NSS Online Report Issue #10 / January 2001

Press Release From: National Space Society
Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2001

Inside this issue:

  • Space Community Discusses Issues for the 107th Congress
  • NSS Opens 2001 With Roadmap To Space Settlement
  • NSS Public Affairs Announces 2001 Volunteers Program
  • ISDC 2001 News: John Young will be a Featured Speaker
  • German Space Society Fully Recognized
  • NSS Board of Directors Meeting Held December 2-3, 2000
  • UN Quadrennial Report Submitted
  • Chapter Reports Due Next Month


Government officials, trade association leaders, and space advocacy organization heads came together at a Space Roundtable meeting coordinated by ProSpace in Washington on December 7. Their mission: to discuss some of the issues the 107th Congress will have to address early this year.

Strengthening military capabilities in space will be one of this yearís major issues, according to Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado and David Whelan of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Allard said that the militaryís greatest needs next year are to establish an efficient organization to exploit space, to aggressively modernize its space assets and launch bases, and to engage in more research and development activities. DARPA will be investigating ways to re-supply satellites on orbit as well as next-generation hybrid launch vehicles, Whelan said.

Key space transportation issues for the new Congress include continuing the effort to reduce the cost of access to space and building business for launch vehicle manufacturers and service providers. NASA expects that its five-year, $4.5-billion Space Launch Initiative will help address this challenge. Some observers disagree. Marc Schlather of ProSpace, a space advocacy organization, commended Congress for its decision to increase space transportation spending, but believes the money would be better spent on converting some human space flight functions to commercial use and initiating a federal payload development program to make use of new launch vehicles. Schlather also urged Congress to pass an act to provide tax credits to launch vehicle builders.

NSS Executive Director, Pat Dasch identified determination of the future of the X-33 program and efforts to move NASA out of the operations business so that it can focus on research and development for the future development of space as key issues for the 107th congress.

The 107th Congress will also need to address the issue of human exploration beyond Earth orbit. The question, according to NASA Associate Administrator for Policy and Plans (and former NSS Executive Director) Lori Garver, is not whether we should explore deeper into space, but how to do so. Garver said that preparation for such missions would involve focusing on the development of new, affordable technologies, conducting extensive life sciences research, and developing a strong rationale for these undertakings. Related policy issues to be addressed include modifying the current U.S. export control regime, revisiting existing space treaties, establishing clear planetary protection policies, and setting guidelines regarding citizen visits to space.


The January/February issue of Ad Astra, the official publication of the National Space Society, is focused on the NSS Roadmap to Human Settlement of Space. The Roadmap, a product of many months work by a full cross section of NSS members and other constituents is a set of documents that charts the course for NSS action.

The Statement of Philosophy defines what the NSS is, what it believes in, and the manner in which it will conduct its mission.

The Envisioned Milestones outline the accomplishments that, based on what we know today, will be achieved en route to realizing our vision of humans living and working beyond the Earth.

The Barriers To Human Settlement are the obstacles that stand between those Milestones and us. The Barriers are the things that must be changed in order to achieve our Vision. Promoting change, the removal of those Barriers, is the Mission of the NSS.

This Ad Astra features a series of articles by NSS leaders defining the Barriers and suggesting action that we can take individually and as a Society. The writers include NSS pioneers Gordon Woodcock, Charles Walker, Mark Hopkins, and Glenn Reynolds, as well as new (NSS Board of) Director Dana Johnson and space medicine advocates Linda Plush and Eleanor OíRangers. NSS Education Chair, Carol Redfield, writes about the Adopt-a-School program, an activity that every NSS Member and Chapter can easily accomplish to make a difference close to home.


At the recent meeting of the NSS Board of Directors in Washington, DC, plans for the 2001 Public Affairs program were approved. The program is focused on increasing volunteer involvement in support of the NSS Mission. NSS Vice President of Public Affairs Chris Pancratz reported that the program is based on the premise that every activist, every enthusiast, every NSS Member can forward the movement every day with a few basic activities:

1. Learn about the Barriers and issues from the NSS Roadmap to Human Space Settlement,
2. Vote and contact legislators,
3. Invest in space-related businesses, and
4. Share the Vision with others and ask them to become part of the Society.

It is the role of the NSS Public Affairs team to provide and promote opportunities for volunteers. The Team, the NSS Public Affairs Committee, includes: Sharon Elbert, Dana Johnson, Ron Lajoie, Michael Gilbrook, Francis Govers, Cliff McMurray, Chris Pancratz, Robert Pearlman, Karen Savage and Charlie Walker. Some of the activities planned for 2001 include:

Get Involved with the NSS Roadmap

Beginning in the first quarter of 2001, NSS will establish Work Groups focused on the Roadmap Barriers. Participation is open to all NSS Members and will provide participants with opportunities for input by conducting ongoing, online discussions. The Groups will develop checklists of tactical Barriers, identify potential projects and recommend NSS actions. The Groups will meet annually at the International Space Development Conference. For more information watch the NSS website ( or email

Project Brainstorming

To assist NSS Members and chapters in identifying, planning and implementing new projects in support of the Societyís Mission, this special, FREE session will be held at the ISDC in Albuquerque, May 25-26, 2001 under the leadership of NSS Director Francis Govers. Participants will have the opportunity to share and develop ideas for new projects relating to the mission of NSS and the removal of specific Barriers from the Roadmap. The "Project Brainstorming" event will also help Members and Chapters select and plan a project to be conducted during World Space Week in October. For more information, or to register, email

World Space Week 2001

World Space Week commemorates humanityís first incursion into space and is conducted on October 4 - 10 each year under the auspices of the United Nations. To draw attention to the need to create a space-faring civilization, NSS has committed to a higher level of involvement including the sponsorship of local and regional activities during World Space Week. EVERY NSS Member and chapter is urged to plan and conduct an activity in his or her community during that week. NSS Director Cliff McMurray is leading the team that will promote this opportunity and assist Members and Chapters in publicizing their activity. Members and Chapters are asked to commit to participation by email to Even if you do not have a definite idea for a project/activity, make your commitment early and project/activity ideas will be shared.


