NSS Online Report Issue #6 / September 15, 2000

Status Report From: National Space Society
Posted: Friday, September 15, 2000

Inside this issue:

  • Roadmap to Space Settlement Debuts on Website and Capitol Hill
  • Australian Space Development Conference (ASDC)
  • Conference Hailed as a Success
  • NSS Posts First Alert in Connection with Campaign 2000
  • Voter's Guide and "Five Questions" Help NSS Members to Vote for Space
  • "Most Improved" USAFA Chapter Has Big Plans for 2000-2001
  • Abstracts for ISDC 2001 Technical Presentations Are Due October 13
  • Breakfast with the Space Media Entrepreneurs
  • World Space Week Update
  • DC-L5 Shows Audiences the Real "Space Cowboys"
  • Johnson Space Center To Open Doors for Inspection 2000
  • Winner of Spaceflight Lottery Chooses to Stay on the Ground
  • NSF Survey Shows Low Interest in Space Exploration
  • Results of NSS Member Survey 2000


Presented to members at this year's International Space Development Conference in May, NSS's Roadmap to Space Settlement is now available on the NSS website ( in the "Quick Links" section. The Roadmap provides guidance to NSS members as they work to realize the NSS vision of "people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth." It specifically addresses steps leading to space access in general as well as Lunar and Martian settlement. It also lists some of the most important barriers to such settlements. Understanding these barriers in advance will help NSS members to ensure that they are overcome before they begin to slow progress in space. Most importantly, the Roadmap tells members how to focus their efforts to effect the social, economic, technological, and political changes that are necessary for space settlement.

In July, Ad Astra Editor-in-Chief, FRANK SIETZEN, spent 90 minutes briefing Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and his legislative assistant Jonathan Fellows on potential advanced human spaceflight goals, the Roadmap, and commercial space initiatives still awaiting action in the Congress. Rep. Kolbe is particularly interested in developing the technology to support sending humans to Mars in the near term. He announced August 24th support for a human mission to Mars as a next goal for the U.S. civil space program. Sietzen also represented NSS at a Capitol Hill debate July 20th between representatives of the Bush and Gore campaigns. The debate was sponsored by Women in Aerospace.


July 17-19, 2000
Tony James, Director of Public Relations, National Space Society of Australia

A lot of the Australian Space Development Conference (ADSC) committee will be catching up on a fair bit of sleep following the successful staging of the Sixth Australian Space Development Conference, held in Adelaide recently. We worked our "butts off" but it was great fun and well worth it. The conference organizing committee and assistants should be proud of themselves. The main comment that came back from delegates was that the event was "very professionally run" which is a terrific commendation for a non-profit organization.

My role at the conference was to look after the media liaison. I am happy to report that the coverage was phenomenal! Coverage included daily interviews during the week on Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) Radio with a lot of the speakers and television coverage from several local channels and the ABC. The ABC gave us three minutes during Lateline. We were in the local Adelaide Advertiser twice, the Australian, and the Financial Review.

The Space Summit meeting was held on Sunday 16th July and was attended by representatives of a few of the space advocacy groups in Australia. It was agreed at that meeting that although we all want the same thing, access to space, each of the groups has a special niche, which they target for membership. If your interest is business it's ASICC, if you are a student you go for the Australian Student Space Association, or if you want to build rockets its ASRI. We are all going to work together to direct people to the right organization depending on their interests.

We had a big announcement on the first day of the conference to cover the opening. Mr. David Kwon from Asia Pacific Space Centre announced that his company's launch vehicle would be the "Aurora" basically developed by the same company the builds the Soyuz launch vehicle. Further, APSC has scored somewhat of a "coup" by securing exclusive marketing rights to the Aurora. Mr. Kwon also announced some business partnerships with Russian companies including Rosaviakosmos, TsSKB Progress, and the Design Bureau of General Machine Building. The TV reporters were pretty interested to speak with Mr. Kwon following his announcement and APSC got some good coverage.

A lot of University students took their resumes along. I think there was a race to see who collected the most business cards. I admire people in the space industry for their encouragement and support of our University students. There may not be a lot of jobs going around at the moment but everybody was giving time to help out and point them in the right direction.

Peter Stirling from S2Comm had a digital camera and was taking happy snaps of everyone at the dinner whether they wanted their photos taken or not. If you want to see them and you have an internet connection go to:


Concerned that the Democratic Party Platform didn't address space policy for the future and that space did not get a mention at the Democratic Convention NSS asked members to write, fax and e-mail the Democratic Campaign to express our concerns and state the need for an aggressive and visionary space policy for the 21st century. We are pleased to report that our action had an impact. The Gore-Lieberman campaign posted a space policy statement at their website in response to NSS action. Thanks to all those who contact the Democratic Campaign.


