeQuest Challenge's Cislunar Explorers team, whose goal is to fly a spacecraft to the Moon while demonstrating the first-time use of electrolyzed water as propellant and demonstrate a new optical navigation capability. For more information, see the NSS Projects webpage.
If you'd like to be a part of this exciting project by donating to their Kickstarter campaign, please know that if our team wins the NASA in-space prize ($1.5 million is slated for the teams attaining lunar orbit), NSS will get a share of the prize equal to the donations that come through NSS. For this to happen, we need one additional step so we can track the number and amount of donations coming through NSS (the Kickstarter site won't track that). Just send an email to Chair of the NSS Projects Committee, email@example.com, simply stating the amount of your pledge. No other information is required.
Peter Garretson: What the New President Needs to Know about Space
(Washington, DC -- September 29, 2016) NSS Director Peter Garretson has just published a significant article on what the new President likely won’t be hearing about space, but should be. Highly recommended.
National Space Society Space Settlement Campaign Supports Elon Musk’s Mars Settlement Plans
(Washington, DC -- September 27, 2016) At today’s meeting of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk, CEO of Space X, announced his bold plan to build a city on Mars. For over 40 years the National Space Society has led advocacy for space settlement. According to Mark Hopkins, economist and Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Space Society, “The vast majority of the resources of our solar system lie in space rather than on the Earth. By settling Mars and other locations in space we can overcome the resource limits of Earth leading to a hopeful, prosperous future for all of humanity.”
During the talk Musk detailed the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) for the first time. The first stage of the ITS towers 77.5 meters with a diameter of 12 meters and uses 42 Raptor engines to provide a total of 28 million lbs of thrust. The second stage is 49.5 meters long, 17 m in diameter, uses 9 Raptor engines, and comes in both a crew/cargo model and a tanker model. Musk’s plans are based on four key approaches: full reusability of all components, refueling in orbit around Earth, refueling on Mars with locally produced propellant, and using a rocket fuel (methane/oxygen) that can be easily manufactured on Mars. Musk envisions that the eventual cost of a ticket to Mars will be in the $100K-$200K U.S. dollars range, allowing ordinary people to eventually travel to Mars.
Enterprise In Space: A Tutor for Every Child, video presentation for the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change Grant.
The President of the National Space Society describes how many children around the world lack access to a basic education and how ValueSpring Technology is developing an artificial intelligence that will be a tutor for each person, thus helping to bring about the world that Gene Roddenberry imagined, where everyone is able to contribute to his or her full potential. This project is being submitted in competition for a $100 million MacArthur Foundation grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.
National Space Society Congratulates NASA, ULA, and Lockheed Martin on the Successful Launch of OSIRIS-REx
(Washington, DC -- September 9, 2016) With the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 411 on September 8 at 7:05 PM EST, 2016 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, NASA’s mission to travel to a near Earth asteroid and return a sample got underway. NSS congratulates the team who made this happen. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer.
“OSIRIS-REx has NSS members really excited,” said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President. “The craft will provide a complete map of the chemistry and mineralogy of a carbon based asteroid. Such asteroids will be critical for both the economic development and settlement of space. The TAGSAM sample collection device may provide a foundation for the development of future asteroid mining robots. Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, and his team at the University of Arizona have put together a really impressive mission.”
See full press release.
National Space Society Urges Renewed Commitment to Competition and Reusability Following Falcon 9/Amos 6 Incident
(Washington, DC -- September 6, 2016) At about 9:07 AM September 1, 2016, during preparation for a routine static fire test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, an explosion resulted in the loss of both the F9 and the satellite payload. At this time there are no reports of injuries in the incident. Although Elon Musk has reported that the explosion “Originated around [the] upper stage oxygen tank” the cause remains unknown.
“Clearly this incident is a setback for SpaceX,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. “However, it emphasizes the wisdom of NASA in supporting multiple cargo and crew carriers to the International Space Station. NASA deserves the highest praise for holding fast to supporting multiple providers with dissimilar vehicles to provide both competition and redundancy. NSS looks forward to the return to flight of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket hauling cargo to the ISS later this year, and welcomes the addition of Sierra Nevada’s Dreamchaser to the list of ISS cargo haulers.”
See full press release.
National Space Society Book Project: Space 2.0
(Washington, DC -- July 25, 2016) The National Space Society has contracted with space historian and author Rod Pyle to write a new book entitled Space 2.0. This new book will embark on a compelling narrative about the future development, exploration and settlement of the final frontier. NSS plans to use the finished volume as a primary tool for outreach and STEM/STEAM educational efforts, as well as supporting the organization in the broader marketplace. See full announcement.
The National Space Society Applauds Alan Stern Winning the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal
(Washington, DC -- July 19, 2016) The National Space Society congratulates Dr. Alan Stern on winning the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. This award is the highest honor that NASA can bestow. NSS has also awarded one of our highest honors to Dr. Stern, the NSS Wernher von Braun Award, which he received at our International Space Development Conference last May in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Stern was Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. See full press release.
The National Space Society Congratulates Boeing on 100 Years of Aerospace Excellence
(Washington, DC -- July 16, 2016) NSS congratulates the Boeing Company on reaching its 100th anniversary, and doing so while continuing to be the world leader in the aerospace business. NSS was very happy to view the recent Boeing “You Just Wait” commercial (below), and to hear the words of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who said Friday, “In another 100 years, we might make daily trips to space, fly across the globe in less than an hour, or receive unlimited clean power from solar satellites.” See full press release.
The National Space Society Pays Tribute to the Space Policy Leadership of Former FAA Leader Patricia Grace Smith
(Washington, DC -- June 14, 2016) The National Space Society celebrates the life and contributions of a visionary champion of the commercial space industry and human space settlement, the Honorable Patricia Grace Smith. Ms. Smith unexpectedly passed away on June 5th, after quietly fighting pancreatic cancer over the last year.
“The commercial space industry owes a huge debt to Patti Grace Smith whose years of determined and well-reasoned advocacy combined with her natural charm and grace won over many converts in government and fostered the birth of a new industry. There might not be a commercial space flight industry were it not for Patti’s leadership,” said Bruce Pittman, Senior Operating Officer of the National Space Society.
See full press release.
Smithsonian Science Education Center and NSS Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program “Enterprise In Space”
(Washington, DC -- May 11, 2016) Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international program of the National Space Society, is excited to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). EIS and SSEC plan to collaborate on two projects dedicated to space education. The first is a mission patch design challenge in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to present at Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum, tentatively set to occur this summer. The second is the development of a space science summer course for the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) that will enrich and enhance space education in the participating educators’ classrooms. See full press release.
The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016
(Washington, DC -- March 25, 2016) The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016 (H.R. 4752) has been introduced by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher “to require the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to investigate and promote the exploration and development of space leading to human settlements beyond Earth, and for other purposes.”
The National Space Society urges you to call or write your Congressional Representative today and request that he or she co-sponsor H.R. 4752 (the Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016). You should specifically ask that the space staffer for your Representative should contact Tony DeTora in Congressman Rohrabacher’s office to become a co-sponsor.