Status Report

NSS Online Report Issue #16 / July 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
July 16, 2001
Filed under ,

Inside this issue:

  • NASA Academy
  • Legislative Action: NASA Human Spaceflight Funding
  • Going Public 2001 ñ Space Tourism Conference
  • NSS Co-sponsors Proposals for Space Colonization Research
  • HQ Welcomed Two Interns This Summer
  • Space Command Creates Squadrons to Study Space Control
  • Space Launch Initiative Program Review
  • Call for Papers for ISDC 2002 – Deadline is December 31



On the evening of June 14, NSS Executive Director Pat Dasch made what
has become an annual trek to the University of Maryland campus to talk to the
lucky students selected to participate in this year’s NASA Academy at the
Goddard Space Flight Center ( Up to 20 students
are selected each year in a very competitive national process. They spend
the summer at Goddard attending lectures and doing research under the
supervision of a NASA scientist.

Ms. Dasch’s job is to set the political scene for the students. She
talked with the students about the current Administration’s lack of action
and interest in the civil space program and about the Congressional process
on Capitol Hill. They debated export controls and spaceport modernization,
the “Invest in Space Now” Act and planned hearings on the Space Launch
Initiative and Space Tourism.

Several of the students attended the House Subcommittee on Space and
Aeronautics Space Tourism hearing on June 26. They were enormously
enthusiastic about the lively and entertaining hearing with testimony from
space tourist Dennis Tito, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, NASA’s Deputy
Associate Administrator for ISS, Mike Hawes and Rick Tumlinson from the Space
Frontier Foundation. Towards the end of the hearing, chairman Rep. Dana
Rohrabacher (R-CA) acknowledged the large number of young people attending
the hearing. After the hearing the students met with Buzz, Dennis, and
astronaut Tom Jones who was in attendance, and chairman Rohrabacher spent
some time learning about their summer projects and career goals. More
information on the Space Tourism hearing, including the testimony of Ms.
Dasch, can be found at


In its 2002 budget, the White House proposed $14.5 billion for NASA,
a 2% increase over last year. However, the human spaceflight portion is
being cut by $300 million. The House Committee on Science, which oversees
NASA, was scheduled to mark up its budget bill on July 10. Congressman Nick
Lampson (D-TX) and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) planned an attempt to
restore the $300 million to NASA’s human spaceflight budget. In response to
a Legislative Action Alert issued by NSS, Society members aided Congressmen
Lampson and DeLay by lobbying their own representatives in support of
additional NASA funding.

NSS also issued the following Policy Statement:

The National Space Society notes with great regret that the corrective
actions taken by NASA in order to stay within International Space Station
(ISS) Congressional spending caps will severely limit crew size and
operational capability, as well as scientific benefits, aboard the station.
The National Space Society therefore urges that:

1. ISS be augmented with capability for a full crew of 6 or 7 people, on the
earliest time scale practicable within reasonable budget constraints.

2. An “ISS Applications Program” should be implemented as soon as possible,
to begin steps towards the objective of expanding human presence beyond low
Earth orbit, and to take full advantage of our investment in ISS.

3. NASA develop and publish, this year, a plan for such an ISS Applications
Program, such plan to include consideration of the components that were
recently deleted from the ISS assembly sequence.

4. A Non-Governmental Organization be created to support management of the
space station and to develop commercial applications of the space station.

5. The Bush Administration amend the national space policy to restore the
objective “to expand human presence and activities beyond Earth orbit into
the Solar System”.

NSS Director Marianne Dyson is currently working to establish an
Action Alert email list to notify members when important issues are being
considered by Congress. If you are interested in joining this list, you can
email Marianne at:

Watch the NSS website ( for the latest news from the


NSS was a co-sponsor of the 3rd annual Space Tourism Conference
coordinated by the Travel and Tourism Division of the Space Transportation
Association in Washington, DC on June 25. The conference offered a series of
panels on such matters as polls on public interest in space tourism, legal
and regulatory issues, and development of space tourism businesses. NSS
Board member Charlie Walker was the luncheon speaker and Executive Director
Pat Dasch participated in a panel on advocacy for space tourism, providing a
great opportunity to share NSS’s new Space Tourism Policy with the space
tourism community. Details on the NSS policy can be found at:
More information on the Space Tourism Conference can be found at:


Working in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, the Texas Space Grant Consortium and the Montana Space Grant
Consortium NSS submitted three proposals in response to NASA’s Ralph
Steckler/Space Grant Space Colonization Research and Technology Opportunity.
In all three proposals NSS provides public education and information exchange
in connection with future-focused research and exploration. NASA awards in
this competition are anticipated later this year.


NSS HQ welcomed Aimee Slaughter and Lauren LaRue in early June to our
Washington, DC office. Aimee, our journalism intern from Vienna, VA, is
assisting Frank Sietzen through the publication process of the July/August
issue of Ad Astra. Lauren, from Houston, TX, joined us as a public policy
intern. Lauren has already attended a number of hearings of the House of
Representatives Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics,
and her Capitol Capsules can be seen at:


Two new space organizations will study the issue of counterspace
control; methods of protecting U.S. space assets, the U.S. Congress was told
June 20th. General Edward Anderson, deputy commander of U.S. Space Command,
Colorado Springs, Colorado, announced the creation of the 527th Space
Aggressor Squadron and the 76th Space Control Squadron, both located at
Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Together, the two organizations
will try to simulate ways known adversaries could interfere with U.S. space
satellites, and devise ways to deny hostile nations access to space during
times of crisis. Both of the new groups have been underway for some time,
Anderson said, because of Space Command’s growing concern about U.S.
dependency upon space for military communications, surveillance, and other

More information on the U.S. Space Command can be found on its web site:

To see all of Gen. Anderson’s statement, go to


A review of NASA’s Space Launch Initiative (SLI) took place on June
20, 2001 in the Rayburn House Office Building as members of the House
Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics listened to testimonies. The
Subcommittee heard from Dennis Smith, NASA Program Manager of the Second
Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program; NASA Associate
Administrator Sam Venneri; Allen Li, Director of Acquisition and Sourcing
Management of the U.S. General Accounting Office, concerned private citizen
Steven J. Hoeser and Chief Scientist of the STA, Tom Rogers. For more
information read the Capitol Capsule at


The mission of the National Space Society formally describes our
members’ motivation for belonging to the Society: we want to live and work in
outer space. For the last twenty years we have gathered at our annual
International Space Development Conference to listen to professional
speakers, develop strategies for furthering our goals, and to enjoy the
company of others who attend the conference. In 2002 the Society will hold
it’s 21st conferences in Denver, CO. The theme of the Conference
is “Settling the Solar System”. In keeping with the theme, we are inviting
prospective speakers to submit abstracts on the following topics: Space
Mining, Space Construction, Space Solar Power, and development and settlement
of the Moon and Mars. We are also inviting submission of abstracts in the
fields of Space Medicine, Space Law, Space Business, and Military Space.
These topics will be addressed in a one-day professional symposium on Friday,
May 24, 2002. We hope you will consider joining us in Denver and submit
abstracts for our consideration. For more details please visit


NSS Online Report

Issue #16 / July 2001

Editor: Joshua Powers (

National Space Society

600 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. — Suite 201 — Washington, DC 20003

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SpaceRef staff editor.