During August, NSS headquarters worked with web designer Andrew Ladson to finalize design and development of the NSS's "Campaign 2000" website. A design featuring an interactive, clickable map was selected. The data was assembled by NSS summer intern Misa Cowee during June and July. The map and site will provide visitors to the NSS web site with a comprehensive guide to contacting their Congressional candidates as well as the Presidential candidates.

A printed version of the guide is also be published in the September/October issue of Ad Astra. NSS has also developed "Five Questions for the Future." Members are encouraged to ask these questions of presidential and congressional candidates and share the answers with NSS:

1. Many leading space activists argue the next step in human space exploration should be establishment of a lunar base. Others are calling for a human mission to Mars. Would you support either or both of these endeavors? If not, is there a different human space exploration project you would support?

2. Congress is considering a $14 billion NASA budget request for fiscal year 2001 which includes the first increase in the space agency's budget in seven years. Do you believe this investment is adequate? Would you support or oppose attempts to cut NASA funding?

3. What do you think America's space program priorities should be in the next decade?

4. Every year some Members of Congress attempt to terminate the International Space Station project. Do you support the completion of the ISS? If you object to the project, what would you make NASA's priority instead?

5. Our current launch facilities and space vehicles are outdated while foreign nations are busy constructing state-of-the-art launch ranges. These new ranges are attracting the attention of numerous corporations that once used U.S. facilities. What would you do to help remedy this situation?

Use the questions at campaign events, via radio and television call-in programs, or on the candidate's website. Share the answers with NSS, by sending email to, and help other members vote for space!


The NSS United States Air Force Academy Chapter, in Colorado, is active again after students have returned from their summer break. The USAFA chapter, which was selected as "Most Improved" at the Society's International Space Development Conference in May, signed up 90 new fourth class cadets (freshmen) at the Academy's August 13 "club day." They held the first chapter meeting of the year on August 24 to discuss these plans and collect dues from returning members, and held an introductory meeting with the 90 new members three days later. C1C MANDY HUTCHINSON, President, and the other chapter officers have big plans for the 2000-2001 academic year.

To give the chapter a strong identity, as well as to raise some money, the cadets are designing a patch and tee-shirt. They have already produced a sign to display at events. At upcoming meetings, the chapter is planning to hear from Air Force Academy staff members about the astronaut selection process, and is actively seeking other speakers including members of the astronaut corps. Several chapter officers are also learning to operate observatory equipment located at the Academy, and will be hosting observing sessions each month for interested members.

The USAFA chapter is also planning trips in cooperation with the USAFA Physics Club. One of these trips will be to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The cadets will be able to travel to a base near KSC courtesy of the U.S. Air Froce, and several chapter officers are working to arrange private tours of the space center's facilities.

Robert Freeman, ISDC 2001 General Chair

Are you interested in giving a presentation at ISDC 2001, or do you know someone in the aerospace field who might want to be a speaker? The October 13 deadline to submit abstracts for technical papers is rapidly approaching. Visit the ISDC web site at to view the detailed "Call for Papers." You can also download Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF versions of the Call for Papers by clicking on "File Downloads". Abstracts may be submitted electronically to, or mailed to: Dr. Stephen L. Seiffert, General Program Chair, NSS-ISDC 2001, P.O. Box 5178, Albuquerque, NM 87185-5178 USA.

If you are employed by a corporation or government organization that is involved in space technology, please help spread the word about the ISDC 2001 Call for Papers within your group. Any publicity will be appreciated. Suggestions include distributing the file via email; posting it on a company/department web page; or mentioning the web site in a newsletter announcement. By distributing the Call for Papers as widely as possible across the technical community, you are helping to strengthen an already impressive line-up of speakers at ISDC 2001.


All NSS members in the DC area are encouraged to attend and learn about the latest developments in broadcasting from space. The meeting will be held at the Ronald Reagan International Center, Washington, D.C. on October 24 from 8am-10am.

The National Space Society, in cooperation with the Space Foundation hosts this networking breakfast with some of the newest space media companies. Presentations from companies such as MirCorp., Space Media Inc.,, Kodak, and Dreamtime will give attendees the latest developments on media projects with the International Space Station and NASA. Registration cost is $25. Opportunities for Q&A and networking encouraged. Hope to see you there!

To register: visit or email
Call 202-543-1900 for more information or fax to 202-546-4189


NSS is taking a lead role in coordinating activities for the UN's WORLD SPACE WEEK, October 4-10. With little lead time this year, we encourage chapters and members to get the word out that October 4-10 will be World Space Week each year and to highlight any ongoing outreach activities during that week - visit a school, put up a display in a local public library, recruit members at a shopping center. And please, please, let us know about your activities. Planning for World Space Week in 2001 will begin at the end of this October.


The latest movie to portray adventure on the final frontier, Warner Brothers' "Space Cowboys," opened on Friday, August 4. In "Space Cowboys" an aging former astronaut played by Clint Eastwood, who also directed the film, is tapped for a daring mission. He and his crew must stop a 1950s-era satellite from falling to Earth and causing mass destruction. Astronaut Eastwood agrees, on the condition that three of his friends who were passed over for astronaut assignments in the past be allowed to go along for the ride.

