National Space Society This very active organization promotes
Space awareness and activities downunder. A sister
organization to the US National Space Society, the
NSSA does similar space advocacy activities in Australia
sponsorship annual of the Australian Space Development
Space Research Institute (ASRI)
"ASRI is a non-profit organization run entirely
by member volunteers.... ASRI's goals are to develop
and advance Australian space science and technology
by conducting, encouraging and promoting research
in the field of space science and technology. "
Space Alliance (ASA)
"The Australian Space Alliance is a nation-wide
network celebrating the adventure of human space exploration.
As the Australian space industry continues to develop
and expand, ASA will focus on building a platform
in which people can share experiences, explore intellectual
possibilities and connect with fellow rocketeers."
See also their sites at Facebook
This Canadian group is a "grass-roots space,
a unique combination of amateur and professional interests
pursuing the manned exploration and development of
the Solar System. Our budget is our time, ideas, elbow
grease, and enthusiasm. With some of Canada's top
Aerospace experts and engineers on board, the CSS
is made up of people of all backgrounds and interests,
including teachers, environmentalists, writers, and
One of the original space advocacy groups, BIS was
founded in 1933. Arthur C. Clarke was an early member
and president. The BIS publishes the monthly magazine
for general public readership and also publishes JBIS
(Journal of the BIS) for space engineering and science
The BSO was established in 2009 to rejuvenate interest
in space science and exploration. We look to represent
the interests of UK science, commerce, education and
industry in its research and studies.
Our purpose is to be Britainís gateway to space. The
mission: to shape the development of Britainís space
capability and ensure that investment in space continues
to deliver benefits to the citizens of the United
Kingdom, Europe and the world.
At the top of our agenda is to encourage British space
activity and raise awareness of what the United Kingdom
has to offer in terms of skills and services, as well
as promoting space exploration to a younger, and wider
International Space Cooperation
A growing organization with several projects
particularly in the area of education. The SpaceExpress,
for example, is a space van that goes to schools with
demonstrations, simulations, and other space related
educational resources. SpaceTV
is a regular internet webcast program about space that
is produced by the Society.
"to introduce, nurture and expand a cultural
dimension to humanity's astronautical endeavors. This
task will be manifested through the identification,
investigation, support and realization of related
cultural, astronautical, humanitarian, environmental
and educational activities which may take place both
on and off planet Earth, and which are deemed as beneficial
to the development and advancement of human civilization
in this new environment." - OURS home page.
OURS has organized numerous activities
such as the Ars
Ad Astra space art exhibit on the MIR space station
Generation Space Generation is a " a global network of
individuals that have an interest in space and believe
that the future of planet Earth will be better if more
emphasis is placed on Space, in all its aspects."
"The program centers around two ideas: collecting
the ideas of youth to be presented to the wider space
community, and giving the delegates something concrete
to work on. This year delegates will be able to participate
first hand in some of the Space Generations projects,
Night, and the MoonMars Workshop."
- United Societies in Space - "create a space
faring society during our lifetime. We focus on the
space policy problems, legal matters, and societal
concerns. Our style is to supplement the U.N. International
Treaty Regime with functional entities where appropriate
people can assemble, work, and actually execute an
effort for the benefit of Humankind and its settlers
in outer space."
Polish "Club for Expansion of Civilization into
These groups pursue R&D space projects
such as high altitude rocketry, space stations, lunar
Many of these projects may seem very ambitious
for amateur groups, but it should be emphasized that
even if they don't achieve their goals directly, they
can lay the ground work for later success.
Unfortunately, they could not raise the
necessary $2 million and sufficient hardware donations
from the aerospace industry to build the probe.
The advanced development level, however,
gave them an edge in the competition for NASA's
Space Exploration Initiative and they won one of the
four missions. The SEI program, however, in turn was
canceled. The proposal, in collaboration with Lockheed-Martin,
was then offered and accepted as one of the first of
the Discovery low cost exploration missions.
