Mojave Spaceport CEO Karina Drees to Become Commercial Spaceflight Federation President

Karina Drees

Washington, DC (CSF PR) – Commercial Spaceflight Federation announced today that Karina Drees will join the organization as its new president, effective January 4, 2021.

Since 2012, Drees served as CEO and General Manager of Mojave Air & Space Port (MASP) and held several other senior leadership positions at the company. She is currently the vice chair of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and has been an active member of the CSF Board of Directors for five years, including serving as treasurer from 2017 to 2020.

“Karina brings an impressive amount of senior leadership and business acumen to CSF, as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in the policy and regulatory arenas and the proven ability to grow an organization and build strategic alliances with key industry stakeholders,” said Audrey Powers, CSF Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and Vice President of Legal and Compliance for Blue Origin.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes New Board Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) elected new Board Leadership and Officers at its bi-annual Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C., on September 29, 2020.

Audrey Powers is CSF’s new Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. Powers is the Vice President of Legal & Compliance for Blue Origin. She is a seasoned policy and regulatory expert and has testified before Congress on commercial spaceflight regulatory matters.

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Eric Stallmer Joins Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy

Voyager Logo

Former Commercial Spaceflight Federation President to lead public policy for the organization from new Washington D.C. office

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2020 (Voyager Space Holdings PR) — Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. (Voyager), a global leader in space exploration, today announced the appointment of Eric Stallmer as executive vice president of government affairs and public policy. Stallmer will lead Voyager’s Washington D.C. office and will be responsible for representing the interests of Voyager to key government institutions including Congress, the White House and the many federal agencies that impact the success of Voyager and its subsidiaries.

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The Federation Praises Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Reform

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation today praised the Department of Commerce’s release this week of a rulemaking that dramatically reforms the U.S. government’s regulation of the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry.

“We wish to thank Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Office of Space Commerce and its Director Kevin O’Connell, and NOAA’s Office of Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs for publishing this forward-leaning, streamlined set of rules for this growing and important industry,”  declared Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “And we again thank Vice President Pence, the National Space Council, and its Executive Secretary Scott Pace for issuing Space Policy Directive 2 two years ago, which focused agencies across the government to minimize regulatory burden and streamline oversight.”

Up until now, the U.S. remote sensing industry has been governed by legislation and regulations written in the early 1990’s.  While capabilities and technologies have progressed over the decades, companies dealt with these outdated regulations, often prohibiting new technologies and disincentivising the industry.  License applications regularly took too long to authorize with little to no transparency into the decision making process. With these revised regulations, comes a new era for the remote sensing industry and as new licenses are granted, we hope to see these principles put into practice.

“Thank you to the Commerce Department for developing these new rules that reduce bureaucratic restrictions on industry so they can innovate faster, compete effectively internationally, and enable new applications for satellite observations of the Earth,” said Stallmer.  “CSF has fought hard for several years to promote legislative and regulatory reforms that would streamline these rules.  We believe that these new rules from the Department of Commerce are an important step forward to enable U.S. companies to compete in a growing international marketplace while protecting America’s national security concerns.”

Mixed Reaction to House’s NASA Authorization Bill

There have been sharply differing reaction from industry and advocacy groups to the House draft of a NASA authorization act that largely rejects the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 and establish a permanent presence there. Instead, a moon landing would be used as an interim step to sending astronauts to Mars. Commercial participation in these missions would be limited.

[See House NASA Authorization Bill Focuses on Sending Astronauts to Mars; Moon Seen as Interim Step and NASA Authorization Bill Introduced in House for details.]

Below are statements by the Aerospace Industries Association, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and National Space Society.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has also weighed in here.

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The Federation Announces Commercial Space Leadership Awards

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Commercial Space Leadership Awards in recognition of leading innovators, investors, educators, journalists, and policymakers for their significant contributions to the success of the commercial space industry. The United States is undergoing a renaissance in space, and the commercial industry plays a pivotal role in this major transformation. 

The 2020 winners are:

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SWRI, CSF Announce Suborbital Space Researchers, Educators Conference

BROOMFIELD, Colo., October 31, 2019 (NSRC PR) — As a new generation of space vehicles prepares the groundwork for space research and education, the 2020 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will bring together hundreds of suborbital researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceports and government officials in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, 2020.

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NASA to Discuss Planetary Protection Review’s Findings and Recommendations

This scene from the panoramic camera on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity looks back toward part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater that the rover drove along, heading southward, during the summer of 2014. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 18, to discuss recommendations presented by the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB), established in June 2019 by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website.

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The Federation Welcomes Monteith Appointment to Head FAA AST

Wayne R. Monteith

WASHINGTON (CSF PR) — “On behalf of the commercial spaceflight industry, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes Brigadier General (Ret.) Wayne Monteith as the FAA’s new Associate Administrator for the Office of Commercial Space Transportation. He brings a wealth of space knowledge and leadership to the office, and we look forward to continued collaboration on policy and regulatory issues to continue the rapid growth of the U.S. commercial space transportation industry.

“Previously, Gen Monteith has held a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Air Force, including leadership of 15,300 military, civilian and contractor personnel responsible for launching U.S. government and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  He also had been the Air Force’s Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Space.