One project that can be conducted easily by any Member in any community is "Adopt-a-school." Simply select a school in your community and determine the scope of your project. Adopt a single classroom, a specific teacher, a grade level, or an entire school. An ambitious chapter or group of members might even adopt an entire school district. The objective is to provide the school with resources and motivation to enhance teaching about space and eventual human settlement. A packet of basic information called "The Space Educator" is available for download on the NSS web site, Carol Redfield and the NSS Education Committee are developing additional materials for this program. For more information, email

Healthcare Special Interest Group

This Special Interest Group is being established to develop a role for NSS in facilitating focused attention on healthcare issues that may be barriers to human settlement of space. These include passenger restrictions proposed by the FAA, the perceived risk of space activities, and the lack of an operational closed-loop life support system. Currently this group of NSS member healthcare professionals is working to establish relationships with other space-interested healthcare organizations and to expand the participation in the group. Interested healthcare professionals are encouraged to seek more information by email to


The ISDC 2001 program continues to grow, with more than 135 speakers scheduled. One of these is John Young, commander of the first Space Shuttle flight (STS-1), who will be the featured speaker at the "20th Anniversary of STS-1" luncheon on Friday, May 25. Comdr. Young will be joined by members of the STS-1 mission control team.

Actor Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman in "2001: A Space Odyssey") has agreed to speak at the ISDC's tribute to this classic film. The Saturday dinner banquet will also feature Frederick Ordway III (the film's technical advisor) and renowned space artist Robert McCall.

Other ISDC events include the Friday dinner, "Progression of Manned Spaceflight", with speakers Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17), Sid Gutierrez (Shuttle), and Ed Lu (Mir and ISS); the Saturday luncheon, "Space Tourism", with Dr. Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11).

Register now to guarantee access to the ISDC 2001 tours and banquets! Seating is very limited and reservations will be accepted from conference registrants on a "first come, first served" basis. The order form for banquets and tours will be mailed to conference registrants in late January. PLEASE NOTE: The tour of the Starfire Optical Range (SOR) is being changed to Thursday night, May 24 since the facility will be closed on Memorial Day weekend. Non-U.S. citizens who wish to take this tour need to send a visit request to the SOR through their embassy in Washington, D.C. See the web page for details.

The Albuquerque Hilton's ISDC rate is $85 plus tax per night, single- quadruple occupancy. Call Hilton Reservations Worldwide, toll free: 1-800- 445-8667. Southwest Airlines offers a 10% discount (with some exceptions) to ISDC attendees. To request the discount, call 1-800-433-5368 and mention code R2355. For more information, visit the ISDC web page at


We would like to congratulate Michael Stennecken of the German Space Society for completing the paper work to get NSS in Germany officially recognized with "full capacity to acquire and hold rights and duties". GSS has a new web-site at The links are still being completed, but be sure to keep checking on their progress!


The NSS Board of Directors met in Arlington, VA, over the weekend of December 2-3. The meeting was very well attended and a number of issues were addressed. The weekend included an Executive Committee Meeting, Policy Committee working session to update position papers and develop new positions relevant to the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement, a Strategic Planning Session, and meetings of committees of the Board.

A major reason for a Board meeting at this point in the year is approval of the Society's budget for the coming year. The 2001 budget was developed during the three months preceding the Board meeting by the Budget Committee which coordinated the various budget elements presented by the Vice Presidents and the Headquarters staff. Along with a full agenda of Vice Presidential and Committee Reports the Board considered, but rejected, proposals for election campaign and Board reform.

Bob Freeman and his team in Albuquerque were applauded for the excellent job they are doing in developing a first rate conference for ISDC 2001 in May.


NSS Headquarters submitted the quadrennial report (1996-1999) to the United Nations this month. The report summarized NSSís participation in UN activities during that time period and included reports on such events as NSS representativesí attendance at meetings to discuss the peaceful uses of outer space in Vienna and New York.

During the quadrennial period NSS focused its activities on promoting public awareness of UNISPACE III by speaking at a conference at Princeton University and a DPI/NGO meeting. NSS also hosted a reception in New York in October on the opening day of the first World Space Week. Our thanks to NSS Governor, Ambassador Edward R. Finch for coordinating and underwriting this landmark event for NSS.


The date is set for the March storm 2001 for the 10-15th March. This event, organized by ProSpace, coordinates space advocate visits to elected officials in Washington DC. ProSpace briefs all participants on the issues, and trains you to deliver the message.

Next year, NSS will organize a conference to occur just before March Storm and we hope NSS members will attend the meeting and also participate in March Storm 2002.

More information about March Storm can be found at the ProSpace website


In order to meet our IRS reporting schedule on activities in 2000, completed chapter reports are needed at NSS Headquarters by February 15, 2001. Need help? Call one of the Chapters coordinators listed in Ad Astra or contact Sherry Wilson at NSS Headquarters at or 202-543- 1900.


NSS Online Report
Issue #10 / January 2001

Editor: Joshua Powers (

National Space Society
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. -- Suite 201 -- Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-1900 -- --

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