The Discovery program was almost canceled as well but
lobbying by space advocacy groups such as Spacecause
and the NSS helped it to survive.
The Lunar Prospector was built and launched
by Lockheed-Martin in the fall of 1997 and in early
1998 it made the major discovery of water
ice at the North and South Poles of the moon.
The Principle Investigator, Dr.
Alan Binder (now at the
Lunar Research Institute) who has been involved
with the project from the beginning, sees the lunar
water resources as a major benefit to future space development.
The Lunar Prospector nicely illustrates
both sides of space activism at work: R&D groups
developing ideas and putting the missions together and
then advocacy groups supporting the projects with publicity
and working for funding .
The Lunar Prospector also shows how the
early volunteer study stage built a solid database
of knowledge and designs that gave it a head start
once serious development began.
See also the Satellite
Building section for another illustration
of how amateurs and students not only have built satellites
and gotten them into space but have made substantial
contributions to progress in the field.
Regardless of their eventual success or
failure, space R&D projects serve as wonderful educational
tools, inspiring tremendous enthusiasm and new ideas.
The worst that can happen from an overly ambitious project
is that the participants leave burdened with far greater
knowledge than they arrived with.
Alan Binder discussed the history of the
Lunar Prospector project in these interviews:
Project & The
Moon Society The Artemis Project seeks to develop a lunar base
as a commercial venture supported by such things as
movies and television filmed on the moon, interactive
remotely controlled robots on the moon such as proposed
This group is "edicated to the continued study
of earth's moon. This is accomplished through both
continued observation and attention to current research.
Our goals also include the education of our youth
through age-specific projects."
".. trying to find, develop, discuss, and
document various concepts for space and ocean
development and exploration. We are collecting
together and discussing the information or references
to it, discussing various reference projects,
and supplying software resources to help others
analyze and develop their own concepts. In short,
we have frontiers out there within our technical
reach. So what do we want to do with them, and
how do we do it?" - LIT website
"[A]n international collaboration to perform
the homework needed for constructing a self sufficient
colony on the moon. Results will be applied in terrestrial
settings for reducing environmental effects by controlling
material and product flows necessary for human survival."
"To further the scientific study, exploration,
and public understanding of Mars"
The Mars Millennium Project is a large scale effort
to involve thousands of US students from grade school
through high school in designing a Mars base for the
year 2030. NASA, Dept. of Education, National Endowment
for the Arts, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and others
are involved. Calendar
Patterned after the X Prize to encourage Mars exploration
Space settlement, expansion of humanity into the solar
system, and spacefaring civilisation are all terms for
the general concept of humans living permanently off
earth. This could involve settlements on the objects
such as Moon and Mars or giant free floating ini-space
habitats like that popularized by Gerard O'Neill. Over
the past few years, the space settlement idea has gradually
moved from a fantasy towards becoming a legitimate goal
by the mainstream space community. Michael Griffin,
for example, a few times while he was NASA administrator.
A number of space advocacy now make it their primary
emphasis. Here are some resources concerning the advocacy
Frontier Operations: "Space Frontier Operations,
Inc., is a Florida non-profit organization dedicated
to the long-term exploration and settlement of space.
Primarily a technology company, SFO has interests
in all aspects of flight vehicle and settlement technologies,
including human support services."
Inspired by the book The Millennial Project by
Marshall T. Savage, this group seeks to "build toward
the ultimate human destiny of leaving planet Earth and
Asteroids, Space Development
Projects to Employ Resources of the Moon and Asteroids
Near Earth in the Near Term, founded by Mark Prado. The
web site has extensive pages on space colonization, industrialization,
Space Islands investigates space stations developed from
the space shuttle external tanks. The tanks cost around
$50M each and are currently released to burn up in the
atmosphere, although they could in fact be carried on
into orbit. This is an obvious waste and this group looks
at making good use of this resource.
Founded by the late Prof.
