A Closer Look at National Space Council User’s Advisory Group Nominees

So, I finally had a chance to go through folks that Vice President Mike Pence nominated to serve on the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group.

Below is my attempt to break down the 29 nominees by category. It’s far from perfect because several of them could easily be listed under multiple categories. But, here’s my best shot at it.


Explorers Club to Honor Lovell, Bezos at Annual Dinner

Jeff Bezos

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2018 (Explorers Club PR) — What is fueling the next generation of exploration? Is it insatiable curiosity, new technologies, enduring spirit, or an extraordinary and exciting combination of all three?

These are some of the challenges that will face more than 1,000 of the world’s foremost explorers and guests at the 114th Explorers Club Annual Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square New York, on Saturday March 10, 2018.

Update on Blue Origin New Shepard Flight

New Shepard booster fires its engine just over the landing pad. (Credit: Blue Origin)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through Wednesday. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks are there tweeting away:

  • Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust
  • Rand Simberg‏ @Rand_Simberg
  • Colorado Space News‏ @CO_Space_News

Below is an update on Blue Origin’s New Shepard program based on their tweets.

Jeff Ashby
Chief of Mission Assurance
Blue Origin

  • Flawless New Shepard flight test last week
  • First commercial flight under a launch license issued by FAA — allows Blue Origin to collect revenues (unlike previous experimental permit)
  • New vehicle incorporates lessons learned from earlier flight test program that finished in October 2016
  • Roughly one year away from New Shepard human flight tests, 18-24 months from flights with human-tended payloads
  • Waiting until the commercial service version of the system is flying to sell tickets for New Shepard flights
  • Capsule has full environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) and triple redundancy as well as pusher escape system
  • New Shepard flights will have about three minutes of microgravity
  • 5 G’s peak experienced during reentry
  • Proprietary landing system provides a soft landing for capsule and its occupants and experiments
  • One day of training required that will include mission simulation and emergency egress instruction
  • Centrifuge training at NASTAR will not required for New Shepard flights
  • Flight will be conducted early in morning due to calmer winds at that time
  • Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Al Worden have expressed interest in flying
  • System designed to be rapidly reusable
  • Takes about two weeks to turn around New Shepard for relaunch
  • Goal is to reduce turnaround to one week with 20 operational personnel
  • Blue Origin landed a booster from space first (before SpaceX)
  • Watching a rocket land is even cooler than watching them launch
  • Shift from “used” rockets to “flight proven” has been a good thing
  • New Glenn orbital rocket will have 7-meter payload to accommodate larger payloads

Successful First International Moon Village Workshop at ISU

Credit: Douglas Messier

STRASBOURG, France (ISU PR) — This week, more than 150 experts, engineers, educators and students from around the world gathered in Strasbourg, France to participate in the first International Moon Village Workshop. The Workshop was jointly organized by the recently-formed Moon Village Association (MVA) and the International Space University (ISU), and was held at the permanent campus of the ISU.


Executive Order Reviving the National Space Council

President Donald Trump signs an executive order reviving the National Space Council. (Credit: The White House)



By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the implementation of national space policy and strategy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Buzz Aldrin Really Really Hates Being Called Second Man on the Moon

Credit: The White House

Buzz Aldrin reacts after Mika Pence calls him the second man on the moon. Buzz really really hates that label. Second man to walk on the moon, but he and Neil Armstrong landed together.

Watch Buzz wince at about 14 seconds into this video.


Buzz Aldrin Cancels ISU Visit on Medical Advice

Buzz Aldrin salutes during the singing of the National Anthem at the Spaceport America runway dedication.

Buzz Aldrin has withdrawn from the opening ceremony of the International Space University’s 30th Summer Session Program in Ireland on medical advice, according to a media report.

Aldrin, who serves as ISU chancellor, was to have addressed student and faculty in Cork on June 26. He was also scheduled to give the Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Lecture the following day.

Good wishes to Buzz as he makes his recovery.

‘Mixed Reality’ Technology Brings Mars to Earth



PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — What might it look like if you were walking around on Mars? A group of researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, has been working on methods to take this question from the realm of imagination to the mind-bending domain of mixed reality.


NSS Launches Enterprise in Space

NSS_Enterprise_in_SpaceWASHINGTON, DC – September 24, 2014 (NSS PR) — The National Space Society (NSS) is launching a new project called “Enterprise In Space” (EIS). This project will design, build, launch, orbit, re-enter, tour, and display a science-fiction-inspired satellite as a science education and technology demonstration project for all ages and as a tribute to the great visionaries of science and science fiction.


ISDC Media Panel Set for May 17


I’m on a media panel with three other media personalities at the upcoming International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles.

But, we’re not the only ones at ISDC this year. Read more about the conference below and sign up.

Buzz Aldrin, Elon Musk Lead List of Luminaries at
NSS International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles

May 14-18 Event is Open to the Public with Paid Registration

Los Angeles, Calif., May 1, 2014 (ISDC PR) — The 33rd Annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2014) kicks off on Wednesday, May 14, for five days of presentations, panels, exhibits, lunches and dinners celebrating this year’s theme, “A Space Renaissance.”

ISDC is the yearly conference of the National Space Society (NSS), a nonprofit organization that has hosted the gathering since 1982. This year’s venue is the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, 6101 West Century Boulevard, conveniently located near Los Angeles International Airport.


Discount Tickets Offered for NSS ISDC Conference

isdc2014-logoLOS ANGELES (Rush49 PR) — Online adventure deals site, Rush49, in association with the National Space Society will offer a series of exclusive admission tickets to attend the 33rd annual ISDC conference, one of which includes entrance to an awards presentation dinner, with recipient Elon Musk, CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla Motors on Friday, May 16th, 2014.

Rush49.com, a southern California-based online adventure and adrenaline deals site, in exclusive partnership with the National Space Society, is now expanding its repertoire of high-octane racing/driving experiences and themed outdoor events and excursions to include a foray into the final frontier—space.


Axe Apollo Space Academy Report and Photos

The winners with Buzz Aldrin. (Credit: SXC)
The 23 winners with Buzz Aldrin. (Credit: SXC)

ORLANDO, Fla. (SXC PR) — Early December an epic event was organized by AXE in Orlando, Florida. Over a 100 participants from all over the world competed a 3-day space academy to win a ticket to space with SXC.



23 Selected to Fly on Lynx Through Axe Apollo Space Academy


This photo was posted earlier today of the winners of the Axe Apollo Space Academy competition in Florida. There appear to be 21 men and 2 women selected for suborbital flights aboard XCOR’s Lynx space plane. They appear here with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The competition was run by Unilever in conjunction with Space Expedition Corporation. There’s no press release out yet that I could find, but I will post something when it is published.