Members of NSS's DC-L5 chapter, in the national capital area, visited General Cinemas in Springfield, VA to share the exploits of real "Space Cowboys" with moviegoers on opening night. A table was set up with models and displays, NSS and DC-L5 brochures, and free copies of the latest issue of Ad Astra. DC-L5 members also obtained hundreds of space-related pictures from the NASA Publications Office, which were freely distributed to the enthusiastic audience. Hundreds of cinema patrons passed by the display. Many stopped to chat with the attending NSS members about the movie, which was generally well-received by the opening night audience.

DC-L5 members are currently planning a similar event for the November 3, 2000 release of another Warner Brothers film, "Red Planet." For more information on DC-L5 activities, contact chapter president DONNIE LOWTHER by email at (that's oh-kay-el-one, not eleven!). For more information on "Red Planet" visit

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER TO OPEN DOORS FOR INSPECTION 2000 NASA's Johnson Space Center will open its doors to the public from November 1-3 for the fourth annual Inspection. Inspection 2000 provides an opportunity for the public, particularly interested businesses, to learn about technologies developed for the space program that may be applicable to problems here on Earth. Inspection also provides an opportunity for educators to learn more about the U.S. space program and how to teach their students about it. Members of the CLA-NSS chapter, in search of speakers for future meetings, are also planning to attend. According to NASA, last year's Inspection drew a crowd of more than 2,500 visitors from 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 16 foreign countries.

Registration is required in order to attend Inspection, but the event is free and open to all interested parties. More information on the three-day event and registration details can be found at the web site,, by email to, or by telephone at (281) 244-1316.


A winner has been selected and a prize awarded in the first completed lottery for a ride into space, but don't expect to see the recipient floating through the International Space Station any time soon.

The winner of Dole Pineapple's "Win a Trip to Outer Space" contest, Mr. Beverly Johnston, of Creve Coeur, IL, age 70, chose to accept the $50,000 alternate prize rather than the 7-day, 6 night Zegrahm Space Voyages "space experience for one person including round trip coach air transportation from major airport closest to winner's home to location of the space institute, two days at the space institute, three days advanced astronaut training, and sub-orbital flight, single occupancy hotel accommodations for six nights and three meals per day (approximate retail value of prize: $100,000)."

Mr. Johnston said that Dole did not make a big deal about his win, but just sent him the $50,000 check. (Dole's current promotion is just a "space cruiser" picture in its web-based coloring book.)

The Contest rules had noted: "Exact travel dates and arrangements subject to availability. . . . Prize is nontransferable. . . . If prize package cannot, for any reason, be awarded by December 31, 2003, $50,000 will automatically be awarded. . . . By accepting prize, winner further agrees that Dole Food Company, Inc., Zegrahm Space Voyages and Vela Technology Development, Inc., their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, distributors, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies are not liable for any injury, damage, expense, accident, delay, irregularity, loss or claim arising from or in connection with the prize or participation in prize-related activities."

For another view of winning a lottery to go into space, see the short story "Orbituary," by NSS Vice President - Membership Jeffrey Liss, about an NSS member who had to choose between going up to Mir or accepting a $1 million alternate prize. The story appeared in the March 1994 "Science Fiction Age." If you would like a copy, email


As reported by the New York Times on July 18, a recent survey conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows relatively low public interest in space exploration. The survey measured interest in space exploration compared to medical discoveries, environmental pollution, nuclear energy, new discoveries, and the use of new inventions and technologies. It also measured interest in several non-scientific topics, including agriculture, national defense policy, education, and the economy to provide reference data. Survey respondents indicated that space exploration was of very low interest, second only to agricultural issues.

While respondents were free to rank as many categories as highly as they desired, the survey did not specifically account for interests that fall into multiple categories. For example, recent evidence of water on present-day Mars might be considered a "new discovery" issue rather than a "space exploration" issue. Also, the survey did not provide specific categories for space commercialization or settlement. However, the survey is a reminder that NSS members must strive to "sell" space exploration to the public by communicating its practical benefits and sharing their enthusiasm for exploratory missions.


Completing construction of the International Space Station is the number one priority for the human space program according to NSS members. Second priority is starting to plan for a human return to the Moon and reducing the cost of getting to orbit came in third.

Overwhelmingly, NSS members believe that the proposed Space Launch Initiative should be used to encourage and accelerate the development of new launch vehicles by the private sector.

A substantial majority of NSS members want to see future space policy leadership vested in a Space Council rather than NASA or the White House.

See Ad Astra for a more detailed write up on the 2000 NSS MEMBER SURVEY.

NSS Online Report
Issue #6 / September 8, 2000

Editor: Joshua Powers (

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