“The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is pivotal to the commercial space industry’s continued growth and innovation. We are confident that Gen Monteith will continue its strategic role in the regulation and promotion of commercial launches and reentries that will strengthen and expand our nation’s space transportation capabilities and infrastructure.

“The Commercial Spaceflight Federation also thanks Kelvin Coleman for his leadership as Acting Associate Administrator. His leadership and deep understanding of the commercial space industry has been strategic and instructive during the transition. We are extremely appreciative of Kelvin’s commitment and look forward to continuing to work with him in his role as Deputy Associate Administrator and the rest of the talented, devoted team at AST.”











The Federation Adds Two New Associate Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is excited to announce two new members have joined at the Associate Level: Deep Space Industries and Parabilis Space Technologies.

“Our newest members represent the diversity of the rapidly growing U.S. commercial space industry,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “CSF’s growing membership is a testament to the benefits of combining American ingenuity and private sector capital to enable new innovations and expand the United States’ leadership in space. We are excited to add these two new and unique voices to our team.”

Deep Space Industries is a space transportation company developing and building technology that dramatically lowers the cost of access to deep space, according to CEO, Bill Miller. Deep Space Industries is developing a unique, low-cost spacecraft capable of conducting deep space science, exploration and commercial missions from GEO to anywhere in the inner solar system, at a fraction of today’s cost. A key component of the strategy is the development of high performance, launch safe rocket engines, which are already being sold to satellite manufacturers around the world.

Parabilis designs, develops, tests, and flies small spacecraft solutions and affordable propulsion systems (including thrusters and small launch vehicle stages). Parabilis has offices in San Marcos, CA and a propulsion test facility in Lakeside, CA.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 80+ members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians, and businesses. CSF members are responsible for the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs driven by billions of dollars in investment. Through the promotion of technology innovation, CSF is guiding the expansion of Earth’s economic sphere, bolstering U.S. leadership in aerospace, and inspiring America’s next generation of engineers and explorers.











CSF Praises House Passage of Space Commerce Act


WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) –
Tonight the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bi-partisan American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017 (H.R. 2809 as amended), one of the most visionary pieces of space policy legislation since President Reagan signed the original Commercial Space Launch Act in 1984.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds House Science, Space & Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin, Ranking Member Ami Bera, Congressmen Kilmer and Perlmutter, and also the bill’s co-author and original co-sponsor, former Oklahoma Congressman and newly-sworn-in NASA Administrator James Bridenstine, for their hard work in getting this bill to the House floor.

We also appreciate the continuing leadership that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have shown in their support for America’s commercial space industry.  Finally, we appreciate the efforts of Chairman Mac Thornberry of the House Armed Services and Chairman Bud Shuster of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees in helping this bill come to a vote today.

H.R. 2809 makes three vital changes to the legal underpinnings of U.S. commercial space activity.  First, it elevates the Office of Space Commerce from NOAA to the Office of the Secretary, makes its Director an Assistant Secretary, and authorizes its funding.  Second, it completely rewrites the law that guides the Commerce Department in regulating the rapidly-growing U.S. commercial remote sensing industry to advance both U.S. economic leadership and important national security and foreign policy interests, and gives that job to this Office.  Last but most importantly, it tasks the Office with creating a presumed-approval regime for non-traditional space activities, with only the necessary powers to ensure these activities’ compliance with international obligations of the United States under United Nations space treaties.

“By passing HR 2809, the House of Representatives helped open the space frontier to American free enterprise,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.  “We look forward to seeing the Senate’s companion legislation, and to supporting both Chambers reach agreement on these important issues during this Congress.”











Future Looks (Mostly) Bright for Space Industry in DC


The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through today. 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
  • Laura Seward Forczyk @LauraForczyk

Below are updates based upon their tweets on what is happening in Washington, DC, from talks by officials from the FAA, NASA, and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.
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Praise for Space Policy Directive 1

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Praise is pouring in for Space Policy Directive 1, the Trump Administration’s document that focuses the nation’s civilian space program on returning astronauts to the moon.

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1) signed today by President Trump, formalizing the commitment made by the Administration during the first meeting of the National Space Council to reinvigorate America’s deep space exploration program. The signing ceremony in the White House West Wing was attended by Coalition President and CEO Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar together with the President, Vice President, members of Congress, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and NASA astronauts – including Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, who together with the late Captain Eugene Cernan were the last Americans to visit the Moon during Apollo 17 exactly 45 years ago.

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The Federation Elects New Officers, Welcomes New Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) has elected new Officers for the 2017-2018 year, and approved two new Associate member companies at its bi-annual Executive Board of Directors, held last month in Tucson, Arizona.

Dr. Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute was elected for a second term as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Stern is the Associate Vice President of the Southwest Research Institute’s (SwRI) Space Science and Engineering Division in Boulder, Colorado and the Chief Science Officer of World View, based in Tucson, Arizona.

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Groups Praise First National Space Council Meeting

Vice President Mike Pence delivers opening remarks during the National Space Council’s first meeting. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Praise is rolling in for the first National Space Council meeting on Thursday from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Space Florida and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence chaired the first meeting of the National Space Council. The Space Council, comprised of numerous cabinet and agency heads, was briefed by industry leaders on topics of national security, civil, and commercial space. Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corporation were among the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) member companies whose leadership briefed the Space Council. CSF also had a large contingency of member company leadership in attendance at the kickoff meeting.

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