The National Space Society vision is people living and working in space

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!

March Storm

Registration update for March Storm, March 12-17, 2017

The annual March Storm Washington DC Blitz is March 12-16, 2017. Sunday March 12 will be an all-day training event, followed by up to four days of Congressional visits. Blitzers are asked to commit to a minimum of 2 days of Congressional visits, but those days can be picked from among March 13-16.

Please sign up here and get the draft March Storm slides here. More information here.

February 15 update:  There are 17 official registrations, with around 10 others verbally committed that are yet to register. There has  been a heavy emphasis on getting more students involved this year, and that is showing in the registration numbers so far, as almost all of those currently registered are students. We are seeing excellent support from universities around the country, with some providing travel money to allow students to participate.

If you have any questions, please contact Dale Skran, NSS Executive VP & Chair of the NSS Policy Committee.

ESA Director Wörner Wins National Space Society’s Prestigious von Braun Award

(Washington, DC -- February 15, 2017)  Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), is the winner of the National Space Society’s 2017 prestigious Wernher von Braun Memorial Award. This award recognizes Wörner as an effective leader of the European Space Agency and the contributions of ESA to the world space community. Prof. Wörner will accept the award on Friday, May 26, 2017 at the National Space Society’s 2017 International Space Development Conference® ( See full press release.

Losing the Geomagnetic Shield: A Critical Issue for Space Settlement

Losing the Geomagnetic Shield: A Critical Issue for Space Settlement, a new paper by Philip K. Chapman, has just been published in the NSS Space Settlement Journal.

Abstract. The geomagnetic field seems to be collapsing. This has happened many times in the deep past, but never since civilization began. One implication is that the cost of space settlement will increase substantially if we do not expedite deployment of initial facilities in low Earth orbit. Another implication, less certain but much more damaging, is that the collapse may lead to catastrophic global cooling before the end of this century. We must establish self-sufficient communities off Earth before that happens. Read full paper.

National Space Society’s Space Settlement Summit Draws Industry Leaders

(Washington, D.C., February 4, 2017) An enormously successful first annual Space Settlement Summit hosted by the National Space Society occurred on January 10-11, 2017, in Santa Monica, California. Industry leaders, financial experts, scientists and engineers, and leading space activists were brought together to assess the state of the art driving space settlement.

See full press release.

NSS Award Announcements for the 2017 ISDC

Space Pioneer Award for Special Merit: “MAC’s Old Team”

Space Pioneer Award for Non-Legislative Government Service: William H. Gerstenmaier

Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering: The Kepler-K2 Team

Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media: Eric Berger

Join the NSS Leadership Team – Apply by February 28*

(Washington, D.C., January 19, 2017) The NSS 2017 Leadership Search Committee is seeking volunteer candidates with the time, talent, and motivation to serve as a member, Secretary, or Chair on an NSS operating committee.  Superior candidates will also be considered for an Officer position.  Apply via by February 28 to be considered for a committee position — *or January 28 to be considered for an Officer position.

See the full announcement for details and links to committee and officer descriptions.

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Falcon 9’s Return to Flight

(Washington, DC -- January 19, 2017)  The National Space Society congratulates SpaceX on the return to flight of the Falcon 9 on January 14. “NSS members are excited to see the F9 return to flight,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. “SpaceX has been pushing the envelope to perfect the use of technologies like sub-cooled rocket fuel and first stage recovery. Companies can only take risks on new technology with the support of customers like Iridium that have the courage to do new things in space. NSS congratulates SpaceX, Iridium, and Thales Alenia Space on a job well done.” See full press release.

Celebrating the Life of National Space Society Governor and American Hero John Glenn

(Washington, DC -- December 8, 2016) The National Space Society celebrates the life and contributions of the visionary champion of space exploration, Honorable Senator John Glenn, who passed away today. Senator Glenn served the National Space Society as a Governor for over two decades. “John Glenn was an inspiration for the National Space Society and all those who believe humanity’s destiny lies in the stars,” said Mark Hopkins, Chairman of the Executive Committee of NSS.

Hugh Downs, NSS Board of Governors Chair, said, “It was an honor to work with John Glenn as a member of the NSS Board of Governors. John had the courage of his convictions based on his knowledge of science. He did not fall for the myths that surrounded the medical risks of human space travel at the time. His understanding of the science was as important as his getting into the capsule and orbiting the Earth. It is hard to imagine today how important that was for the the U.S. at the time.”

See full press release.

Enterprise In Space & Kepler Space Institute Sponsor Competition to Tackle Orbital Debris

(Washington, DC -- December 7, 2016)  Enterprise In Space, a non-profit program of the National Space Society, and the Kepler Space Institute have partnered with Global Aerospace Corporation to launch the “Orbital Debris Mitigation” competition. In order to drive innovation forward in technology to remove the space debris orbiting Earth, EIS and its partners are offering university student teams a chance to propose experiments for space debris mitigation. To learn more about the Orbital Debris Mitigation Competition or to enter, visit the contest page at and become a part of NewSpace future. See full press release.

National Space Society Presidential Policy Workshop Leaders Urge Incoming Administration to Lead Lunar Base Construction

(Washington, DC -- November 30, 2016)  On Saturday, October 8th, the National Space Society (NSS) organized a workshop directed at recommending a space policy to the new Administration. Eleven thought leaders from government, industry, and academia gathered in a fruitful collaboration to produce a set of five recommendations. NSS has submitted the resulting white paper to the Transition Team. See full press release.

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.”

See full press release.

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).

See full NSS press release.

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!

See full NSS press release.

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.

See full NSS press release.

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.”

See full NSS press release.

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,, 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.

See full press release, illustrated NSS Blog version, and full video of the event.

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.

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