Gerard K. O'Neill of Princeton University, SSI is
a publicly supported organization that funds professional
research into the science and technology required for
space colonization and industrialization.
The goal of this organization is to develop the technology
and human resources requires so that someday there will
be "1000 settlements on planets, moons, asteroids,
and space stations."
Space Foundation - "Active Citizens for
the Cultivation, Exploration and Settlement of Space.
That is who we are and what we are for. We are normal
citizens who want to take an active role in building
our future. We are doing so by working to cultivate,
explore, and settle space."
In Orbit - 50 Years
This project hopes to commemorate John Glenn's famous
flight to orbit by launching a Falcon 9 on February
20, 2012 with an astronaut in on "an improved Mercury
- Alliance to Rescue Civilization
This organization wants to create "continuously
staffed facilities on the Moon and other locations
away from Earth" in order "to protect the
human species and its civilization from destruction
that could result from a global catastrophic event".
The project is led by author William E. Burrow, biochemist
Robert Shapiro and other notables. [The website www.arc-space.org
was inactive on of Aug. 9, 2008.]
" Our goal is to significantly alter the orbit
of an asteroid in a controlled manner by 2015". The
Board of Directors includes astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty
Schweickart and space scientists Piet Hut and Clark
Marble Space - "Promote the "Blue Marble"
as a symbol of international unity in space exploration
. Promote international awareness, education and collaboration
in space exploration . Promote and preserve international
awareness of our planet, its resources and its people".
Flag in Space initiative:
"This initiative seeks to promote the use
of the "Blue Marble" as a symbol of international
unity in space exploration. It is a symbol that
anyone, anywhere in the world can relate to, regardless
of nationality, ethnic origin or religious beliefs,
yet does not require political collaboration between
Seeks to fund space development R&D via a membership
subscription approach. Also, consumers who want to
support space development will be encouraged to buy
products that carry the logo, which will be licensed
for a fee.
- Education. Arguments. Ideas. -
Intended "to promote the near-term human exploration
and settlement of space, as well as the key technologies
that will allow us to thrive as a species both in
space and on Earth during the next century."
Dr. Jim Pass is advocating the development of
a branch of sociology that deals with the many
ways that space affects our society such as the
impact of exploration and development activities,
SETI, cosmological discoveries, etc.
New firms pursuing new sorts of space markets beyond
just communications satellites. These are often started
by space activists.
Clubs and Group Chapters
The National Space Society, SEDS, and
other such organizations
have affiliated local chapters. Check their web sites
to find one near you. You might also be interested in
the various rocketry
clubs and astronomy
There are also unaffiliated local space
clubs, and the affiliated chapters also generally function
quite independently as well.
In either case it's up to the members
to develop a strong program of activities.
So join a local space club or start
one if none exists in your area or school. Space clubs
can do far more than just provide social gatherings
for fellow space cadets. Here are some space club
Build a detailed, full scale simulator
of the shuttle cockpit, capable of complex mission
simulations, for your club or local school.
Organize regular star-satellite parties where,
with both telescopes and the unaided eye, the participants
observe not just constellations and planets but
Mir, ISS, and the Shuttle when in orbit.
Alabama L5 Society -
This group is particularly known for its HALO
project to set a high altitude record for amateur
rockets. The HALO rocket is lifted by balloon, i.e.making
it a rockoon, and then fired at a height of
about 30km. The rocket is powered by a hybrid motor
with a solid propellant(asphalt) and a liquid oxidizer
(nitrous-oxide). A launching in May
1997 achieved an altitude of 50-60km.
San Diego Chapter of the Mars Society -
This group has been heavily involved in the Mars Society
research station projects. It was also very active
in defending human spaceflight in public arenas in
the aftermath of the Columbia disaster.
Arizona SEDS -
One of the main forces behind SEDS,
this group is very active and their web site has won
A group that strongly supports private space development
efforts. [Oct.6.2010: this group has become far less
active in the past few years. Will keep it listed
here, though, due to its historical impact. - Ed.]